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Hot Off the Heat Press at the NFL Draft

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Mitchell Trubisky is pictured on stage with Roger Goodell after the Chicago Bears picked him second in the draft

Getty Images: Mitchell Trubisky is pictured on stage with Roger Goodell after the Chicago Bears picked him second in the NFL Draft, which took place in Philadelphia. His jersey is hot off the heat press, printed behind the scenes by our team from Stahls’ Decorating Fulfillment Center.

The NFL Draft first round picks were announced April 27, 2017, with the first pick going to the Cleveland Browns who received the “honor” after a 1-15 record last season. The Browns chose Myles Garrett, who was not in Philadelphia to collect his jersey from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Next up with the second pick was the Chicago Bears, who selected Mitchell Trubisky. In less than two minutes, Trubisky’s new Chicago jersey was handed to him on stage. This is the sixth year in a row that Stahls’ Decorating Fulfillment Center has been behind the scenes at the NFL Draft, heat printing the jerseys as the names are called. (Click here to see a NY Times video Instant Jerseys for NFL Draft Picks.) How do we do it? According to Brent Kisha, “We have every name pre-cut and ready to be applied in the style and color for every NFL team. We have headsets and a connection to the stage. When the pick is announced, we grab the correct name and jersey and put it under the heat press. They we hand it off for delivery to the stage.” The Stahls’ team is in a small production room that is out of sight of the stage. The names are pre-cut in Perma-TWILL® Tackle Twill Fabric and are already weeded and ready for heat application on clear mylar carriers. Good job everyone.

The team from Stahls' DFC is ready for action at the NFL Draft first round picks on Thursday April 27.

The team from Stahls’ DFC is ready for action at the NFL Draft first round picks on Thursday April 27.

It's time for the first round of the NFL Draft in Philadelphia. The fans are out in full force.

It’s time for the first round of the NFL Draft in Philadelphia. The fans are out in full force.

The Stahls' "war room" is ready for action before the NFL Draft begins. Colorways of all the NFL teams are on the walls. We have less than two minutes to get the jersey printed and out to the stage.

The Stahls’ “war room” is ready for action before the NFL Draft begins. Colorways of all the NFL teams are on the walls. We have less than two minutes to get the jersey printed and out to the stage.

Heat Printing to the Rescue

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This is the expensive garment bag with rolling rack, originally customized with air-brushing for its first owner, Jessica Kay.

This is the expensive garment bag with rolling rack, originally customized with air-brushing for its first owner, Jessica.

Looking for ways to re-use and re-purpose expensive items that have been previously customized? Maybe heat printing can come to the rescue. Here’s an example of how heat printing saved the day for the new owners of this expensive garment bag. The Rac N Roll bag is a very popular bag for dancers to travel to competitions, it is a luggage bag and garment rack in one.  These bags can be pricey, so it’s common for owners to sell them once they are done dancing.  The attached photo shows how heat printing completely transformed the personalization from an airbrushed bag for Jessica to a GlitterFlake personalized bag for Delaney.  According to heat printing expert Josh Ellsworth, here how it was done: “By creating a design that covered the entire front flap of the bag, we were able to hide the former design, creating a knock out of the text portion so the silver glitter could make direct contact with the bag for a layered look. The heat press that saved the day? The Hotronix Clam heat press mounted on a Hotronix heat press Caddie came in handy. This allowed the bulk of the bag to hang below the cantilever design.  We also used a heat printing pillow so that the zipper behind the flap would sink in and we’d still have an even pressure.  The application required three hits.” If you have any questions about heat printing on bags, please let us know.

The finished result. Heat printing helped create a new custom garment bag. Even though it is technically "second-hand" this bag has a new life and a happy new owner.

The finished result. Heat printing helped create a new custom garment bag. Even though it is technically “second-hand” this bag has a new life and a happy new owner.

Get Ready for the NFL Draft 2017

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This year's NFL Draft will be the 82nd meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible football players. It is being held in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, also known as the steps that the character Rocky Balboa made famous.

This year’s NFL Draft will be the 82nd meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible football players. It is being held in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, also known as the Rocky Steps that the character Rocky Balboa made famous.

