Steve Hannagan and the Sun Valley Skier Icon

Sun Valley Lodge

 

Steve Hannagan is credited not only with naming Sun Valley, he also had his team develop the famous skiing icon used in advertisements about the resort.

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Steve Hannagan’s Sun Valley Icon[1]

Peter Ogibene in a Smithsonian article noted that Steve’s iconic theme for Sun Valley would not involve bathing beauties. Instead, Steve chose beefcake by photographing a ”handsome young man on skis, stripped to the waist … [while] mopping the perspiration from his brow.”[2] The photograph looked like the real McCoy, but it was taken in New York. Not only was the location a fake, the sweat came from a tub of Vaseline and a white sheet stood in for the snow.[3]

Sun Valley Lodge

How the Sun Valley Icon Was Used in an Advertisement[4]

Steve placed the photograph on the cover of the first edition of the Sun Valley Guide published in 1936. In 2010, the Sun Valley Guide reported that Steve’s iconic photograph of the “sophisticated, handsome man in a place of beauty, surrounded by snow, yet warm enough to savor the midday sun” quickly became the face of Sun Valley.”[5] The ski icon has entered the advertising lexicon and now is used in advertisements for other settings besides Sun Valley.

End Notes

  1. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 14.
  2. Ogibene, Peter J. (December 1, 1984); “At the first ski spa, stars outshone the sun and snow”; Smithsonian; p. 112.
  3. Tuohy, Jennifer (winter 2010/11); “From the Editor;” Sun Valley Guide; (retrieved April 4, 201); http://www.svguide.com/w11/index.html.
  4. Sun Valley Advertisement (Retrieved August 24, 2017); https://www.pinterest.com/pin/566116615637783435
  5. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 14.