BY CHRIS KERR | February 4, 2013
Well the Super Bowl certainly lived up to the hype. One of the longest kickoff returns in NFL history, great catches, tackles, and even a performance by Beyonce & friends that will be hard to forget (especially for the parents whose children became scandalized by the outfits and dance moves!).
But the bigger question on social media was not the final outcome for the Ravens and 49ers. It was the commercials! Were we as impressed as we should have been? Did Volkswagen and eTrade really convince us to buy their products? Was every 30-second spot really worth $3.7 million?
We’re not sure, but we do know members of the Ignatian network came up with some creative ways that $3.7 million could be spent that didn’t involve a Clydesdale horse.
Kelsey suggested that the $3.7 million be invested in companies like Alta Gracia Living Wage Apparel, providing them credit to expand their production. Ken, a Jesuit brother, took Kelsey’s idea step further and said the money could be used “as an initial investment for the Jesuit schools to start their own fair trade athletic [apparel] company,” allowing them to support workers and student creativity. He pointed out that “most fair trade clothing focuses on jeans and t-shirts, but not athletic apparel like uniforms for teams…With many of our universities and high schools being athletic powerhouses, this statement would surely reach the eyes and ears of media and other companies.”
Taking a different route, John from Canisus College argued that the $3.7 million spent showing us that not even a Joe Montana stain is sacred could instead be scholarship money for students studying abroad in developing nations including Santa Clara University’s Casa de la Solidaridad program in El Salvador. In the future, John hopes the media giants would consider sponsoring this concept, and “feature [Super Bowl] commercials on Casa and immersion, and real experiences with real people…not just materialistic things.” If Doritos eating goats can be featured in the Super Bowl, why not?
Robert had a similar idea in terms of student scholarships, but suggested supporting students who have been alienated by their families after being open about their sexual preference, including students who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. He said that $3.7 million could assist upwards of “20 students with all of their college expenses for four years.”
There is no doubt that $3.7 million could make a big difference – thanks to the Ignatian family for a few suggestions and thanks to the Ravens and 49ers for an entertaining game!
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.