TIRE TEACHINGS

Audiences at a handful of college basketball and professional football games, including the 2003 NBA All-Star Game in February and this month’s Super Bowl, will be getting a brief history lesson in their programs, courtesy of Uniroyal tires.

Print ads by Erwin-Penland in Greenville, S.C., link the year in which the company was founded—1892—with the year basketball and professional football began.

The factoid, discovered by copywriter Chad Rucker on a routine scroll through the Internet, fit well with a promotional package handled by the agency’s media department. The result is a series of ads pairing sepia-toned vintage sports photos with information and images about tire manufacturer Uniroyal.

“We were making tires back when players’ socks were higher than their vertical leaps,” reads one execution, which shows a turn-of-the-century basketball team.

According to Allen Bosworth, Erwin-Penland client services director, the media buy also enabled the agency to get “a great deal on tickets and things we could use to reward Uniroyal customers and its sales force.”