Clint Mytych is making a killing off dead people.
And the dead people are pretty happy too, because they get to spend eternity with the things they love most. Especially if those things are baseball and Star Trek.
You see, Mytych runs a business called Eternal Image that offers a line of urns and caskets stamped with logos licensed from Major League Baseball, Star Trek, and others.
When it comes to tacky advertising gimmicks, you might say this is the final frontier.
But to family members of the deceased, the Eternal Image urns and caskets are oddly comforting.
Donna Blackstone, who placed the ashes of her husband in a Chicago Cubs urn, says it makes her feel good. “’I wasn’t going to do anything,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I was just going to take his ashes home with me. Then I saw this urn, and it was the Cubbies, and I said, ‘Oh, my God.’”
The urns retail for $499 to $899 and caskets can cost upwards of $4,000. They are available at funeral homes across the U.S.
Mytych says the idea just popped into his head. “’Every industry has tried branding, but the funeral industry had never tried to offer something that would speak to the hobbies and passions people had in their lives,” he told the Sun-Times.
Well, maybe, that’s because those people are dead. But perhaps we miss the point.
While Eternal Image is not yet profitable, it did ring up about $400,000 in sales last year.
Personally, we’ve got no problem with the crass commercialization of the everlasting soul.
But what about religious organizations? Are they feverishly picketing the headquarters of Eternal Image?
Actually, they’re customers. The Vatican Library just signed its own licensing agreement with Eternal Image.