It’s that time of year again, time to get ready for the upcoming NFL Draft. Football fans look forward to Draft Day with huge anticipation–it’s the first time they will discover which new super stars are joining their favorite team. For the sixth year in a row, Stahls‘ will be responsible for creating and handing the personalized jerseys to the NFL Commissioner, who will then present the jersey to the newly drafted player. Since no one knows who is going to which team in advance, the jerseys are heat printed behind the stage as the draft picks are announced. It’s a very challenging yet exciting experience for the team from Stahls’ Decorating Fulfillment Center. The heat print specialists have just minutes to heat press the correct name on the correct jersey and get it on stage. This year, the NFL Draft is taking place in Philadelphia from April 27th to 29th and it promises to be the largest festival footprint ever hosted by the NFL. If you are familiar with Philly, the NFL is taking over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a space that is approximately 25 football fields in size. The entire event will take place outdoors, so more fans than ever will be able to see all the action live.

HotronixHeatPressNFLDraft

The calm before the storm. The Hotronix heat presses are behind the scenes at the NFL Draft, ready to print jerseys as the players’ names are called.

StahlsATNFLDraft

Are you ready for the NFL Draft? Crews are working hard to get the outdoor setup ready in Philadelphia.

StahlsAtNFLDraft

More fans than ever are expected to attend the NFL Draft experience this year.

New Stahls’ Training Showroom in Daytona

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Stahls' Heat Printing in Florida

Looking for heat printing training and information in the Orlando/Daytona area? Call Mark Schwarb and schedule an appointment.

If you are in the Orlando/Daytona Beach area and would like to visit our newest heat printing showroom, please call Mark Schwarb at 386-872-8000 to make an appointment. You can see our latest Hotronix heat presses, including the Hotronix Ball Press. You can apply transfers and learn more about heat transfer vinyls and digital media. If you have been looking for ideas on how to expand your custom printing services, we have the answers. Doors opened on March 15 and the showroom’s future schedule is being developed with plans for Open Houses, training, rep shows and product Demo Days which will be announced shortly. By pre-arranged appointment you can visit, but please call in advance. Currently on the books is a June 29-30 Roland VersaCamm Boot Camp presented by Steven Jackson and Chad Pool from Stahls’ Tech Support team.  This popular 2-day event will take your printer knowledge to the next level.  Reservations are required and can be made here:  https://www.stahls.com/roland-versacamm-boot-camp

 

Farewell to the Joe

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Making our last memories at Joe Louis Arena.

Making our last memories at Joe Louis Arena.

Over the past 30 years or so, our family has spent many memorable hours watching the Red Wings play at the Joe Louis Arena. So it was with much emotion that they said farewell to the Joe on Sunday, April 9, along with 20,000 of the world’s greatest fans. The Joe Louis Arena, which was built in 1979, is of course named after Detroit’s own heavyweight boxing champ, Joe Louis. It has served as the home ice for the Detroit Red Wings since its opening. We’re not really going to miss the actual facility–it had its faults to be sure.  Steep stairways, poor access, and certainly,  not enough bathrooms. And did I mention the traffic? Some people lovingly referred to it as “the dump.” But despite all the inconveniences inherent to the building, the “Farewell to the Joe” experience was something my family members didn’t want to miss, with many traveling from far away in order to be a part of this “last time” experience. Here is what my wife Mary and a few of the kids had to say about how much the Joe meant to them. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

