Famous (Local!) Awards: The Philadelphia Award

For this month’s famous award, and in the spirit of all the brotherly love following the Papal Visit, we’ve decided to keep things local by writing about the Philadelphia Award, a city-based, but nonetheless prestigious, award given out to the most distinguished Philadelphians for over 90 years.

The History
The Philadelphia Award was founded by Edward William Bok in 1921; after making his fortune in the burgeoning publishing industry, Bok started working towards the institution of progressive social movements, such as public sex education, prenatal education, childcare, environmental activism and more. He spent his time as a philanthropist working to improve society through both political action and the arts. The Philadelphia Award was intended for those who encapsulated his idea of model citizens by working to serve others and improve their surroundings.

The Honorees
The historic winners of the Philadelphia Award are given what has been referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Philadelphia,” and join over 80 other accomplished individuals in receiving the honor. Every year, nominees are selected based on their contribution towards the greater good of their community – the winner is the citizen who, during the preceding year, “acted and served on behalf of the best interests of their community.”
Industrialists, social activists, doctors, educators, lawyers, politicians, scientists, religious leaders, philosophers, artists and architects are listed among those who have received this award, which is given by a Board of Trustees, along with $25,000.

The Award

The Philadelphia award does indeed resemble the Nobel Prize, at least in that it is a relatively simple medal cast with simple information. The medal features the title of the award, date of its founding and image of a presumably famous native Philadelphian (at the time of the publication of this article, the name of this Philadelphian was regrettably not available online – though we welcome any of our readers who know to chime in in the comments section!)
To create your own medal for an honor-deserving friend, family member, loved one or colleague, consult with the experts at Spike’s!

Famous Trophies: The Billboard Music Awards

We love the Billboard Music Awards, not just because it celebrates some of the best music produced throughout the year, or because it’s put on by Billboard, which is an enduringly cool source for the hottest music – but because we also love their trophy!


(photo credit: The Wall Street Journal)

One of the more unique awards we’ve ever seen, when viewed from the side this award features the profile of a singer mid-action, which curves gently into a 3-D replica of an old-fashioned microphone. Mounted on a block which display the winner’s name and category, this award does an excellent job of representing the exact theme it celebrates. This trophy was designed by Society Awards, a NYC company that is known for its high-end statuettes; it also designed the Emmys, MTV Music Video Awards, American Music Awards, Golden Globes and more.

The awards themselves have gone through several redesigns, though the ceremony got its start in 1989. Unique to music awards, the winners of Billboard awards don’t go through a complicated vetting process by professionals in the industry, or votes from listeners – rather, finalists are based on their year-end chart performance as recorded and interpreted from sales, downloads and airplay data – which does make the awards vote-based, in a way, since listeners “vote” for the candidate each time they listen to, request or purchase their song.
The most important categories in the Billboard Music Awards are easily the Top Artists, Top Hot 100 Song, Top New Artist and Top Billboard 200 song – though the awards also feature around 38 other categories, including a truly fan-voted selection titled the Billboard Chart Achievement Award.

Just in case you weren’t keeping up with this years’ Billboard Music Awards, here were the top winners from the May 17, 2015, awards, hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen:
Top Artist: Taylor Swift
Top Billboard 200: 1989, Taylor Swift
Top Hot 100: Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”
To celebrate a musical achievement of your own (even if it’s just “Best Office Karaoke 2015”), take a look at our extensive inventory of unique, customizable awards. We’ve been the go-to local company for trophies and awards in NJ and PA since we got our start in 1929, and now we’re a nationwide supplier of medals, pins and patches, sculptures, awards, trophies and more.


Famous Awards: The ESPY

The ESPY, which is short for “Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly,” is given out each year by the cable sports network ESPN in order to recognize, as per the organization’s own words, “excellence in sports performance and achievement.” There are currently around 39 categories for which individuals and teams can be awarded an ESPY, with more added yearly and some retired, discontinued, superseded or suspended. The ESPY is a fairly new award, having started in 1993; because they are held on a major network and hosted by celebrities, however, they quickly picked up speed and are now popular viewing amongst sports aficionados. The ESPYs used to be entirely selected based on voting by fans, but since 2004 have been decided by experts in the field.
Some recent winners of the ESPY award, in some of our favorite categories from June 2015, include:

