Have you ever wondered how they already have a personalized jersey waiting for the first round picks as they come to the stage only moments after being selected. Is there a speed stitcher on site? Does they NFL have jerseys made for each player for each team just in case? Well, the New York Times has the answers in a story last week.
Workers from Stahls’, a company that specializes in personalizing sports gearthat is hired by Nike, then jump into action. In advance, they made nameplates for each of the 30 prospects at Radio City in the color scheme that matches each of the 32 teams’ jerseys, or 960 nameplates in all.
When the Chicago Bears make their pick, for example, a bag with nameplates for each player is retrieved. The draft pick’s nameplate is taken out of a clear bag and given to another person who has put a Bears jersey on a thermal transfer press. The cover on the press is lowered tight on the jersey and held for five seconds at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to remove any moisture or wrinkles.
The cover is then lifted and a nameplate made of polyester Perma-Twill is positioned above the number on the back and is covered with a Teflon sheet to protect the rest of the jersey. The cover is held closed for another 20 seconds so the adhesive on the back of the nameplate can stick to the jersey. After the cover is lifted, a plastic strip is peeled off the nameplate.
In all, it takes about two minutes to personalize each jersey, which is then folded and handed to a selected fan of that team, who carries it on stage to the commissioner.
If you read the whole article, you’ll notice a couple of things:
Later, Stahls’ will personalize a second jersey that is given to a trading card company that will cut it into little pieces and include them in a set of commemorative cards.
When a player is chosen, they check a list to find his cap size, and then pull that cap out the boxes of hats set aside for his new team.
Once the player returns from meeting the commissioner, his cap is taken away and later chopped into small pieces by the collectible card company.
Are there people out there that really want a tiny chopped up piece of a hat or shirt? How do they feel about socks, because I have a few that I’m tossing soon.