LOS ANGELES, CA – Spokespeople for Nike Corporation announced yesterday the signing of God as the centerpiece of the ‘Thou Shalt Just Do It’ campaign.He was given a three-year, $22 million-dollar advertising contract with the corporation.

“We’re very excited about signing the Lord,” said Samantha Brecker, a public relations official for the world’s largest running shoe manufacturer.  “In addition to the fact that His word is worshipped and adhered to religiously by a large percentage of our customers, the Creator’s lifestyle is a perfect reflection of Nike’s values of absolute power and omnipotence.”

Though God has resisted previous advances by organizations seeking his endorsement – Starbucks, McDonald’s, and the Catholic Church are just a few examples – the Almighty said that Nike’s proposal stood out.

“Nike hath spoken to the needs of my children,” sayeth the Lord.  “Had the Children of Israel been blessed with the kingly arch support and heavenly appearance of these shoes, verily the ten plagues would have surely been unnecessary.  I am the Lord.”

Despite this explanation, and given that He has been absent from the affairs of Man for millennia, observers in both corporate and religious circles are perplexed by God’s decision to choose Nike as a forum for his return.

“We offered Him $18 million for two years, and that’s in 1992 dollars,” says Monsanto advertising executive Steve Prior.  “And frankly, you’d think that the Lord would be more interested in the genetic manipulation of Life itself than in a pair of sneakers.  We were very disappointed when the ‘Playing God’ campaign fell through.”

Although jealousy is plainly rampant in the advertising community, religious institutions all over the world are equally shocked by the nature of His return.

“Although we’re obviously pleased that the day of revelation has finally arrived and that the salvation and judgment of Man is now assured for all eternity, we’re also a little disappointed with the details,” said the Pope in a press release from the Vatican.  “No Jesus, no four horsemen, nothing.  Just a flashy commercial for the Super Bowl.  We’re a little miffed, frankly.”

Advance copies of the much talked-about Super Bowl commercial, intended for broadcast in 2010, have been distributed to certain key figures in the religious community to gauge reaction and court support.  Said Nike advertising executive Jill Logan: “We’re not sure what to expect.  We just want to make sure that we’re doing this the right way.”

The commercial opens with a dramatically lit mountain-scape, then closes in on the late Charlton Heston, reprising his role as Moses from the Hollywood blockbuster The Ten Commandments.  The sky is rumbling with thunder and bright with lightning.  Moses calls to the heavens: “Lord – The faithful do not walk with thee!  How will they cross the desert and the sea?”

The sky clears suddenly, and Moses is illuminated by a blinding white light.  A pair of Nike running shoes descends gracefully in the halo, as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey begins to play in the background.  The voice of God is heard off-screen: “Moses,” He says as the shoes settle to the earth at his feet, “They may walk to me…with these.”

The music builds as Moses picks them up in his hands and slowly rises to his feet.  Moses and the shoes are framed against the blinding light, and he says: ‘Thank you, Lord.  Thank you.”  A black screen suddenly appears with the words: ‘Nike.  Amen.’

Despite a vague sense of discomfort and confusion in many of the faithful, most consumers, religious or not, seem to have embraced the call of the Lord.  In fact, Nike has not seen such an increase in sales since the famed ‘Air Jordan’ campaign of the early nineties.

“They’re great,” said Baltimore teenager Jeffrey Wenders.  “My feet feel fantastic.  They’re so light.  I feel like I can walk on water with these babies.”  Mr. Wenders added: “You think I’ll be able to dunk it with these on?”

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