Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Vatican Releases Nike Commercial

Breaking the pattern for releases of Pope Videos, an innovation of Pope Francis, August featured a big surprise.

Instead the Vatican released a Nike commercial featuring the sports gear company's new spokesman, Pope Francis. The Pope's agents reportedly negotiated a contract comparable with Michael Jordan's $100 million deal.

The commercial features the usual Pope Video techniques of slo-mo montages, but production values are higher, as might be expected. Athletes of diverse ethnicities are shown competing with their balls, each representing a sport ranging from soccer (more logically called football by people outside of the United States) to ping pong. Their balls and their outfits are all discretely marked with Nike's famous "swoosh." Their balls finally break down a symbolic wall.

There is the familiar shot of the Pope reading a script about sports, but it ends with the pontiff looking into the camera and saying in English, "Just do it."

According to new Vatican spokesman, former Fox TV correspondent Greg Burke, the deal also includes an unprecedented slogan-sharing provision. "His Holiness felt strongly that 'Just Do It' was perfect for his rebranding of the Catholic Church. He insisted on the slogan-sharing, or no deal."

The famous Nike "swoosh" trademark was also part of the deal, and will be replacing the millennia-old cross as the new symbol of Christianity. "Pope Francis felt the cross was too negative," Burke explained. "The swoosh is new. It's positive. It's about moving forward, doing it. Just do it. The Church has your back."

However, the commercial was not without its critics. Former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters accused Nike-Vatican of "ripping off the [expletive deleted] Wall." The iconic 1979 rock opera features wall imagery, and also ends with the destruction of a symbolic wall. However, music industry sources report that the Vatican and Waters, who owns the rights to The Wall, are negotiating licensing where all of Waters' work - including The Wall - will be licensed to the Vatican for liturgical and other purposes. This goes along with longstanding rumors that Waters has been writing a new concept album called "The Mass."

Anti-death penalty activists were outraged by the new slogan. Convicted Utah murderer Gary Gilmore chose death by firing squad in 1977, creating a huge amount of publicity. His last words, "Just do it," are credited as the inspiration for the Nike slogan.

Pope Francis' next promotional deal is reportedly with Italian airline Alitalia, with the slogan, "You don't have to have a microphone to be treated like a pope."

Be sure to see the Hound's great piece, too.


  1. It would appear the Bear is on a roll! 🐻😉

  2. In other news a new military order, Knights of Encounter, have submitted their constitution to the Vatican for approval.

    When asked if a military order was contrary to Francis' desires for world peace, their spokesman replied that "Heavens no! We feel this embodies the new intention of encountering through sport. There's no better way of getting to know our Muslim brothers by encounter on the battlefield. We get to witness Christian Just War teachings and how to properly treat prisoners of war. Given the current state of aggression of ISIS and other jihad groups, encountering them is the best chance for world peace."

    The Vatican spokesman Greg Burke could not be reached for comment.

    1. LOL - good one, Flea.

      If he wanted to do a sports video, he could have had a slo-mo montage of baseball players from the Dominican Republic making the sign of the cross at the plate. Jose Oquendo anyone?

  3. *triple face-palm*....when even a double won't do.

    I notice that his cross is still tucked completely out of sight. Nothing, N.O.T.H.I.N.G. to say, witness, or even imply Christ....not even his outfit at this point. He looks like an imam....with a squished turban-thingy.

    On a cheerful note; I guessed the "Just do it!" rebranding get a (good) goat???

    1. We've been having mass goat escapes. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, and that's as far as they go.

    2. hmmm...Jesus under the table. The editor of this video should have noticed that the big dangling cross at the end of that big ol chain was not visible. This is sad.

  4. He should have made a sports video about swimming through contaminated waters to the glorious destination of God's Kingdom.

  5. That was actually insipid. I suppose sports is a far better solution to the world's ills than mundane things like, oh, the Sacraments, God's word, etc.

  6. Glad to see the Pope is getting around to emphasizing what's really important to people and brooming all that old fashioned Catholic imagery. Maybe we can start calling him Coach-a-Pope for his new marketing schtick.

  7. Hahahaha! Too funny, Sir Bear!!

    The ping pong was not one of the balls that helped break down the wall. It would have been just too silly I guess.

    Seattle Kim

  8. Also the wall thing reminded me of the final scene in the 1960 movie Village of the Damned--only in that movie the "wall" served a protective purpose.

  9. Pope Francis, just do it.(Teach and preach the traditional faith, instead of this watered down insipid crap!)

  10. There is no mention of God, Christ or the Holy Spirit in the video monologue. The caption under the Pope reads, "Do we exercise together this prayer intention?" We're supposed to raise our minds and hearts to God when we pray. If God is not mentioned, to whom are we addressing this monthly intention?

    As I've mentioned before concerning the other videos (hard to believe it's 8 now) the Cross is still not visible. Funny how William Penn, imprisoned in the Tower of London, got it right in 1669 when he wrote, "No Cross, No Crown."

  11. When it comes to Catholics and Sports, I'll take Vince Lombardi over Pope Francis


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