The custom of awarding a trophy for victory on the athletic field began in ancient Greece. When the tradition was revived in the late 1870s, organizers of sporting events turned to Tiffany & Co. to create outstanding awards commemorating sports victors. Since then, Tiffany has created the most revered symbols of athletic achievement in nearly every notable field of sport. The moment of victory at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, the World Series and the PGA TOUR is commemorated for all time by the presentation of custom-designed trophies from Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany’s legendary “Makers”—the skilled craftspeople at its hollowware workshop in Cumberland, Rhode Island—bring over 65 varieties of trophies to life each year in addition to the hundreds of other designs they also produce there. These artisans still use the same tools and techniques from the mid-19th-century, such as chisel-engraved roller dies, spring hammering, repoussé, chasing, planishing and more, when creating these bespoke creations. Each trophy is stamped with “T & CO MAKERS,” a T-shaped planishing hammer and other hallmarks that nod to the Makers’ metalworking heritage. A unique pattern number, a tradition that dates to the earliest days of Tiffany’s silver-crafting heritage, is also added to each trophy.
Tiffany’s legacy creating trophies began in 1860 with the creation of the Woodlawn Vase, the second jewel in the Triple Crown and today the oldest continuously contested trophy in the United States. In 1897, Tiffany was commissioned to design the Belmont Memorial Challenge Cup for the Belmont Stakes, the oldest of the Triple Crown events. The founding sires of the thoroughbred horse in America are portrayed on the base of the bowl. Additionally, Tiffany creates horseracing trophies for The New York Racing Association Man o’ War Cup and the Arlington Million Trophy, among others.
Throughout the 19th century, sponsors of other popular sports commissioned Tiffany to create equally elaborate trophies. The Viking Rowing Trophy, which replicates an ornate Viking ship with rippling pennants, authentic rigging and 14 great oars, is a work of exceptional craftsmanship. This trophy was originally awarded to the winner of a collegiate rowing race (rowing was one of the first collegiate sports in the U.S., for which trophies were made). Tiffany also created exceptional yachting trophies. Decorate with curling waves, nymphs, mermaids and dolphins, the trophies recall the pageantry surrounding the great ocean races of the time.
Among the era’s most richly embellished yachting trophies are the legendary Goelet Cups. These were commissioned by Ogden Goelet, a prominent member of the New York Yacht Club who made Newport, Rhode Island synonymous with yachting. Today, the New York Yacht Club is home to 25 yachting trophies designed and handcrafted by Tiffany & Co. The House also creates powerboat racing trophies for the Gold Challenge Cup and sailing trophies for the Cape May Challenge Cup, the Citizen Cup and the International Cup.
At the end of the 19th century, sharpshooting contents were highly popular; major “shoots” would draw over 100,000 spectators. In 1896, the most widely read afternoon newspaper in the United Sates commissioned from Tiffany the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Prize Cup. The award was given to the winner of a sharpshooting contest held between Brooklyn regiments.
Tiffany’s long history with baseball—“the great American pastime”—extends beyond the House’s trophy-making legacy. In 1877, Tiffany’s Chief Designer Edward C. Moore created the design for the Medal of Valor, featuring the interlocking “N” and “Y” insignia, to be given by the New York City Police Department to Officer John McDowell, the first NYC policeman shot in the line of duty. Its design later inspired the iconic New York Yankees logo. In 1888, Tiffany created the first world championship baseball trophy, the Hall Championship Cup. Tiffany also designed the All-Star Home Run Derby trophy and The Commissioner’s Trophy, awarded annually to the winner of the MLB World Series.
In 1992 and 1993, Tiffany created the World Series rings for the Toronto Blue Jays. The rings for the first Blue Jays’ victory were personalized with each player’s name and jersey number, the World Series logos and 16 diamonds, representing the Blue Jays’ then-sixteen years in baseball. To celebrate their second World Series victory, the rings, containing 45 pavé diamonds, were inscribed “Back to Back” to signify their second consecutive victory. A few years later in 2000, Major League Baseball commissioned Tiffany to create one of the most celebrated awards in all of sports: The Commissioner’s Trophy. The 20-pound, 24-inch trophy features 30 flags, one for each Major League team, with latitude and longitude lines symbolizing the world.
