The NHL All-Star game this past weekend was a hockey event unlike any I’ve attended, and as a life-long Detroit Red Wings fan, seasoned hockey dad and very involved community supporter of local hockey teams and leagues, I’ve been to my share of hockey events. Here are some of the reasons why: First of all, the RBC Center in Raleigh was the perfect location for this game. Not only because of the pleasant 60 degree weather but also due to the fact that the locals are crazy about hockey and their support of this event made it that much more enjoyable and successful. The Carolina Hurricanes are the pride of Raleigh and the fans come out in full force, but in a good way. Hockey is one of the few remaining pro sports where you feel it is still a family event where fans of all ages are welcome. Believe me, I’ve been to other pro sports events where I didn’t feel it was safe for my family to be there! It seemed like every where you went there was something to do…art festivals, snow play for the kids and young at heart, and all kinds of activities that made the event more than just a hockey game, it was truly an experience for the memory books. As Carl Agosta from Stahls’ Decorating
Fulfillment Center said, “It was phenomenal.” I agree with you Carl, on many levels. The game was also unlike any other All-Star game due to the way the teams were selected this year. The player rosters weren’t finalized until Friday night and that meant Carl and his faithful crew had to work from 9pm Friday until about 3:30am Saturday to print the hundreds of jerseys needed by the team to wear, as well as fulfilling orders for their friends and family members and then tackling orders from fans. The next morning, they were back in the stadium at 9am, where they were busy heat printing the remaining jerseys for fans until 10pm at night. They sold out the entire inventory of replica jerseys, with the exception of a few XXL and XXXL’s. It was the ultimate heat printing success story, and even those working long hours to get the jerseys ready in this short time period didn’t complain once, according to Carl. Carl had 6 Air Hotronix(R) Swingers set up to handle the job, some with arm/sleeve attachments, since these jerseys required that 4 places on the jersey be heat printed, the front number and team name, back player name and team number and then the patches, numbers and other items that could be printed on the sleeves on either side. All the embellishments were heat printed–yes, we have thermal adhesives tough enough for hockey too–and the patches were full color digital transfers that were
applied on twill and then on the jerseys. The finished jerseys looked great. At least the fans thought so, since the entire inventory sold out. The crew from Stahls’ Decorating Fulfillment Center was also enhanced with three people from the RBC Center folks in charge of merchandising. Thanks to all of you for your hard work during the late hours on Friday night and over 12 hours on Saturday. And in case you’re wondering what happened to the 6 Hotronix Air Swingers that they used to get the job done…they’re already on their way to Los Angeles to do a similar heat printing feat for the NBA All-Star game! And by the way, for those of you who didn’t catch the game, Team Lidstrom beat Team Staal 11-10 and it was truly a fun game to watch, with passes no goalie could stop, behind the back stick work, and lots of scoring action. The best of the best at their best.