Rainier Beer’s Tiddlywinks Tourney Is Smashing Success
Reprinted from Advertising Age, 10 September 1962, page 30
SAN FRANCISCO, – Sept. 4 – Although it (a game? a sport? athletic event?) may never actually replace advertising, Tiddlywinks gained considerable public exposure for Sicks’ Rainier Brewing Co., Seattle, as well as a bit of the same for (Don’t call us offbeat again) Weiner & Gossage, the Sicks’ agency.
The occasion was the formal First Modern Renewal of the Pan-Pacific Tiddlywinks Games, held in the Garden Court of the Palace Hotel here.
The International Match participants, photographers, newsreel men, tv reporters, and agency partners Howard Gossage and Joseph J. Weiner, were all elegantly decked out in full morning dress (draining the stocks of Selix We-Rent-Formal-Wear).
(Editor’s note: The invitations, unfortunately, were not engraved; hence ADVERTISING AGE’s fashion-aware reporter dressed in charcoal grey and marked the early morning hour by a fresh and dazzling white carnation.)
* Some 200 odd spectators quaffed Rainier liquids as they watched the Tiddlywinks play between a visiting team from Oxford, England, and a U.S. quartet, consisting of jockey and man-about-San-Francisco Billy Pearson; adman Gossage (an expert at Tiddlywinks); Susie Lee; and Enrico Banducci, proprietor of the city’s hungry i night club.
The visiting all-British team, according to W & G, represented the Oxford University Tiddlywinks Society, competing for the coveted stuff Kangaroo Trophy. The team was captained by Peter Freeman, 24, of University College. The other players were Elizabeth King, 22, St. Hugh’s College; Philip Moore, 21, or Keble College; and David Willis, 22, of Worcester College.
* “San Francisco,” Mr. Gossage explained to AA, “is the first city in 600 years to host two consecutive tournaments of this ancient game of Tiddlywinks. The last city to be accorded such distinction was Soochow in 1262 and 1362.
“The Kangaroo Trophy,” Mr. Gossage continued, “is awarded to the captain of the winning team who, in a traditional gesture of sportsmanship, then presents it to the captain of the losing team.”
Following the Palace Hotel opening games, the visiting Oxford team met all comers in a series of matches played at Mike’s Pool Hall. Two other San Francisco teams challenged the Britishers also, one group representing the city’s financial district and the other representing Pacific Heights.
* Much of the advertising benefit derived by Rainer came with newsreel and tv coverage of Coach John F. (Old Iron Legs) Stahl, who started the Tiddlywinks tournament off by running down Montgomery St. from the Pan-Pacific Games headquarters (same address as Weiner & Gossage), carrying a “flaming squidger” to the Palace Hotel.
Mr. Stahl recently distinguished himself (and Rainier) and won $1,000 by walking the 1,000 miles (give or take a mile or so) from San Francisco to the Seattle World’s Fair (AA, March 12, et seq.).
When Mr. Stahl finally ran, a bit breathless, into the site of the Tiddlywinks games he was wearing a flaming orange Beethoven sweater, thus becoming one of the few present who had not utilized the Selix services.
Printed copies of the Official International Pan-Pacific Rules, in Chinese, with English translation, were available during the tournament.
The British team is touring the U.S. under sponsorship of Guinness Stout and came to the West Coast in response to a challenge from Sicks’.