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Payton Manning
Best International Athlete:
Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina
Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte
Best Male/Female Athletes with Disabilities: Krige Schabort, Triathlon/Becca Meyers, Swimming
ESPY Icon Award: Derek Jeter
Arthur Ashe Courage Award: Caitlin Jenner

About the Award


It may not have as rich of a history as some of the other awards in our blog series, but we still love the ESPY’s unique and easily-recognizable form. This sleek, modern trophy features a perfect steel ball suspended on top of a post reminiscent of that used in monuments; both the ball and post feature the word “ESPY” on opposing sides, while a plaque with the award category and winner’s name is prominently displayed on front. This award was designed by the sculptor Lawrence Nowlan, who is known for his statues of famous athletes and several well-known memorials. Certainly minimalistic but nonetheless striking, we’re sure the ESPY looks great on these athletes’ mantelpieces!
If you’ve got your own courage, determination or achievement award in mind, let Spike’s Trophies guide you through the selection and customization process with our huge selection of unique inventory, perfect for every imaginable sport and occasion. Providing trophies and awards to NJ and PA since 1929, Spike’s Trophies ships nationwide and offers exclusive discounts and deals to new clients and loyal customers alike. Check us out!

Famous Awards: The Nobel Prize

Nobel prizes are awarded for several categories in order to recognize academic, cultural, and scientific advancements in the world. The prizes are given in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, and physiology, with the results of some (notably literature, peace, and physics) being more widely celebrated than others. The Nobel Peace Prize in particular usually celebrates a beloved leader or figure that is frequently in the public eye. But while we usually recognize the winners of this prestigious award, how many of us know what the medal itself looks like, or any of the history behind it? As trophy experts – we do! Read on to learn a little more about the background of this object recognizing humankind’s incredible achievements.

What kind of award is it?
This is a trick question, actually – aside from a cash prize, Nobel Prize winners are awarded both a medal AND a diploma for their extraordinary achievement. The diploma is handed to winners personally by either the King of Sweden or, just for the Nobel Peace Prize, by the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. As if that isn’t honorific enough, each diploma is hand-designed for the laureates who have won it, containing a related picture, title, and a description of the reason the award was received (except in the case of Peace Prize winners). Continue reading

Famous Awards – The Green Jacket

Not every trophy is shiny, metal and mantle-ready! We’re straying a bit off the beaten path with this one, but the Green Jacket is such an important symbol of achievement in the sports world that we just had to include it. Awarded to the winner of the Master’s Tournament, this garment represents the most coveted title in golf. It’s got an interesting history, too – read on to find out more about this revered prize!


The Green Jacket got its start as a garment worn by members of the Augusta National in 1933, who were given the bright coat so as to stand out as a source of information for visitors to their event. Originally made out of wool (despite the event taking place in Georgia, in spring – not necessarily the season for an overcoat), the jackets were once crafted in America, from American materials and by American craftsmen, but since 1996 are made by a famous British tailor. The first proper champion’s jacket wasn’t awarded until 1949, but all prior champions dating back to the first event in 1933 were given jackets retroactively. Continue reading

Crazy Awards around the World, Part 2: Global Edition

In our last blog entry, we compiled some of the wackiest awards given out in the United States. Now, we’re going global and featuring some of the craziest reasons to celebrate an “achievement”…if you can use that word to describe some of these occasions. As always, we’ve got trophies on the brain – feel free to post your ideas for what the trophy, medal or other award should look like for each of these different nutty competitions!

Ig-Noble Prizes

Though this competition takes place at Harvard, it features contestants from around the world, so we figured it counts. The Ig-Noble Prize award honors “achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK”; in other words, they celebrate the unusual and honor imaginative efforts to encourage people’s interests in the sciences and technology. Going on its 25th year of celebrating “improbably research,” this award is given to “scientists” (real or otherwise) who challenge the preconceived ideas of what’s important and what isn’t in the arena of research. The awards are given to ten winners every year, for unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. Our favorite winner from last year? The Arctic Science awardees, researchers who received the award for “testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.”

The Ernie Awards

This Australian award is actually quite socially progressive – it is “awarded” to companies or people who make sexist remarks or do sexist things. Named after a former government worker known for his own sexist remarks, 2003’s winner was awarded to the Stellar Call Center, for docking the pay of a pregnant woman who took “too many toilet breaks.”

