Fish, like baseball pitchers, have long had reason to respect the exceptional talents of the familiar figure shown at the right. The great Red Sox fly catcher, Ted Williams, is, of course, also a great fly caster. Last month he was in Miami following a session of fishing in his favorite Florida Keys and shortly before the start of spring training. So it happened that he became one of more than 20 nationally known sports stars to appear in the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Festival at Jordan Marsh-Miami, a two-year-old department store which, with its own swimming pool and a marina for seafaring customers to park their yachts, is a showcase of modern retailing. This time the fish could take heart, because Williams demonstrated his fly-casting technique on the high and dry parking lot for automobiles, which served as the arena for the festival.
The appearance of Ted Williams was only one highlight in a crowded three-day schedule. Other exhibitions included tennis by Fred Perry, Frank Parker, Doris Hart and Jinx Falkenburg; golf by Cary Middlecoff and trick-shot artist Paul Hahn; diving by Pat McCormick; archery by Ann Marston; basketball by George Mikan; physical fitness by Bonnie Prudden. Against this setting of sports, spectators met the newest in cars and boats, the latest in men's wear for sailing and the latest in swim wear for women, worn by an eye-filling cast of models introduced by Jinx.
The program was the first this year of a series of major promotional events in which, more than ever before, leading department stores across the country will be joining with SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to prove that "selling with sport" plays an exciting and effective part in contemporary retailing.
How effective, Williams, Falkenburg and Co. showed conclusively last month. For when the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Festival opened, during a February when weather in Miami had a devastating effect on all business, Jordan Marsh surpassed by 20% its 1957 figures. The wind was brisk, as you can see at the left. But business was even brisker.