Circa 1932 Gene Sarazen Wilson Golf Advertising Poster
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,644
Rare Wilson Sporting Goods retail display poster featuring golfer Gene Sarazen in promotion of the company's line of clubs and balls. The poster features three separate photos of Sarazen, including two action shots, above the advertising text: "Golf Champions of the World - Gene Sarazen - Hol-Hi Wilson Woods and Irons - Sarazen played Wilson clubs and Hol-Hi golf balls exclusively in winning British Open and setting a new all time record with 283 - Also in U.S. National Open setting a new record of 66 on final round. They won for him - they will win for you." Although the poster is undated, 1932 was the only year in which Sarazen won both the British Open and the U.S. Open. This poster was just recently discovered in an old storage unit left behind by a sporting-goods store that went out of business over fifty years ago. Sarazen began promoting Wilson golf products in 1923 and remained one of the company's principal spokespersons right up until his death in 1999, thereby making it the longest-running endorsement contract in the history of professional sports. This is the first example of this attractive advertising piece we have ever seen and we would not be surprised if it were the last. The great rarity of this poster is probably due both to its fragile nature (printed on thin paper stock) and the fact that nearly all were very likely displayed as intended (either on a store wall or in a window for a short period of time) and then discarded. We cannot imagine more than a few (if any) having survived the ages. Gene Sarazen was one of the greatest golfers of his era, winning thirty-nine PGA tournaments, including seven majors. He is also one of only five golfers (Hogan, Nicklaus, Player, and Woods are the others) to win each of the four current major championships in his career: British Open (1932), PGA Championship (1922, 1923, 1933), U.S. Open (1922 and 1932), and The Masters (1935). He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. This is a spectacular display piece both in terms of rarity and visual appeal, and one that would be a welcome addition to any advanced golf or advertising collection. The poster (22 x 28 inches) exhibits minor edge wear, including a number of small tears (all of which are easily matted out when framed), as well as a few extremely light surface wrinkles (mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy). These flaws are very minor. The poster is remarkably clean and bright, and displays as Excellent. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000.
SOLD FOR $2,644