Wanna Buy a Pope Shirt? October 10, 2010

Wanna Buy a Pope Shirt?

When Paul Sullivan‘s company created shirts for the Pope’s visit to the UK, he had high hopes:

In August, Canon Pat Browne, dean of St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham, told the BBC: “The producers tell me it will raise somewhere in the region of £50,000 for the papal visit fund.”

The shirts were a combination of the England team colors and the colors of the Vatican Flag.

How well did they sell?

Well… just check out the blunt headline at BBC News:

Sales blow for shirts celebrating Pope Benedict’s visit

How badly does the Pope (shirt) blow?

A plan to help fund the Papal visit to the UK by selling 20,000 football shirts has failed to hit its target, with only 520 of the £18 shirts sold.

Instead of £50,000 being given to the Catholic Church only £1,200 was raised.

That’s still £1,200 too much, but it’s less than it could’ve been. Why were sales so poor?

Paul Sullivan, from shirt suppliers Club and Country, said apathy and negative publicity over last month’s UK visit hit sales badly.

“The Pope won the public over towards the end of his visit but there was hostility and indifference in the early stages and that hit our sales,” he told the BBC News website.


Well done, UK people. You didn’t stop the Pope from coming, but you did put a dent in the merchandising. Silver lining, right?

(Thanks to Malik for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • bigjohn756

    I’ll buy one of those shirts for a couple of pounds(shipping to the USA included). Then I will print out and overlay a couple of Scarlet Letter iron-ons in the appropriate places.

  • Well done indeed 🙂

  • Fett101

    In related news, they are going for a third printing of the half Pope half Nambla shirts.

  • Gordon

    The Pope won the people over in the same way as I have a house on the Moon… assuming all it takes to make something true is to say it.

  • Who would want to be seen in that shirt? Another uniform of the pedophile movement.

  • Ben

    No! I don’t want to buy a pope t-shirt. 🙂

  • anthrosciguy

    They did manage to sell to 0.0012% of the UK’s Catholic population.

  • Carlie

    What do you do with 19,000 unwanted shirts?

  • I want some for dressups please. Would be great for the next saints and sinners ball!

  • Matt

    As a Brit I am not usually overly patriotic (we generally leave that to the americans), but this is one instance of when I am very proud of my country.

    Perhaps it was a tactical error to make this a combination Vatican and England shirt when the majority of catholics from the British Isles are Irish? If they didn’t make make an Irish version then assuming that Irish catholics wouldn’t mind wearing even half of an England shirt shows an almost admirable disregard for the history of the British Isles. The same goes for the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish catholics.

    Having said all that, even as somebody from England wearing a shirt such as this would be anathema to me. Both due to my loathing of the catholic church and my dislike of football.

  • Who even knew that the Vatican had a football team.

  • Doggles

    Hee hee, love it…

    Should point out though that the BBC probably meant “blow” the noun, rather than “blow” the verb…

    It’s funnnier your way though.

  • gribblethemunchkin

    My country surprises and pleases me. Well done the UK!

    Now all stand for a rousing sing of the national anthem

    “God save our…….”

    Balls. Still got a way to go.

  • Maybe it’s for the same damned reason the local Catholic schools are having trouble finding students. (Which reminds me I wanted to put that on my wall.)

    Or maybe it’s because those shirts are just plain ugly.

  • The design sucks…yeah, that’s why they didn’t sell(sarcasm)…I think THIS design and THIS design are much better…

  • Gibbon

    What does the Roman Catholic Church need any fundraising for? It’s not as if they need the money. The last I checked they were one of the wealthiest land owners in the world with more than enough money to fund their own visits (which they should have done in the first place) and provide their own security.

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