Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2010 Season Ticket Holder Ring

Here it is - the final men's ring from the 2010 World Championship Collection.

Available only to season ticketholders, this ring is almost identical to the shareholders ring. The bezel is of the same design, with only the three words "SEASON TICKET HOLDER" separating it.

The left shank is also identical to the shareholder ring, with the Super Bowl logo (including the Lombardi Trophy) under the team's stencil wordmark.

The right shank has a customizable name and the year above and below, with the words "GREEN BAY SEASON TICKET HOLDER" in place of the shareholder logo.

Very clunky.

Overall, I like these rings. I appreciate the fact that they incorporate yellow gold around the logo (as do the players' ring) where the fan rings do not.

I can't help but wish that these rings had incorporated Lambeau Field. That's one area in which the fan rings have a clear advantage over the "insider" rings. It would have especially helped this season ticket holders' ring.

Ring photo credit: Jostens

Friday, June 24, 2011

Video - Making the Super Bowl Rings

Jostens has posted this video, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the rings.

Monday, June 20, 2011

2010 Fan Rings

We've looked at the Super Bowl XLV player rings and shareholder rings, today we're going to take a look at the rings available to all fans.

The Packers are currently offering three options for men; the "Super Fan Ring", "Deluxe Fan Ring" and "Ultimate Fan Ring".

Super Fan Ring
The "Super Fan Ring" is the simplest and lowest-price of the three. No stones other than the green one behind the "G" logo.

The bezel is simple and bold.

The right shank features a customizable name over Lambeau Field. This is a different view of Lambeau Field than that on the players' ring, more of a profile.

The left shank displays the Super Bowl logo under an arched "TITLETOWN".

The Super Fan Ring starts at $249 for White Lustrium and goes to $1699 for 10k White Gold.

Deluxe Fan Ring
The next level up is called the "Deluxe Fan Ring."

The bezel is similar to the Super Fan Ring's, except with thirteen stones on the "G" (one for each World Championship) and two to each side, replacing the year.

Four stones for four Super Bowl victories?

The right shank is identical to that of the Super Fan Ring.

The left shank has the Super Bowl logo and the year.

The Deluxe Fan Ring is $299 for White Lustrium and cubic zirconia, topping out at $1999 for 10k white gold and diamonds.

Ultimate Fan Ring
The final of our three fan rings for men is the "Ultimate Fan Ring". It retains the same basic format as the other two, with the addition of more stones.

I get that the four stones are for the four Super Bowl wins, but if there's a meaning behind the other number it escapes me. Six above, six below. Twelve stones for the twelve titles before this one? Doesn't make much sense. Must be simply decorative.

The right shank is once again identical to the other two rings.

The left shank displays, once again, the Super Bowl logo and Lombardi Trophy under a straight "TITLETOWN" banner, surrounded by four stones.

As strange as the concept may seem, this one's officially overkill. We already have the four stones/four titles referenced on this ring. Jostens didn't seem to mind blank space on the shank on the other rings, why add them now? Perhaps they felt a need to "bling up" this one, to make it truly "Ultimate."

Pricing on the Ultimate Fan Ring begins at $299 and goes up to $1999.

I wonder how long these rings will be available for purchase. The Packers will be reigning World Champs for the next seven months; would Jostens keep them around as long as Christmas?

Ring photo credit: Jostens

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sneak Peek - 2010 Season Ticket Holder Ring

I previously mentioned that the Packers Pro Shop sent me this ad for the Super Bowl XLV jewelry collection:

A similar email was forwarded to me by a friend who is lucky enough to be a season ticket holder.

Similar, but with a few key differences. In the upper- and lower-left corners, we have our first look at the Season Ticket Holders ring.

The bezel appears to be identical to that of the shareholder ring, with the inscription at the bottom naturally changed from "SHAREHOLDER" to "SEASON TICKET HOLDER".

I can't tell much about the shanks from this picture; they appear to be the same as the shareholder ring, with a name on one side and the Packers' stencil wordmark on the other.

I'm still hoping to get a good look at the shanks - if you have access, please drop me a line.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2010 Shareholder Ring

We've seen the 2010 player World Championship rings, and now we have our first look at the shareholder rings.

The bezel looks good. Bold, clean, with "WORLD CHAMPIONS" and "SHAREHOLDER" surrounding the "G" logo. The stones are available in cubic zirconia or diamond.

On one shank, we have the Lombardi trophy under the classic Packers stencil wordmark.

This looks good. Similar to the player rings.

The second shank has a customizable name (up to 12 characters), the Shareholder logo and the year.

Here's where they lost me. It seems a shame to trade Lambeau Field for the shareholder logo. The logo, introduced a couple years ago, has always struck me as fairly pointless, and the "Est. 1923" is problematic. While it might be technically correct, in that 1923 was the year the Packers were re-formed as a public company, the Packers already use a different establishment date.

