Today I wanted to tackle a subject that is really way out there, compared to the normal sports related stuff I write about. As a young sports fan growing up in the 1970's, I absolutely loved baseball, basketball and football. I couldn't get enough of my favorite uniforms and logos from all around sports. Sports logos from the 1970's bring back so many great memories of my early days as a sports design fanatic.
If you were also a kid in the 1970's, there was one other sports related thing that probably kept you on the edge of your seat. What, or who am I referring to? None other than Evel Knievel. Though he wasn't technically an athlete, Evel appeared on Wide World of Sports and was also featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in September of 1974. Outside of the major sports, was there anyone who had more style and graphic appeal than Evel Knievel?
Every kid in America couldn't wait to see the next impossible jump that Evel would attempt. The man just oozed cool and sported some of the greatest uniform elements ever created. Who can forget the classic v-shaped stars in stripes on his uniform and helmet in those true red, white and blue American colors. Throw in the classic cape, cane and belt buckle and you had the complete 1970's super cool graphics package. Evel had a look that rivaled any of those in football or any other sport at the time and his heroic exploits were the thing of legend. The man was just ridiculously cool and looked good everywhere he went.
In addition to his look, the Evel Knievel toy line sparked the interest of every young boy of the era and were the must-have items of the decade. Who can forget their classic Evel Knievel stunt cycle complete with the rubbery Evel Knievel figure, the ramps and the tower that you wound up to send him on his way? In addition to the classic stunt cycle, you had the Snake River Canyon rocket, multiple motorcycles, a dragster and all sorts of other great action toys.
Knievel's marketing to young boys of the era was remarkable and created an entire generation who loved and followed the exploits of the world's greatest stuntman (and bought a ton of Knievel related products). The man had a look and a style that rivaled anything else in the sports world, and had the daring, super-cool persona to go along with it. Evel had a remarkable understanding of sports marketing, long before true sports marketing ever existed. Knievel definitely has a place of honor in sports design history.