In case you haven't noticed, soccer's been popping up around here with alarming frequency. It's because of the World Cup, mostly. The World Cup is sort of a big deal, like the World Baseball Classic, but exciting.

Of course, to capitalize on your excitement, there will be an onslaught of marketing. ESPN already started this with an egregiously Bono-filled TV spot. But you can't really "buy" ESPN.


Shoes, those you can buy. Nike's World Cup campaign slogan is "Write The Future," which, while groan-inducing, has some measure of truth. In the commercial above, several of the world's biggest soccer stars are depicted in make-it-or-break-it situations and see how their lives will progress depending on the situation. Wayne Rooney fails? He becomes a run-down, bearded caravan-park denizen. If Ronaldo wins the Cup for Portugal, he'll become the subject of a biopic starring Gael Garcia Bernal. It goes on like that for a few minutes, but you get the gist: These men will become legends if they win it all because the event means more than any other sporting event, or something. The World Cup: Just like Run Lola Run, except the ending will probably involve fewer Germans.


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