Bad Trend: Selling Your Last Name to the Highest Bidder

Jason Sadler, the creative entrepreneur who figured out he could sell the shirt off his back (literally) for advertising space, has a new scheme in mind. He's selling his last name to the highest bidder, and believe it or not, bids are coming in. If nothing changes between now and when the auction ends on December 12, 2012, his new name will be Jason JLabAudio.

JLab Audio, a consumer audio brand based in Tucson, Arizona, currently owns the highest bid at $34,500. That's good for Sadler, who insists he's not concerned with his last name, but if companies are willing to pay that kind of cash, will this become a new trend? It depends on how much people value their identity.

Jason Sadler
After successfully selling ad space on his back, Jason Sadler is now putting his last name up for sale.

"Anyone who knows me or follows IWearYourShirt knows that I’m an open book. Which is why I’ll be honest in saying that this idea didn’t come to me purely for the sake of some off-the-wall marketing stunt," Sadler explains. "Throughout my life I’ve had three separate last names, none of which have carried any real meaning for me or my sense of identity. So earlier this year when my mom let me know she’d be going through a divorce, it occurred to me that shedding my last name might actually make a lot of sense for me. Though I’m incredibly close with the members of my family, I’ve never gotten my sense of self from any family lineage or last name; instead, my sense of self has come from the hard work I’ve put in to build my company from scratch and from the amazing relationships I’ve fostered with businesses I care about."

Sadler says he isn't selling out, but the he loves brands, especially ones that are willing to push the envelope. He's also vowed to give 10 percent of his auction funds to Cheerful Givers, a non-profit organization committed to giving less fortunate children gift bags on birthdays and throughout the holidays.

It's an interesting proposition, not just for Sadler, but for whichever company ultimately wins the auction. After all, as the winning bidder, you have to then trust that Sadler will keep himself out of trouble, thus avoiding sullying the brand name.

Would you be willing to sell your last name to a tech company? If so, which ones?