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Thursday, May 28, 2020

5. NIKE Poster Cards Type 1 290201 - 290205

From Type 1 checklist there should be 69 Type 1 poster cards with Nike numbers of 290201 through 290249 and 290850 through 290869. Eight (8) of the original 49 have not been identified or possibly never existed. All of the second group of 20 are known and include the first Michael Jordan posters.  

The earliest posters were first issued in the late 1970s. Nike's Peter Moore, was responsible for creating the layouts back then with the assistance of Seattle-based photographer Chuck Kuhn. We have dated several of these by their presence in the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt collection.


Photographer Kuhn has reported that Peter Moore who was Nike’s creative director came up with all the ideas and Kuhn would shoot them. "I started doing photographs for Nike through an agency in Seattle called John Brown Associates. I shot basketball, football, baseball and a little bit of tennis. I worked with Nike for around 15 years. Initially the posters were shot for in-store use, but then the demand was so high that Nike eventually began selling them."

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Based on this input, our assumption is that these posters were not originally ( in the late 1970s ) given the 6 digit 290XXX numbers until the decision was made to sell them as a product and the need arose to display them on countertops in stores. Then the posters already in existence were given a catalog number and the "poster cards" were invented and distributed for advertising purpose we already discussed. This happened around  1982/83 . The order form that was  available in 1985  ( per Bruce Fisher) is shown below.

For sake of continuity we will list and discuss all of these in their "NIKE number order " created by the 6 digit stock numbers. We have included on the checklist the best info we have on when the  poster cards  were first issued .

290201 Supreme Court    1982/83

The Hewett collection (see ref below) dates the poster as 1977-79. We believe this was the first poster issued for sale to the public by the NIKE poster business in late 1982

Enshrined in the Smithsonian, this poster features members of Nike’s Pro Club, a group of Nike-endorsing NBA players, wearing long, black judges' robes. Note they are all wearing white sneakers with the NIKE swosh. From left to right this group includes: Phil Chenier, Campy Russell, Dennis "DJ" Johnson, Truck Robinson, Lionell Hollins, Elvin Hayes, John Drew, Artis Gillmore,  Phil Smith, Bernard King, Gus Williams, Alvin Adams, Calvin Murphy, George "Iceman" Gervin, Paul Westphal, Maurice Lucas, Austin Carr 

290202 Iceman     1982/83 , 1984-86


Reportedly the first Nike personality poster done in 1978. George "the Ice Man" Gervin with a pair of frozen basketballs. 

Nov 2020 - we have now found the second variation of Iceman as is shown below. This is the first nike poster card with two different data sets on the back . 

290203  Unknown

290204 No Finish Line (lake)      1982/83  

The initial advertising poster is labeled 1977 by the Hewett collection.

The first of the "There is no finish line" (TINF) posters

290205  Unknown


  1. i have 25 nike type one poster cards deom when i owned a sport shop in the 80s They have never been put on displsy string and I believe i am the only person ever to touch them I would like to get info on mabe selling some of them IN total I ahve 114 cards type 1 2 3 4 Thanks