If the Packers really wanted an establishment date, 1919 is the best choice. For either 1921, the year the Packers joined the NFL, or 1923, the year of the first stock sale, "Since" would make more sense. Pet peeve of mine.

These rings start at $399 for White Lustrium® and cubic zirconia, and go up to $2400 for 10k white gold and diamonds. They are available only to shareholders, and only through the Packers Pro Shop.

Ring photo credit: Jostens

Friday, June 17, 2011

Grab Your Little Slice of Glory

Mere hours after the Packer players received their Super Bowl XLV rings, I received this email from the Packers Pro Shop.

Not wasting any time, are they?

More details to come.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ring of Honor - the 2010 Super Bowl Rings

Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette

Here they are - the Packers' World Championship rings!


Here's how the team describes them:
The ring’s square crest is highlighted by the ‘G’ logo – gold on a green setting, of course – but the overwhelming sparkle of the diamond-dominant presentation shouldn’t distract from all it incorporates.

In each of the four corners of the crest, surrounding the ‘G,’ is a marquis-cut diamond, which is appropriately football-shaped, just like the one on top of the Vince Lombardi trophy. There are four of those for I, II, XXXI and XLV, the four trophies that will reside together forever in the team’s Hall of Fame.

The shape of the ‘G’ itself consists of 13 diamonds, one for each title dating back to 1929, and surrounding the entire crown are 92 diamonds, one for each year the Packers have been in existence.

That’s a lot cleverly depicted on the ring’s face, but that’s not the whole story. The sides, or flanks, of the ring continue the convergence of history with the present.

On the one side that’s personalized for each player with his last name, there’s both an impressively carved image of Lambeau Field – a tribute to the best venue and fans in the NFL – and the player’s jersey number. Each number is circled, just like those on the third jerseys introduced this past year that represent the attire of the first title team in ’29.

On the other side, underneath a logo-lettering of “PACKERS,” is a Lombardi Trophy, with the name of the iconic coach, the NFL shield, and an ‘XLV’ at the base, which captures both the specific game and a piece of its logo.

Together, the primary images on the two flanks can be interpreted as the Lombardi Trophy being brought back to its home, Lambeau Field, which was done two days after the Super Bowl victory in North Texas in front of more than 56,000 fans who braved sub-zero weather to share in the glory.
The inside of the ring is also engraved. On one side is a tribute to Charles Woodson's "One Thing" postgame speech following the win over the Bears in the NFC Championship game.

The other side shows the path the Packers took through the playoffs.


To my knowledge, this is the first time that the interior was used as a design element instead of just for personalization. I really like both of these.

Although I may have a few quibbles with the design — Platinum? For a green and gold team? — on the whole, I think this is about the best bling will get.

Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette

I love the inclusion of Lambeau Field on the shank. I had been hoping that they would include this since I saw a similar treatment on the 1965 ring.


The circled numbers are also a nice touch. Good to see that the Packers continue to remember and honor their pre-1966 history.

Outstanding. A worthy addition to the trophy case.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More on 1962

Mark Schneider of GLORY DAYS Sports Pub in LaCrosse, WI, (and who is becoming a regular contributor to this page), offers some insight into the 1962 Championship watch and the mystery 1962 championship ring:
Chance- none of the players I know ever got 1962 rings and none of the Packers media or photos ever show a 1962 ring. There were 2 different color faces on the watch- black or white. I think Lew Anderson's ring was special order and probably not by the team.
A white-faced version? Sounds interesting.

Packerville, U.S.A.

I'm also very inclined to agree about the 1962 ring. The only one I've ever seen was the one we discussed before, owned by scout Lew Anderson.


A one-off makes sense. It would perhaps indicate that Anderson joined the Packers after the 1961 season (when that ring was given to the players and staff), but I haven't been able to confirm that.

In any case, well done Mark. Thanks again!

Monday, June 13, 2011

1996 Shareholder Rings

Reader Mark Schneider of GLORY DAYS Sports Pub in LaCrosse, WI, comes through with pictures of the rings offered to fans in 1997.

We start with a look at the stockholder rings.

(Mark Schneider)

The stockholder rings had the same shanks as those issued to team staff (including the Board of Directors).

It's also interesting to note that the rings were slightly changed before production - compare the Packers' "G" logo on the photo above with this example, sold at auction earlier this year.

(Hunt Auctions)

The prototypes feature a simple Packer "G" against a green stone, while the production ring proudly displays the full logo, complete with outline.

There was also a pendant version of the ring's bezel, as we've seen going back to the 1960s.

Mark also gives us a look at the "Official Fan Collection", available to all Packers fans everywhere.

