SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for We'll tag all PFR content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing PFR blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed. » Sports Reference

For more from Chase and Jason, check out their work at Football Perspective and The Big Lead.

World Cup 2010 Checkdowns: Nike Commercial Curse?

Posted by Neil Paine on June 22, 2010

Like most people who reviewed Nike's 2010 World Cup "Write the Future" campaign, I really adore the full-length version of the TV spot:

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, it's a fun, thrilling piece of visual and conceptual art. There's just one problem, though, according to Asher Klein at the NYT's Goal Blog:

"The three-minute-long epic in question ... shows five players in the heat of battle in South Africa imagining how the fans back home will react to their performance. The players are some of soccer’s biggest names: Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, England’s Wayne Rooney, Brazil’s Ronadinho, and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

The idea is that these players will put their Nike-made boots to work at the World Cup, and in so doing make a future for themselves (score a goal and you’re immortalized on YouTube, fail to score and you’re trailer trash) and for the Cup-hungry fans watching on TV. Problem is, these players aren’t making headlines, at least not the ones they’d like to make. In fact, they almost seem cursed!"

He goes on to detail the ways the spot's big soccer names -- and even the cameo appearances, like Roger Federer -- have not exactly enjoyed the greatest month of their sporting careers, save for Kobe Bryant. We've dealt with curses before, of course, coming to the conclusion that any group of athletes with high expectations based on past performance will likely fall short in the future. But it's still interesting that a commercial with such a great concept (and execution) would see almost all of its stars struggle since the Cup began.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 at 8:13 am and is filed under Checkdowns, Voodoo and witchcraft, World Cup. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.