The Arnold Palmer Invitational, presented by Mastercard, is seen as Orlando’s Signature Event. It is indeed the longest-running professional sporting event in town. However, the signage at this tournament feels more like a play on words, given the late, legendary golfer’s distinctive signature that so many of us have come to recognize.
Whether mobbed by adoring fans at a tournament, dining on nearby Sand Lake Road, or walking his dog Mulligan by the snack bar and starter shed near the first tee box at Bay Hill, Palmer would never fail to comply with an autograph seeker’s request graciously.
Enter Parker Pens
It’s been six years since his passing, and I was walking past the 9th tee box headed to the clubhouse at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational; I came upon a young woman unpacking boxes and arranging a modest sponsor display. The final buildout featured walls showcasing the history of the brand as well as a rather difficult putting contest where your ball had to land on a tiny circle. Only three people had done so when I arrived on day one.
Well, I prevailed on my third of five tries and was awarded a Parker Jotter pen by a distinguished gentleman who just happened to be the great-grandson of George Safford Parker, who founded The Parker Pen Company 135 years ago.
“The importance, the value inherent in Mr. Palmer’s signature communicated his honor and his core beliefs, and that is how it is with our pens,” said Geoffrey Parker. The Parker name on a pen is like Arnold Palmer’s signature on a scorecard.”
These days the Parker Pen Company is no longer family-owned. It belongs to Newell Brands, whose portfolio includes everything from Elmer’s and Krazy Glues, Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Yankee Candle, Sunbeam Appliances, and Coleman Coolers.
Newell’s Brand Manager Josh Burt, charged with re-engaging today’s consumer with Parker Pens here at API, brought a full team to the display. Still, perhaps no one was more enthusiastic than the company’s namesake.
“People may not fully appreciate that we are 135 years young, and my great-grandfather started the business with a simple goal of always exploring all the possibilities of making a better pen, added Parker. “We have products at almost every price point from the Jotter on up to our modern Duofold, a pen that both my great-grandfather and grandfather originally developed in the 1920s.”
To learn more, visit parkerpens.com