Post Cereal Football Promotion

In 1955, Post cereal teamed with Ted Williams to promote Sugar Crisp cereal by inserting a cloth team patch in each box. Ted was featured on the back of the box telling fans how they could get the whole set of patches through the mail for 25¢ and two box tops. He also did a TV commercial that can be seen here.

Post forayed back into the sports world for promotion in 1960 when they featured "framed" pictures of nine of the top sports stars of the 1960 Unitas day on the backs of 12 and 16 ounce Grape Nuts Flakes boxes. The list of players included baseball players Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Don Drysdale, Harmon Killebrew and Al Kaline, hoopsters Bob Petitt and Bob Cousy, and Frank Gifford and Johnny Unitas from the gridiron.

1961 saw Post release its first major card promotion as the company produced a set of 200 Major League baseball players on the backs of their cereals. All 16 teams were featured with varying numbers from each team. There was also an opportunity to get what today are known as "Company" cards through a mail offer. For 10¢ and two box tops from any Post cereal, a ten card sheet of the team of your choice could be obtained. The perforated team cards were attached together as a single unit. The cards on the backs of boxes were designed to be cut out with scissors. Some players were only available as part of the team sheet offering while others only had one box back on which to locate their card.

Post upped its baseball card promotion in 1962 by expanding the number of cereals featuring cards. As might be expected, Post's football promotion featured all the same cereals as the baseball promotion from 1962. Baseball sets included cards from Crispy Critters 8 oz. boxes but not from the 13 oz. size, while football included both sizes. With the exception of baseball's Rice Krinkles boxes that had five cards on the back while football had only four, all the box brand and corresponding sizes matched for number of cards on both promotions. Raisin Bran 14 oz. boxes presented an interesting anomaly in that two of the four baseball boxes featured both Chuck Schilling and Jim Gentile, while football's large size Raisin Bran cartons presented Andy Robustelli and Raymond Berry on two of their four. More on this follows on pages linked under the Cereals and Master Set tabs. 1962 was Post's biggest promotional year and it is evident that the football set was planned with the same basic blueprint used for the baseball promotion.

In 1963, Post cut its number of baseball cards and box offerings by about 40% as, according to Post baseball promotion author Dan Mabey, the number of cards in a 1962 master set dropped from 567 to to 372 in 1963. It was evident that Post was rethinking not only the scope of their card promotions, but whether to continue them at all. 1963 baseball was Post's last effort at producing cards on the backs of boxes. They would produce cards inserted into boxes in the 1990s, but the days of box backs with cards produced using rotogravure had passed.

Post's parent company, General Foods' 1962 fall football promotion was designed to integrate many areas of the grocery store around a pigskin theme. The main focus was, naturally, Post cereal sales aimed at kids' desire to get the cards on the boxes. Maybe the cards would help persuade moms to choose Post Toasties and Rice Krinkles over Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies if their kids badgered them sufficiently. Colorful football displays marked the areas where General Foods products were stationed. Other General Foods items tied to the football promotion were Tang instant breakfast drink, Swans Down Cake Mixes and Gravy Train dog food.

There were "200 TOP STARS" comprising the centerpiece of Post's football card promotion featured on their cereal boxes. Spread over twelve cereals and placed on 99 different packages, Post produced 500 million individual football cards that began hitting grocery store shelves in August 1962. The twelve cereals involved were Alpha-Bits, Bran Flakes, Crispy Critters, Grape Nuts, Grape Nuts Flakes, Oat Flakes, Post Toasties, Raisin Bran, Sugar Crisp, Sugar Coated Corn Flakes, Sugar Coated Rice Krinkles and Top 3. Top 3 was only produced between 1961 and 1963 and was a mixture of "Corn Flakes, Wheat Flakes, and Crisp Rice." Post packaged many of its cereals in two single serving variety packs, Post Tens which contained ten boxes and a six carton Treat Pak.