The Art of World Cup Soccer

If you watched World Cup Finals you were aware of the rough play on the part of the Neds. What struck me was the announcer explaining the lack of artistry among the Dutch players. After all, he argued, they come from the land of Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh. What? How often do we hear art analogies in sportscasting?

But wait, there’s more. Over the weekend I was at the gym, where the televisions only get good reception on ESPN, so they keep them there. I’m watching the Reno Rodeo and the sponsor, Wrangler jeans, has an ad touting the dual life of a cowboy. By day a hard working ranch hand, by night a guitar man, a duality and brand identity supported by Wrangler’s country music label. Perhaps this was the right compromise after the brand’s foray into high-concept, ultra-sexual ads that rocked Cannes in 2009. Who knows.

Okay, this is my new thing. Just as Dan Pink fervently looks for emotionally intelligent signage, my new truffle sniff is for “artful Dodgers”—in other words, sports/arts mashups.

The culture scouts have been alerted.

How about you? Have you seen any lately?