During the 20th century, new sports emerged, and with them came new Tiffany trophies. In 1904, Tiffany produced the Vanderbilt Cup, named for William K. Vanderbilt, who organized a 284-mile auto race on Long Island to stimulate interest in American-made cars. The trophy, which depicts Mr. Vanderbilt in his 90-horsepower Mercedes, was recreated in 1996 for the inaugural U.S. 500 auto race and became the championship trophy for the Champ Car World Series in 2000.
As interest in auto racing grew, so did the trophy size. In 1909, Tiffany designed the eight-foot Wheeler-Schebler Trophy. Commissioned by the Wheeler and Schebler Companies of Indianapolis, the trophy was awarded annually to the driver of the Indianapolis 500 who led the race at the 400-mile mark. The trophy was retired in the 1930s after car mechanic, driver and owner Harry Hartz won the trophy three consecutive times.
Tiffany & Co. unveiled its third racing trophy over a century later: its first Formula 1 racing trophy which debuted in May 2022. Crafted by hand from sterling silver, the first, second and third-place trophies were awarded at the first F1 Crypto.com Grand Prix in Miami, Florida to Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, respectively.
Tiffany’s inaugural trophies for Formula 1, in addition to the constructor trophy for the event, represent a new era of sports trophies for the House.
The trophies’ design was inspired by the F1 stadium architecture. The trophy is in a column shape, and the capital of the column follows the general forms of the stadium, including the four spires. The stadium has an opening in the roof in the shape of the football field below, which Tiffany’s designers captured in a recessed area on the top of the trophy.
In 1959, the National Football Foundation commissioned Tiffany to create the MacArthur Bowl honoring General Douglas MacArthur. The trophy is given to the year’s best college football team, selected through a poll conducted by the Foundation.
The Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy marks the pinnacle of gridiron glory. Tiffany has produced the coveted 22-inch, 8.75-pound trophy since the first Super Bowl in 1967. In 1970, the trophy was renamed for Vince Lombardi, the late Green Bay Packers coach who led the Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls. The trophy was initially designed by Oscar Riedener, a former Vice President at Tiffany & Co., who sketched the basic design on a napkin during a 1966 meeting with then-NFL commissioner, Pete Rozelle. The design features a regulation-size football in kicking position.
Since Super Bowl XXV in 1991, Tiffany has created the Pete Rozelle Trophy, named after the former commissioner and awarded to the Super Bowl MVP. Tiffany also proudly designs and handcrafts the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) trophies for the NFL.
With the invention of basketball, America gained yet another major spectator and team sport. In 1977, Tiffany & Co. captured the game’s grace and exuberance with its first trophy for the National Basketball Association (NBA): the NBA Championship Trophy. Today, Tiffany & Co. makes a total of seven revered NBA trophies and one Women’s National Basketball Association Trophy, having updated the entire NBA trophy suite in May 2022 in a creative partnership with artist Victor Solomon. The NBA trophies include: the Bob Cousy Eastern Conference Trophy, the Larry Bird Eastern Conference MVP Trophy, the Oscar Robertson Western Conference Trophy, the Earvin “Magic” Johnson Western Conference MVP Trophy, the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and the NBA Bill Russell MVP Trophy. Solomon also specially designed the new NBA All-Star MVP Kobe Bryant Award—a crystal masterpiece that honors the late athlete’s legacy and Tiffany’s authority in craftsmanship and iconic sports trophies. Tiffany & Co. also designs and handcrafts the WNBA Championship Trophy, which the House has created since 1997.
