In 1995 LA Gear was a shoe (and other sports apparel) company trying to make it big. They were based out of Los Angeles (clearly), and had two major selling tools at their disposal at the time: 1) Wayne Gretzky was then a Los Angeles King, and 2) street hockey was The Next Big Thing. So, they took their ad campaign in those directions.
I met a guy named Ken Lukaska in Phoenix who was the Director of Kids Marketing for the company at the time, so he oversaw a lot of the work. He recently told me about some of the old ads they did; I told him what I do for a living, and here you are: all the 90s goodness featuring Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull and Mark Messier that you can handle. You’re welcome.
I’ll save you too much text aside from a few comments, because holylordjustlookatthesepictures. The videos are pretty great too.
Let’s jump in.
Let’s start with the Gretzky print ad that was in Sports Illustrated for Kids:
Just look. at that. shoe. It looks exactly like an old pair of CCM Tacks, right? Anyone else find it crazy that he’s basically wearing the Kings current jersey too? Ahh, fun times. That ad copy was kinda clever as well, which I enjoy (outside of the stuff in the red box). Either way, it went over so well that they made a video.
This commercial was comedian Harlan Williams first “big” exposure (pre-Half Baked), and being that he’s a Canadian gent, he was apparently thrilled to work alongside NHL stars.
Here’s some pics from the promo book that went with Beckett’s Hockey Monthly Magazine.
Love that Hull has a plastic-bladed road hockey stick. Why were there always holes in those? To make them aerodynamic?
Gretter’s glove there wouldn’t protect him from the cold, let alone a slash.
Boxing shoes? Is that a gold buckle?
Hey Mark, who sponsors you?
Ken (the Director of Kids Marketing) was telling me he always worked his nephew in to hang out with the stars when he could.
In all seriousness, Brett Hull had some dynamite hair back in the day. Actually, Wayne too. I even prefer Messier’s less-shiny-than-usual dome.
The best part of the whole package of pics/videos I got is probably the commercial below. Apparently the kid got pretty worn down by the end of the shoot, but never cried. Awesome.
My initial thought was “Wait, is that Russ from Christmas Vacation?” I think I’ve settled on “no,” not sure though.
And now, on to the celeb stuff.
The pic you see at the top of the post (Matthew Perry, Jason Priestly, Wayne Gretzky and Ken’s nephew) is from a promo event put on by Fox Kids that involved a litany of TV stars at the time, proudly rocking the LA Gear…gear. Enjoy:
Sick tape job, Mess.
(Not) Doc (Emrick).
See any comparisons to Paulina Gretzky below?
I’d say yes. Guy in the back: looking at her shooting, or looking at….? You decide. (Random thought: those old “road hockey pucks,” while far better than actual pucks on concrete, couldn’t hold a candle to the standard hard orange hockey ball. And yes, the hard one, the soft ones sucked.)
And last but not least…yeah, wow. Hi, I’m Justin. She’s even got the 90s knot in the jersey thing going, that was awesome.
I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t remember her name, let alone which show she was on. Little help here?