Leave it to the Catholic Church (or, some entrepreneurial Catholic) to take product merchandising to a higher level. Click on Catholicshopper.com and check out statuettes of the one and only Jesus Christ participating in everything from ice hockey and basketball to ballet and track & field.
Seemingly unencumbered by his long white robe and sandals, we see a buffed ‘jock’ Christ in such acts as:
– rejecting a basketball shot by a poor unsuspecting kid
– in the midst of an intense ice hockey face-off (question: would Christ throw down the gloves and take part in one of those nasty fights that mar every match?)
-helping a future Barry Bonds with his baseball swing -and my personal favorite, ‘Tiki’ Christ taking a hand-off from one kid while another is wrapping his arms around the Savior’s legs to sack him.
Everything about this is just so wrong that it leaves one virtually speechless. But, rather than comment on how poorly GI Joe-like action figures reflect on the Church and its image, let’s think of the chalice being half-full and dream up some line extensions and partnerships.
For example, what about Christ action figures for business? There’d be such statues as:
-Christ making a new business pitch in front of 10 or 12 obviously bored executives
-Christ handling a delicate downsizing at a rustbelt mfg. company
-Christ dashing alongside other commuters to catch the 6:02 NJ Transit home to Bethlehem.
As for partnerships, I’d go with apparel. After all, Christ doesn’t always have to be in his robe and sandals, does He? Nike and Under Armor should provide uniforms, etc., for His athletic pursuits, while Brioni or Zegna could outfit Christ in a top-of-the-line business suit for His 9-to-5 gigs.
When it comes to Jesus Christ and potential product merchandising ideas, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the sky really is the limit.