The Bent Spoon Award

Another Australian award (note to those down under: we do international deliveries!), the Bent Spoon Award is given by an organization that calls themselves Australian Skeptics. The group’s own description states that it is “presented to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle.” Our favorite was from 1998, when the Bent Spoon Award went to a university for publicizing support for “empowered water.”

The “Lanterne Rouge” Award

This award, meaning “red lantern,” goes to the competitor who places last in the world-famous Tour de France cycling race. Named after the red lantern that is hung on the last car, or caboose, of a train, it’s not actually meant to be a humiliation; rather, it’s given as a special kind of distinction, as it means that the cyclist finished the race rather than opting to drop out. Word has it that, once at the back of the pack, cyclists compete for the Lanterne Rouge award thinking that, while the few riders before the very last will be forgotten, the very last “loser” will at least be memorable.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of some of the world’s wackiest awards, and that perhaps it even inspired you to design your own! Be sure to browse our huge selection of awards, medals, plaques and sports trophies in Philadelphia for the special event in your or a loved one’s life.

Wacky Awards Around the World: USA Edition

In case you haven’t noticed, we here at Spike’s Trophies in Philadelphia are a little award-crazy. We believe that trophies, medals, pins, plaques and other symbols of recognition are a fun and creative way to celebrate any achievement in life, and to show a winner that their efforts have been recognized and appreciated. That being said, some people have taken the idea of awards to a whole new level; we’ve compiled just a few of the nuttiest awards given out around the globe, starting on the home front. The big question we have, of course: what should their trophies look like??


The Stinky Shoe Award
This national competition, held in the U.S. andsponsored by Odor-Eaters, is exactly what it sounds like – the winner, who must be between the ages of 5 and 15, will be judged as having the smelliest sneakers of the bunch. Besides odor, the overall condition of the shoe is also considered to determine whose kicks possess the most potent combination of battered and pungent. Laugh if you’d like, but the overall winner takes home a cool $2,500; that’s enough for a decade’s worth of brand-new Nikes, which by then we’re sure are sorely needed.

The Stella Awards

This award was named after the defendant in an infamous lawsuit, in which Stella Liebeck sued McDonalds after spilling a cup of coffee onto her lap that caused burns. The award, in turn, recognized people who filed “outrageous and frivolous lawsuits.” Winners include: a man who sued Michael Jordan for “defamation and permanent injury” because he was often confused for the celebrity; a woman who, after being attacked by a squirrel, sued a mall for “failure to warn patrons of the presence of squirrels” outside the establishment; and a man who sued a dry cleaners’ for $65,462,500 after the business lost his pants. The Stella Awards stopped being issued after 2007 …perhaps the founders were sued by embarrassed “winners”?

The Pigasus Award

The Pigasus award, which “honors” frauds and phonies, is unofficially handed out by a magician named James Randi. Randi, who has been giving out the award since 1982, even created several different categories to properly distinguish all types of fraud: worst pseudoscience, most useless studies and most outrageous report of paranormal activity are just a few. Some famous names pop up in his list of awards, including the well-known television psychic Sylvia Brown. Looks like Randi won’t be calling Spike’s Trophies anytime soon: the skeptic reportedly sends out “awards” via telekinesis. This way, he says, “If the winners don’t receive the trophy, it must be due to a lack of paranormal talent” (source).

If you liked this post, bookmark the Spike’s Trophies blog for more interesting, weird and useful facts about the world of trophies and awards. If you’ve been inspired by these wacky awards and want to give out one of your own, check out our website to view our huge variety of awards, with options for all occasions and budgets.

Everyday Greatness Award – Edna Hart

This Medal and Plaque were present to Edna Hart on April 9, 2015

This Medal and Plaque were presented to Edna Hart on April 9, 2015

Everyday Greatness is the ability to care more about others than yourself, it’s the small random acts of kindness in the everyday activities that help make the community a better place to live. At Spike’s Trophies we make it our mission to find those in our community with a giving spirit and honor them for their work.

When we went through our nominations it was the one from Rick Atwell that really stood out to us. Rick nominated Edna Hart a long time volunteer of the Torresdale Boys Club, a youth organization dedicated to providing the boys and girls of our community with athletic and cultural programs designed to foster good sportsmanship, camaraderie and character development. She spends much of her spare time helping to make sure that the Club runs smoothly and the children in her community have a place to go to hang out, be active, and stay safe.

