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Popular Figure Has His Own Figurines —Cagle

October 2006
BACK IN August, we ran a cover story on industry veterans and featured some of their memorable stories, an idea we’d like to repeat for a future issue. Or, we’ll just call Jesse Williamson and ask him to spin a few yarns.

The president of Williamson Printing in Dallas is an honest and open man, one of the more colorful and charismatic figures in the printing industry. The stories other people tell about Williamson are pretty amusing, and almost as good as those he tells on himself. Too bad we can’t tell them all, but a funny one appears in his Hall of Fame profile on page 38.

And what other principle in the industry has his own action figures? Two, in fact. It’s true; we have them sitting atop our partitions. One represents Jesse before he lost 150 pounds; the other is how he looks today...though the ears are disproportionate. All this time I thought Adam Dunn was the biggest thing to come out of Texas—the Dumbos on the “after” Jesse put Ross Perot’s to shame. Fortunately for Jesse, the ears aren’t accurate. The likeness is striking—a great printing job by Williamson, with the dolls by Toy2r (

One outtake from the Hall of Fame interview: A young Jesse waits two hours in the foyer of a potential customer. When the prospect finally arrives, he discovers that Jesse, like himself, was a graduate of Southern Methodist University. They chew the fat for a little while and, before he knows it, Jesse nails down the account. Good salesmanship, to be sure, nothing overly impressive. But what was the reason behind making Jesse wait so long?

“He came in with blood covering his overalls,” Jesse explains. “He’d been castrating cows.”

And you thought your print buyer had you by the short ones. . .

MONEY WELL SPENT?: Seeing NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin qualify for the Race for the Chase, a spot in that sport’s “playoff” drive for the Nextel Cup championship last month, made me wonder about something. How much value does FedEx/Kinko’s derive from that relationship?

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, primary sponsorship of a car in NASCAR’s top racing division is in the $15 million to $20 million neighborhood. Hamlin is in his rookie campaign, so we could presume—right or wrong—that his price tag was at the low end. However, FedEx/Kinko’s augmented its sponsorship with an aggressive, comprehensive television ad campaign. So the unofficial king of quickies (printing and overnight delivery, that is) did not get by cheap.


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