Vintage Ad Archive: Anyone For Tennis?

The US Open, at the Billy Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY, is the last Grand Slam tournament of the Tennis season.  It's also possibly the drinkingest sporting event I've ever attended: once you enter the grounds, there are delicious cocktails available everywhere you look, banners and ads promoting breweries/wineries/distilleries, and booths offering all manner of delicious delights.  It's quite a wonderful experience, walking around the courts, checking in on the different games, seeing some of the world's top players, soaking in the scenery, and consuming refreshing beverages.

And as the Open finals take place this coming weekend, I decided it was the perfect time to take a trawl through my files, and uncover some tennis themed ads from years past!

 Gordon’s, 1935

Gordon’s, 1935

Gin and tonic is, of course, a classic hot-weather cocktail, well-suited for courtside spectators to sip on a long late-summer afternoon – or, as the above advertisement seems to recommend, for players to enjoy as a celebratory post-match refreshment.

 Booth’s, 1981

Booth’s, 1981

I mean, look a those people!  They're so happy!  Doesn't everything about that make you want to grab a racquet and a cocktail?

Seagram's, 1977
Seagram's, 1977

Though I'm not sure that I can recommend the above technique of making tonic water ice cubes.  I suppose one shouldn't always believe the things one reads in ads, even if they are filled with lovely smiley tennis players.

The British origin of tennis was a fairly common theme in ad campaigns, as it provided a good "hook" for consumers...

Though some companies took a less sophisticated route, and simply served up some awful jokes.

Bols, 1981
Bols, 1981

A number of breweries launched campaigns centered around tennis, featuring a full compliment of crisp white outfits, bright green grass, and glasses bubbling over with glowing golden beer.

Whiskey and Bourbon companies also took a great shine to the sport, and produced a great number of Tennis-themed ads.

Other companies took it a step further.  Lauder's Scotch promoted their own celebrity tennis tour in the late '70s...

Lauder's, 1977
Lauder's, 1977

...And Michelob enlisted a number of top players for clinics and exhibition matches in the '80s.

Michelob, 1982
Michelob, 1982

And if even a light beer seemed like too much on a volley-filled afternoon, one could go for a little something sweeter.

Sun Country Wine Coolers, 1985
Sun Country Wine Coolers, 1985

And since I don't think there's a way to top the quintessential '80s-osity of that one, I guess it's time to wrap up this installment of booze-fueled time travel, and return to the present day once again...  After all, I need to prepare myself a drink and settle in to watch today's matches.  I'll see you back here soon, for another carefully-compiled look through great alcohol ads of yesteryear!

Game. Set. Match. Cheers!