MARY STAHL: No question, the most memorable moments at Joe Louis Arena—besides watching the Red Wings—were when our kids had the opportunity to get on the ice. Whether it was before a Wings game or during intermission, our kids had many opportunities, thanks to their youth hockey teams, to skate on the ice at the Joe. To see the gleam in their eyes was more than rewarding. It’s every young hockey player’s dream to skate with the pros, meet players and go on locker room tours. The Joe gave our family another reason to get together and make memories while watching a sport we all understand and love! Hockey is a sport that even keeps the attention of the youngest fan. Dressing up in full Red Wing gear and painting the family van was another memory. Our daughters Krystin and Kaitlyn always looked forward to the playoffs, so they could really get decked out and they were almost always featured on the Jumbotron, dancing and having a blast. They got pretty outrageous, with face painting, beards and of course personalized player jerseys. Krystin also made it a ritual to dance with Mo Cheese, the Wings mascot, every game. She and a friend were even known as the “Cheesettes.”  Another funny memory is from the time where they handed out mustaches during a playoff series, so that women could get in the shorter lines for the men’s bathrooms! One of the biggest design flaws in the Joe is that there were very few bathrooms. All in all, the best memory of the Joe—next to the 1997 Stanley Cup winning game—would have to be the last game at the Joe. Nowhere else in the world of hockey could anyone witness the class act the Joe put on to close out the arena. Our family went down at 1:30 for a 5:00 game but the festivities started at 2:00 pm. It all started with a red carpet show along the riverside of Detroit, with a beautiful view of Canada. The red carpet included over 50 Red Wing alums, along with the current players. And even though those current players “had to get ready for a game” they signed every autograph put in front of them. The day was beautiful! Once inside the Joe, the Jumbotron showed highlights of the past. Fans bought up every last piece of “Farewell to the Joe” merchandise that was for sale. You could purchase hats and t-shirts of course, but also pucks used in warm ups and framed glass panels from the stadium. Plus, on each seat there was a certificate stating that you had been in the Joe Louis Arena on the last day.  Red Wing legend Steve Yzerman dropped the puck for the face off.  The Red Wings 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils was played to deafening response from the fans singing, shouting and celebrating.  At the final buzzer, which was counted down at the top of our lungs, the Red Wings formed a circle, raised their sticks for the last time and clapped to thank the fans. How classy. After the game a stage and chairs were set up. No one left the arena. The alumni and current Red Wings were announced back onto the ice. Ken Daniels the announcer paid tribute to the late Mike Illitch and his family (Red Wings owners), talked about the Joe, the players, the fans. Former Red Wings Steve Yzerman and Scotty Bowman gave very touching speeches. Al Sobotka, head ice manager for more than 30 years, had the honor of twirling his last octopus on the ice. It all ended with fireworks and lasted until 10:00 pm. You could say they went out with a bang!  Another class act was when Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg’s wife Emma, who sits near us, gave the four ushers in our section an autographed jersey signed by #40. A good time and lots of memories by all. On to the next chapter, Little Ceasars Arena, where we are sure we will make many new memories.

 

We'll always have the best memories from our time spent at Joe Louis Arena.

We’ll always have the best memories from our time spent at Joe Louis Arena.

Kari and her kids at the last game at Joe Louis Arena.

Kari and her kids at the last game at Joe Louis Arena.

KARI SCHIVES: At The Joe, I was able to witness some of the best games in Red Wing history. The Detroit-Colorado brawl and the 1997 and 2002 Stanley Cup wins are at the forefront of my mind. Being able to watch some of the greatest players ever- Yzerman, Shanahan, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, although “The Grind Line” was my personal favorite.  I’ll never forget riding the People Mover to attend games with my parents and brothers, playing games with my youth teams and taking part in the intermission shootouts. Plus we got to know some of the Joe Louis employees, along with the legendary Mo Cheese and Orange Hat Guy. It was also so special being able to take my own kids to their first Wings games. But above all, I’ll cherish the countless memories I made with my family and best friends while attending the games. The final game was a wonderful tribute to an arena I grew up in. I am so thankful that I could take part in it. Thank you Joe Louis Arena.

 

Trevor and Mary Katherine Stahl at the final game at Joe Louis Arena on April 9th, 2017.

Trevor and Mary Katherine Stahl at the final game at Joe Louis Arena on April 9th, 2017.

TREVOR STAHL: I think my best memories of the Joe are from youth hockey when I played between periods in front of 18,000 people. Other great memories were having the opportunity to watch the 2001-2002 Stanley Cup team with Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov, Brett Hull, Nick Lidstrom, Luc Robitaille, Stevie Y, Igor Larionov, Chris Chelios, Pavel Datsyuk and Dominik Hasek. All current or future hall of famers were on that one team.You will never get to see that ever again in the NHL.

It was a night to remember.

It was a night to remember.

Last time in Joe Louis Arena!

Last time in Joe Louis Arena!

A memory of AC's first game back in 2014.

A memory of AC’s first game back in 2014.

It's fun to be a Red Wings fan!

It’s fun to be a Red Wings fan!

So many memories of great games at Joe Louis Arena.

So many memories of great games at Joe Louis Arena.