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Autographs Changing "Single-Handedly" After 40

Jul 21, 2004

(Cleveland, Ohio) - Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers widely known as the autograph pen of choice for celebrities, professional athletes and their fans, today announced at the 25th Annual National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) in Cleveland that it's single-handedly changing bold and expressive writing - and people are taking their caps off to the idea.

Sharpie, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is launching the Sharpie Retractable marker family, an eight-color fine point permanent marker series that require no caps and can be operated by simply using one hand - just click and write.  Sharpie Retractable markers will be in "hand" when the 100-plus athletes attending the United States largest sports memorabilia convention, sign autographs for fans July 21 - 25.

"When getting an in-person autograph, every second counts for the fan and the athlete," said Thomas Owens, author of Collecting Sports Autographs, Collecting Baseball Cards and a collector for 35 years. "Fumbling with a uncapped marker and writing on yourself or forcing a star to juggle a marker cap are worries of the past. You're in charge of when and where the Sharpie Retractable writes."

The new marker's tip is protected from drying out using a leading edge Safety Seal ValveTM system that closes tight when the marker tip is retracted. Sharpie Retractable is the first retractable marker for the brand widely used in collecting autographs, in addition to an almost limitless variety of uses.  The markers are nontoxic and approved by the Arts and Crafts Materials Institute.

"There is a standard individuals expect from their Sharpie marker - it has quick drying Sharpie ink that marks on almost any surface," said Rory Leyden, chief marketing officer for Sanford, makers of Sharpie.   "And now, sports heroes and their fans will never need to worry about losing marker caps again."

To coincide with the launch of Sharpie Retractable markers at the NSCC in Cleveland, Sharpie is also introducing the second year of its "Autographs for Education" program.  Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andre Davis is kicking off the program by delivering school supplies and raising funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland.  Davis, along with other professional athletes and celebrities, are asking for the autographs of area teachers, parents, children and the media this summer and fall in exchange for Sharpie donating much-needed school supplies and funds.  Labeled Sharpie Retractable "Autographs for Education," the program will also visit Milwaukee, Tampa and Seattle, benefiting select community-based education organizations and schools for a total of up to $30,000 in cash and school supplies.

Sharpie Retractable markers are available in 8-colors: black, red, blue, green, orange, berry, lime and turquoise.  The suggested retail price for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 8-packs are $4.89, $7.33, $9.78, and $19.56, respectively.  Available at office supply stores and other retailers nationwide, Sharpie Retractable joins significant innovations in 2004 that target a wide range of enthusiasts from the hobbyist to the do-it-yourselfer.

About Sanford®, Makers of Sharpie®

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Sharpie is the popular brand of permanent markers. Sanford, maker of Sharpie permanent markers, is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, Foohy®, uni-ball®, and Rolodex®, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products, ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products, fine writing instruments and office organization products. Visit or for more information.

For more information contact Susan Wassel at 630-481-2018, or email