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One of the lasting pleasures of sport lies in the enjoyment of its equipment, in the proud care which owners give a well-balanced tennis racket, a pair of riding boots, or that favorite gun with burnished stock and oiled barrel. Inseparable from sport's beauty, equipment is also as essential to sport as its rules and traditions.

The continuing improvement of this equipment through scientific research and study is the daily concern of an industry whose market has quintupled in 20 years, from less than $200 million to more than $1 billion. And the attractive results of this research, from spinning reels and glass fishing rods to plastic coatings for skis, represent an unending stream of important news to everyone in the sports world.

Each year the industry presents its latest and best at the Annual Convention and Show of the National Sporting Goods Association, where this week in Chicago manufacturers displayed more than 600 lines of equipment, transferring the Morrison Hotel into a glittering showcase for the thousands of sporting goods dealers and buyers there to see it.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S interest in the convention, both editorially and commercially, is a natural one, and as a member of the NSGA we were very glad to be on hand with our own display booth. Against a background of outstanding sports pictures from our issues, visitors, old friends and new, had a chance to test their sports knowledge in a special quiz contest designed for the occasion.

Many manufacturers of sporting goods have recognized SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as an excellent year-round advertising medium for their wonderful wares. Sporting goods dealers from all over the country also understood from the first that this magazine offers an exceptional setting, a brilliant showcase, for sports merchandise. And you may have seen, in local stores, examples in window and floor displays of SI pictures, streamers, and full-color posters; for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has a permanent lien on the most exciting and colorful pictorial stockroom there is—the world of sport.

Recently I learned with a great deal of pleasure the results of a nation-wide contest sponsored by The Sporting Goods Dealer for store windows using a hunting theme: the top three prize winners all used SPORTS ILLUSTRATED material.