Marketcom Sports Illustrated HOCKEY Posters (White Borders, 1978-87)

They were the posters a generation of sports fans grew up with – the old white-bordered action posters that were sold through those old checklist-style advertisements in Sports Illustrated for the decade 1978-87. Fans of NBA Basketball, NFL Football, and MLB Baseball always had a great selection to choose from ; however, hockey fans will remember well: the selection of NHL posters ranged from limited to non-existent! It seems the publisher of the posters, Marketcom Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri (which went out of business in 1993) never saw it necessary to add an NHL license to its portfolio of sports.

As far as we can tell, there were only two NHL hockey posters published in the history of Marketcom SI posters. First, there was this poster of the legendary Phil Esposito, who was winding down his Hall of Fame career as a member of the New York Rangers at the time this poster was published (1980):

Phil Esposito 1980 Sports Illustrated Marketcom Poster

You can see the small New York Rangers team logo at bottom-right, which indicates that this was produced on a limited team-direct license, not an NHL license. This is certainly one of the tougher white-border SI posters to find; I can only recall seeing this one available online once, and in 10 years in business, we’ve never had one in stock!

Another nearly impossible-to-find SI poster is the one-and-only Wayne Gretzky release in the series:

Wayne Gretzky 1982 Edmonton Oilers Marketcom SI Poster

This one was published under license from Gretzky himself. Throughout the 1980s, Gretzky battled with the NHL and NHLPA regarding merchandising rights, and often went out on his own to make some extra cash. This was one of his side-deals, which, it seems, did not last for more than a year or two, and for this one single poster design. It is one of the most sought-after SI posters of the white-border era, and will always get better than $150 in decent condition.

(Note: there were several “White-border” New York Islanders posters published in the late-1970s and early-1980s, which included Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, and Pat Flatley. However, these were published by Long Island, NY -based Starline Inc., the design is slightly different, and these were not part of the Sports Illustrated collection.)

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10 Comments on “Marketcom Sports Illustrated HOCKEY Posters (White Borders, 1978-87)”

  1. lee Says:

    looking for these posters for sale, actually of fran tarkenton.

  2. Pat Says:

    Any leads on a Walter Payton marketcom Sports Illustrated poster, white border 4285?

    Thanks much!

    Pat

  3. CRAIG CARTER Says:

    i am looking to find a DARRELL PORTER ST.LOUIS CARDINALS SPORTS ILLUSTRATED POSTER MADE IN EARLY TO MID 1980’S.HE IS IN CARDINALS POWDER BLUE UNIFORM.

  4. Matt Says:

    Hoping someone could give me a little insight as I know little about these SI posters. To make a long story short I have an unopened/sealed Walter Payton SI Poster #4285. I have no idea if that number can help out with a year that the poster was released or what? I am thinking of selling it but have no idea of it’s worth and since I don’t even know what it looks like I can’t even really find a comparable. Any help would be awesome…Thanks!

  5. david Says:

    i’m looking for the gretzky poster in great shape. also looking for julius erving posters. thanks.

  6. david Says:

    great to hear from you, geno. i’m still interested. how much do you want for it. thanks. best, david

    bangtowndjs@hotmail.com


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