The most iconic of Tiffany’s NBA trophies is the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. In 1984, it was renamed the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after the former NBA commissioner, and in 2022, it was redesigned for the first time since its debut in ’84. The Boston Celtics were the first recipients of the (renamed) Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy at the 1984 NBA Finals. Standing 25.5 inches in height and weighing 29 pounds, the newly redesigned Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy evokes a regulation-size basketball falling into an inlaid net that has been updated with a realistic take on the net’s pattern. Designed to be retired and replaced in 2046 when the NBA celebrates their 100th anniversary, the newly updated Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy has space for the next 25 years of champions and includes the names of all previous winning teams on the two-level cylindrical base.
Once a year, New York City clears a path through its five boroughs for the marathon that draws the world’s best runners, thousands of running enthusiasts and millions of spectators. The male and female winners of this popular event are presented with the Samuel Rudin Trophy. Created in 1984, this sterling silver tray features an etched map of the boroughs with the racecourse highlighted in blue enamel. Tiffany also commemorates New York City’s marathon with an annual collection of pendants, bracelets, key tags, cuff links and other sterling silver designs stamped with the race’s logo.
Since 1987, Tiffany’s silversmiths have crafted the US Open Singles and Doubles Championship Trophies for the United States Tennis Association. Weighing 10 pounds and 18 inches tall and handcrafted in sterling silver, the Men’s and Women’s Singles Championship Trophies feature a classic design that is recognized around the world. Equally exceptional, the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championship Bowl is a four-pound revere style bowl crafted from sterling silver.
Tiffany creates the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy, awarded annually since 2008 to the Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup Champion, the MLS MVP trophy and MLS Eastern and Western Conference Trophies. The Philip F. Anschutz Trophy weighs 43 pounds and stands at 28 inches in height.
Tiffany creates numerous PGA TOUR trophies, including:
- The FedExCup trophy, weighing 33 pounds and standing 13.5 inches in height, which is awarded in August at the season-ending Tour Championship.
- THE PLAYERS Championship trophy, weighing 7.6 pounds and standing 17 inches tall, which was first awarded in March 2019.
- The 28-inch Arnold Palmer Invitational trophy, awarded in March.
- The 18-inch Charles Schwab Championship Cup trophy, a Champions Tour design that is awarded at the culmination of the Charles Schwab Championship season.
- The nine-inch Bryon Nelson Trophy, awarded annually at the AT&T Bryon Nelson Tournament.
- The World Golf Hall of Fame trophy, first created in 2021.
- The World Golf Hall of Fame inductee awards, also created in 2021.
Tiffany creates the National Hockey League Presidents’ Trophy, awarded to the hockey team that finishes the regular season with the best overall record, and the Layman Trophy for figure skating.
In 2020, Tiffany & Co. unveiled its first-ever Esports trophies, the Monster Strike Grandprix Trophy, and a year later, in 2021, the Dragon Trophy for the League of Legends Pro League. The former is awarded to the champion of the popular Japanese mobile role-playing game that combines pool, pinball and combat elements as users collect anime. The latter will be awarded to the winner of the League of Legends Pro League—the top-level professional league for League of Legends in China—in fall 2021. These two designs represent the latest milestone in Tiffany’s over-160-year history designing and handcrafting sports trophies.
In August 2022, Tiffany & Co. announced the debut of its third Esports trophy, the Summoner’s Cup. Awarded at the conclusion of the League of Legends World Championship, the 27-inch, 44-pound sterling silver design evokes a crown with five handles and was brought to life over a span of 277 hours.
The House debuted its inaugural lacrosse trophy, awarded to the winner of the Premiere Lacrosse League Championship, in September 2022. Its design, evoking a traditional lacrosse stick with a gold vermeil head, honors the Native American sport and features two columns with five vertical lines on each side that symbolize the 10 players on each team. Accompanied by a Tiffany Blue case, the award was brought to life over a span of 125 hours. The Premiere Lacrosse League Championship Trophy represents the House’s evolving vision for its coveted trophies.