Do I want my ashes placed in an urn with a Mets or Jets logo?

There's a fascinating article in today's New York Times sports section about the inroads being
Casket1102 made by licensing in such sports as baseball and football.
For a mere $4,000, one can now choose to spend eternity in a casket emblazoned with his favorite team's logo. Logo-adorned urns, which would be my vessel of choice for traveling to the after world, cost a mere $799.

Talk about a bargain!
Licensing is a big business for sports leagues. (Note: in the interests of transparency, I should report that Peppercom is one of the few, if not only, PR firms with its own licensing division.) According to The Licensing Letter, Major League Baseball alone will rake in $2.75 billion in sales of licensed goods this year. That enough to fill an awful lot of cemeteries.
Of course, branded merchandise extends far beyond burial items, but why not go beyond just caskets and urns and create a fully-branded death and bereavement experience? I'd probably opt for a Jets afterlife experience (since they've killed my joy less often than the Mets have). So, I envision the following:
  – Joe Namath jerseys for those kind enough to eulogize me
  – Freeman McNeil sweat pants for mourners who will be spending the weekend at my wake and funeral. Why not provide some branded casual wear for their use during downtime?
  – I'd like the funeral home to use green and white bunting instead of the usual funeral purple
  – How about having the priest wearing throwback New York Titans vestments? Now, that would be cool.
  – I'd like Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer to be available to comfort my immediate family.
  – Fireman Ed would be on hand to lead one last cheer of “C-O-D-Y. Cody! Cody! Cody!”
  – Last, but not least, I'd like my green and white urn to contain the signatures of every player from the Super Bowl-winning 1968-69 Jets, including Ridgefield Park's very own Hatch Rosedahl.
Licensing types need to think large. Besides paying taxes, death is the only thing we can count on. So, why limit the afterlife merchandise to caskets and urns? The sky's the limit. Actually, since we're talking about eternity, even the sky isn't the limit.
I'd be open to any and all licensing suggestions: how about a green-and-white hearse emblazoned with Joe Willie's “We'll win. I guarantee it” Super Bowl III boast. Or, maybe a reunion of the fabled Sack Exchange? They could tackle someone from my life who caused me grief (i.e. a particularly heinous client or former employer, etc.). How about a grave dug to resemble the exact proportions of the new Jets-Giants Meadowlands stadium? I don't know about you, but I'd want to be laid to rest right on 50-yard-line. No nose bleed seats for this cadaver.
Put me in charge of afterlife licensing for major league sports and I'll make that $2.75 billion figure seem like chump change.

10 thoughts on “Do I want my ashes placed in an urn with a Mets or Jets logo?

  1. I like the lifetime stats idea, Lunch. I’ll ask the agency publicity team to start working on a posthumous baseball card for me containing my vital stats and accomplishments (however limited).

  2. Big League Chew was the best.
    I love the trading card idea for newborns and the dearly departed. It would be “interesting” to compare each card’s stats for one person at the end of the game (of life).

  3. Big League Chew is still around…and still delicious. I buy it occasionally for nostalgia purposes. And just like when I was a kid, the package is gone in a few hours.

  4. Bouton owned Big League Chew (which was gum that looked just like chewing tobacco) and Big League Cards. Not sure if either still exists.

  5. It’s funny that you bring up trading cards, Greg. I actually had a trading card made for Chris “Repman, Jr” Cody when he was born. It had his photo on the front and vital stats/information on the back (ie: “screams in the middle of the night, prefers throwback diapers to newer models and aspires to QB the 2011 Jets.”). The cards were made by ex-Yankees pitcher and Ball Four author Jim Bouton.

  6. My recollection is that Bouton’s company name is “Big League Cards” and is an oversized version. Neat idea to walk into a prospective employer’s office and hand out a big league card with with resume or other vital information. Certainly would separate a candidate from the pack.

  7. This is old news. Colleges have been doing this for at least a year.
    “Fireman” Ed can officiate the cremation.
    How about a coin toss to determine if you should lie face up or face down or which end zone you want to defend?
    You mentioned all of these players but they may very well be gone before
    you. Then what?
    How about a Cody highlight film. Let’s see your best end zone dance.
    Or, instead of mass cards, how about a Steve Cody trading card with your photo on the front and your statistical information or life achievements on the back? Hey, you’re an all-star in my book.

  8. Thanks for the insight, Michael. The Mets are synonymous with death, so I would think a complete line of branded afterlife goods makes sense.

  9. During the 90s I was a Chicago resident, and at the time the Chicago Bulls licensed its brand to a yarmulke manufacturer for those fans who wished to pay homage to their team while adhering to holy day laws. Folklore says that a surge of demand took place when such fans became new parents and needed yarmulkes for their young son’s bris. Challenges abound: religious stores did not want to become concession stands, new moms were ready to file separation papers from their absurd spouses. Let me cut to the chase (pun intended): all licensing ideas have to pass through several rings of truth to become viable – manufacturers willing to invest, retailers willing to merchandise, and consumers willing to buy. Chicago Bulls yarmulkes didn’t pass muster. But if Mets coffins did, Repman indeed has a nice afterlife career one day in the very distant future.