(Mark Schneider)

Fans not lucky enough to own stock (this was a year before the most recent offering, which added 106,000 fans to the ownership ranks) were still able to buy their own ring. As with the stockholder rings, it was available in a Mens, Ladies and Pendant version. They also offered a charm bracelet that would make Cherry Starr proud.

The "fan collection" rings were priced at $500 and $550, respectively. The stockholder ring page doesn't have a price list, but Mark remembers them as being "$300 more" than the fan rings. Membership may have its privileges, but it's also pretty expensive.

Personally, I like the fan ring bezels better, with the full team name stamped out instead of just the nickname.

If jewelry wasn't your thing, the Packers still had collectibles for you, with a full line of keyrings, watches, wall hangings and desk ornaments.

(Mark Schneider)

It will be interesting to see how this compares with the upcoming "exclusive collections made for shareholders, season-ticket holders and fan collection".

The Packers' private ring ceremony is only three days away, so at least we'll see the players' ring design soon. As Mark notes:
Hopefully, they are sending brochures out for stockholder and fan Super Bowl XLV rings as we speak.
Can't wait.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Primary Colors

Paul Lukas has an interesting article in today's Uni Watch. A reader has sent in the NFL's proposed rules for alternate uniforms:

A few days ago I received a note from reader Zach Smith. He sent along a PDF of what he said was an internal NFL memorandum that had been shown to him by a friend who works for the league. I've done a bit of checking and have confirmed to my satisfaction that the memorandum is legit.

Zach has asked that I not show the memo itself but says it's fine to describe and discuss its contents. His own description is a good place to start:
[The memo is about proposed] changes to the NFL's alternate uniform rules. As I'm fairly certain has been covered before, the rules currently allow teams to wear their alternate uniform twice in the regular season and once in the preseason, but the NFL is looking to tighten those restrictions.

Here’s what they're proposing:

• Alternate uniforms would be limited to two uses in the regular season (eliminating the preseason option).

• Alternate uniforms would only be used in Sunday-afternoon games (not prime-time or nationally televised games).

• Alternate uniforms would only be worn prior to the start of the "flexible scheduling" portion of the schedule, which begins in Week 10.

The rationale appears to be an attempt to "protect" the team's brands [specifically, the memo says that the increasing use of alternate uniforms could "potentially compromise a club's national brand equity" — PL], although given most of these third jerseys' popularity with teams and their fans, I tend to think the real reason is that the NFL doesn’t want a casual fan to turn on a Sunday/Monday night game and find the Jets wearing navy and gold and have no idea who's playing. An unfortunate change, in my opinion.
One small detail in the memorandum that Zach didn’t mention: The proposal would also limit alternate uniforms to games played in the United States.
I think these rules look pretty good, although they would seem to preclude the throwbacks commonly worn by the Lions and Cowboys on Thanksgiving. It may be, in Lukas's words, "typical NFL micromanaging," but I'd rather see the NFL's style than the free-for-all we have in baseball. Uniforms are the core of a team's branding.

If the NFL's motivation is to ensure that "a casual fan (doesn't) turn on a Sunday/Monday night game and find the Jets wearing navy and gold and have no idea who's playing," then I'm all for it. Good for them.

One could make a case that there is a time and place for things like alternate uniforms (even the ones created as marketing stunts). The larger stages, however, shouldn't be that time. Wear the funky alternates in front of your home fans, but when the nation's watching, wear your best look. If that's really your alternate, then adopt it as your primary.

Lukas also adds some insight to 2012 and beyond:
The real news here, it seems to me, is that the league's shift from Reebok to Nike isn’t going to bring any drastic changes. Even though this memo is just a proposal (Zach's source at the league isn’t sure whether it's been voted on or approved yet), its wording makes it pretty obvious that the NFL is way too conservative, way too committed to its core brand identities, to allow major tinkering by the swooshkateers. An NCAA-style parade of alt designs? Not gonna happen.

Which, incidentally, is exactly what I’ve been saying all along. People can make all the crazy-ass mock-ups they want, but the NFL is still gonna look like the NFL in 2012. Bank on it.
Agreed. As much as Nike has manhandled the college teams they outfit (with a few notable exceptions), their European soccer designs have been remarkably respectful of the teams' history. That's why I'm not terribly concerned about their taking over the league-wide uniform contract (not to mention that I'm still hoping Nike will solve the little uniform problem the Packers have struggled with in recent decades)

And again, if you're not reading Uni Watch every single day, you should be.

(h/t: Paul Lukas, Uni Watch)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Privacy, Please

It was recently announced that the Packers' championship ring ceremony scheduled for Thursday, June 16, at the Lambeau Field Atrium will be a private affair, not open to the public. The 1997 ring ceremony, held at the Oneida Golf and Country Club, was also limited to the team.