Edna has worn many hats during her time volunteering she has been: treasure, fundraising committee lead, she runs the kitchen, and spent countless hours on weeknights and weekends volunteering to stay so that neighborhood children can use the gym at times other than practice.

When presented with the award Edna stated that “It’s all for the children”. It was her kind spirit and generous hart that earned her the title of Everyday Greatness!


View video of the presentation here: https://youtu.be/YqAN90wpFVk

Spike's owner Ted Westervelt and Spike present Edna with teh Everyday Greatness Award

Spike’s owner Ted Westervelt and Spike presents Edna with the Everyday Greatness Award

Kids Choice Awards

KCA blimo

The Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award Blimp

Your award should represent your brand. Not all trophies are golden and sophisticated; some are bright orange and fun! The Orange Blimp is the award given to Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Award winners!
The Kids Choice Awards show is unique and is 100% voted for by fans – and more importantly by kids! There for it needed a unique prize! The orange blimp was introduced in 1990, 2 years after the award show began. Prior to the Blimp it was a gold statue shaped to look like a beret-wearing child standing up with his right leg crossed and holding up a long orange stick, with the word “Nickelodeon” inscribed on it. However Nickelodeon felt that this didn’t represent the Award show, which dumps neon green Slim on its winners, properly.

All nominations are kid friendly and can be voted for online on an app by views at home and the most popular wins. KCA has always been creative with how the announce winners opting to do away with the standard envelope and writing the winners names in balloons or on a surf board.

The Blimp Award is designed to look like Nickelodeons signature orange blimp that was used as a logo from 1984-2009. The Award is a hollow blimp figure which also functions as a kaleidoscope.

The 2015 Kids Choice Awards will take place Sunday March 28th at 8 pm EST and will be hosted by former Award Recipient Nick Jonas.

Do you have a unique event? Let Spike’s Help you design the perfect award to represent it!

The Lombardi Trophy 2015

After a tame (almost boring) start to the 2015 Super Bowl, the second half had you on the edge of your seat! The game was painfully close and with less than 2 minuets left the Seahawks chose to throw the ball at the 1 yard line allowing the Patriots to intercept and win the Super Bowl and take home the Lombardi Trophy for the 4th time.Lombardi_Trophy

The Lombardi Trophy has become one of the world’s most prestigious sports awards. It is named after legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi. The idea came to be in 1966 when NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had lunch with Tiffany & Co. VP Oscar Riedner and he [Riedner] sketched out what would become the Lombardi Trophy.   Originally named “World professional Football Championship” trophy, it was renamed in 1970 to honor the great NFL Coach Vince Lombardi, who had lost his battle to cancer. Lombardi had led the Green Bay Packers to Victory in the first 2 Super Bowl games. It has also been referred to as the Tiffany Trophy.

The Lombardi trophy is an extremely elegant and simple design standing 22 inches tall and weighs 7lbs, it depicts a regulation football in a kicking position in a 3 concave sided stand made entirely of sterling silver! The trophy uses a heavy gauge of silver that is difficult to bend and shape, so the manufacturing process demands great expertise. First a spinner places onto a lathe a wooden chuck carved into the shape of half a football. A thick sheet of silver is placed on the chuck. With forming tools, it’s spun until it assumes the shape of the chuck. After both halves are formed, they are soldered together to form the ball. Then a silversmith hand chases the seams and laces onto the ball so that it resembles an actual football. The base is formed from sheet stock, which is hand hammered and soldered. The football is attached by a silver rod that comes up through the base and is secured by silver nuts and bolts.

During the manufacturing process, the trophy must be annealed five or six times because the repeated hammering hardens the surface. The annealing loosens the bonding of the molecules in the silver, allowing it to be shaped. After the trophy is complete, the NFL symbol and the Super Bowl number are hand engraved into a sheet stock of silver, which is applied to the base. While officially valued at $10,000 (in 1998), it’s a priceless symbol of hard-earned victory for the players and their fans.   The Lombardi Trophy is made every year and remains in the possession of the winning team, unlike the Stanley Cup or the Grey Cup which get reused year after year.   You can get a replica trophy at www.GoSpikes.com