Arnold Palmer was the perfect pitchman, arriving on the scene as televised sports took off in the United States. With his working-class roots, an exciting persona and an ability to connect to many demographics with a personal touch, Palmer became the face of multiple national ad campaigns and products in the 1960s until his passing at age 87 in 2016.
Palmer and his longtime sports agent, Mark McCormack, basically wrote the playbook for an athlete becoming a brand. Oil, cars, clothes, drinks – Palmer’s reach transcended golf and made him a national icon.
Perhaps most famously, Palmer appeared for Pennzoil ads on an orange tractor from Latrobe Country Club in Pennsylvania, where Palmer grew up and learned the game. The 71-year-old tractor will be on display this week at Bay Hill during the Arnold Palmer Invitational before being returned to Latrobe.
Check out 10 of his more noteable ads below:
ESPN SportsCenter (2010)
Hertz 1987 (with O.J. Simpson)
Mercury Cougar (1968)
Jiffy Lube (1993)
EA Sports 2013 (with Tiger Woods)
Coca-Cola 1966 (with Willie Mays)