This has understandably frustrated many Packers fans, but I don't have a problem with this decision.

This may be very easy for me to say, since I don't live close enough to even consider attending, but there has already been a public celebration, and there will undoubtedly be more. For this one night, the men and women of the organization deserve some time to celebrate their accomplishment outside of the public eye.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Arts and Letter(head)s, Part II

This 1963 Packers letterhead and envelope recently sold at Heritage Auctions.
1963 Vince Lombardi Signed Letter, Thanking Hank Gremminger for Contributions in the 1962 Championship Game. "There is no substitute for victory." Not a bad way to close this significant letter, as Vince Lombardi did in his typical confident and proud style. Sent to Hank Gremminger on January 4, 1963, there are few Lombardi letters with content that can compare to this one, and the legendary coach signed it in pristine blue ball-point. Measuring at 8.5x11", this ultra-clean piece of Green Bay Packers letterhead exhibits two horizontal mail folds and is accompanied with its original envelope, which was sent to Gremminger's home in Dallas.
It's gorgeous, with the "Holstein Heisman" logo prominently featured.

This is from relatively early in Lombardi's tenure, before the stadium was expanded to include the team's offices. The return address is 349 South Washington Street, on the other side of the Fox River.

I particularly like the telephone number: HEmlock 2-4873.

The matching envelope reflects the same bold graphics.

This letter is valuable not only for its view of the team's æsthetics, but also by demonstrating Lombardi's relationship with his players.

Dear Hank & Shirley:

Words could never express my gratitude for your accomplishments of the past season. Our victory in the Championship Game was particularly pleasing since it meant so much to me personally.

I believe you realize now that success is much more difficult to live with than failure. I don't believe anyone realizes, except ourselves, the obstacles we had to face week after week. This, of course, made our season more gratifying.

I was extremely proud of our conduct during the Championship Game. We never lost our poise under what were very trying conditions. The Giants tried to intimidate us physically, but in the final analysis we were mentally tougher than they were and that same mental toughness made them crack.

Character is the perfectly educated will and you are men of character. Our greatest glory was not in falling, but in rising when we fell.

I hope you both enjoy the TV or stereo. Best wishes to you both and a very happy New Year. Remember, "There is no substiute for victory."


Vince Lombardi
Head Coach and General Manager
A "TV or stereo"? Makes a nice bonus for the victors, on top of the championship watch or ring.

The graphics are priceless, from the team logo on the top to the rendering of New City Stadium (two years before it was renamed for Curly Lambeau).

The details are also revealing: apparently, the Coach didn't believe in throwing away old letterhead. The graphics proudly claim six World Championships (all Curly Lambeau's), the most recent being 1944.

It's not surprising that the recently-won 1962 title isn't represented, but the letterhead also omits the 1961 title. From the championships listed, this letterhead was evidently ordered between the time the Packers won the 1960 Conference Championship and the end of the following season.

Maybe the old letterhead was saved for "in-house" letters like this one, or maybe they just wanted to use up all the old stock.

In any case, this letter was worth $2,987.50 to the lucky bidder, and is priceless to those of us interested in the team's history.

(photo credit: Heritage Auctions)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

1962 Championship Watch

This picture of Lombardi-era Championship jewelry gives us an interesting look at the spoils of victory.

Packerville, U.S.A.

This picture was taken from a four-color booklet given to prospective free agents in 1985, encouraging them to consider playing in Green Bay. Filled with facts about the city being a wonderful place to live and play, the booklet leans very heavily on the great Packer tradition, including this great image of the trophies former Packers had earned in the past.

From left, the rings are from 1967 (Super Bowl II), 1961, 1966 (Super Bowl II) and 1965. The watch in the middle is from 1962.

But wait - a watch? Wasn't there a ring issued for the 1962 World Championship? We've seen one before, from the estate of scout Lew Anderson. It appears to be the same design as 1961.


It's possible that the 1962 rings were issued to personnel who weren't on the previous year's team. I'm having a hard time establishing if Lew Anderson had been with the Packers in 1961.

If the '62 ring was the same as '61, then it would make sense that anyone who already had a ring would be given a watch instead. We know that Bart Starr was given a watch, not a ring, in 1962.

Watches as personal trophies were nothing new - the 1929 Packers, first to "bring the bacon back to old Green Bay", received pocket watches from the team.

(Heritage Auctions)

I love the design of the 1962 watch.

Packerville, U.S.A.

The single-bar helmet graphic is wonderful, even if they did manage to reverse the colors on the helmet logo.

So that sums up the Lombardi-era championship jewelry; a ring in 1961, a watch in 1962 (or a recycled '61 ring), rings again in 1965, 1966 and 1967. Plus an assortment of charms, tie clasps and cufflinks. Not a bad haul.