Posted tagged ‘nike posters’

The Flagg Collection #4 – “Mr. Hockey and The Great One” (Nike 1990) – Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky

May 23, 2017

For real, serious sports poster collectors and enthusiasts, this feature is for you! On a periodic basis, I’ll be using this blog to display and describe the holdings of The Flagg Collection – the personal collection of rare and vintage posters held by me, Neil Flagg, the founder and President of SportsPosterWarehouse.com.

For the fourth entry in this blog series, I’m bringing you a rare Nike classic with a controversial history. The content isn’t controversial at all – “Mr. Hockey”, Gordie Howe and “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky, in uniform, together on the ice in a classic pose, what could be wrong with that?

gretzky-howe-nike-1990

It was Nike’s use of the image that was the problem. According to a story I heard told way back in the late 1990s, this poster was discontinued and recalled by Nike soon after publication in 1990, due to a licensing issue with the picture. It seems the photo was part of a private shoot done for, I believe, the Coca-Cola company, and was not supposed to be released for any other use outside of Coke advertising. Apparently, the lawyers got to Nike, and the poster had to be discontinued and withdrawn from the market.

That didn’t stop a small quantity from getting out to the market, and we managed to obtain a stack of about 20 of them back in the day. They’re all long-gone, sold off to prime customers over the years, until we only had this last one left – and into the personal collection it went. As with most of the posters in The Flagg Collection, I’ve had this one canvas-transferred to preserve it forever with durability, in an easy-to-display format.

The Flagg Collection #3 – Ken Griffey Jr. KENETICS 1991 Nike Poster

May 15, 2017

For real, serious sports poster collectors and enthusiasts, this feature is for you! On a periodic basis, I’ll be using this blog to display and describe the holdings of The Flagg Collection – the personal collection of rare and vintage posters held by me, Neil Flagg, the founder and President of SportsPosterWarehouse.com.

For the third entry in this blog series, I’m showing off a true classic for fans of 1990s baseball and the great Hall of Fame slugger Ken Griffey Jr. This is from the height of the legendary Nike era of sports poster dominance, when the shoe company was more famous for its TV commercials and ancillary products like posters, than it was for footwear! Characteristic of Nike’s design creativity of the time, this full-sized 24″x36″ poster portrays the young, dynamic phenom Ken Griffey Jr. in the context of a physics experiment – instead of “Kinetics”, it’s “Kenetics”, studying the motion not of ordinary human mortals, but of the sweet-swinging Seattle Mariners superstar.

griffey-kenetics-nike-90

Check out the slim, baby-faced Junior in just his third Major League season here, displaying his picture-perfect swing mechanics for the camera (with a focus on his Nike cleats, of course). The graphics include blueprint-style geometrical calculations, and at the top-left, the following tongue-in-cheek text:

“Kenetics: a branch of baseball science that deals with the effects of the Griffey force upon the motion of the fastball, the curveball, the slider, the knuckleball, the forkball, spitball, scuffball, or mudball, inasmuch as that force is responsible for out-of-the-park trajectories of batted balls. Kenetics also explains how aerodynamic forces are overcome in order to raise the batting coefficient over .300.”

griffey-kenetics-text

It’s hard to tell how many of these ever made it to market, but I’m guessing it was very few. It is a 1991 release, and 1991 was the year Nike transitioned from 24″x36″ sized posters, down to 23″x35″, in order to have their posters fit in more store display racks throughout the retail landscape. Also, the Mariners only wore this style of uniform for one more season, meaning these would have had to have been discontinued by the end of 1992 at the latest. And, through simple observation over the years – you just never see these available anywhere! A very tough find. At one time, we had about a dozen in stock at SportsPosterWarehouse.com from a large warehouse stock purchase we made in the early 2000s; however, those are now gone, and this was the last one, now preserved for all-time as part of the Flagg Collection. As with most of the posters in The Flagg Collection, I’ve had this one canvas-transferred to preserve it forever with durability, in an easy-to-display format.

As Griffey is now enshrined in Cooperstown, this poster is definitely a Hall of Fame-worthy showpiece. As someone who came of age as Griffey emerged into stardom, and who started in the poster business when Junior was still one of the top-5 superstars in the game, this one will always hold a special place in the collection!