The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

gridiron on ice
Leave it to Nike to come up with an eye-catching, buzz-worthy ad campaign. Inspired by usually inane subjects that come up during bar-bet banter, the "what if" campaign takes established sports stars and remixes them, placing them out of their chosen sports and into the uniforms of others:

The campaign, by the longtime Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., which also created the "Bo knows" ads, carries the theme "What if?" The commercials, in lengths of 15, 60 and 90 seconds, offer these unlikely crossovers by Nike endorsers: the tennis star Andre Agassi playing baseball for the Boston Red Sox; the cyclist Lance Armstrong boxing; the pitcher Randy Johnson as a professional bowler; the runner Marion Jones as a gymnast; the football players Brian Urlacher and Michael Vick as hockey teammates; and the tennis star Serena Williams playing beach volleyball.

The commercial is all over the TV right now. It's also on the Nike site. I'd like to find a copy to have; no luck so far.

I have to say, Michael Vick has a wicked-looking wrist shot; but he shoots, he scores, so whatever works. His position on the ice isn't specified, but the fictitious play-by-play on the commercial refers to him and Urlacher as a "scoring one-two punch", which suggests they're both forwards. Don't ask me why, but I think that Vick would be more effective as a potent offensive defenseman, in the mold of Brian Leetch or Rob Blake: Breakaway speed, great passing, good checking, and a nose for the net. Plus, naturally, the go-to quarterback on the power play.