Company that prints NFL draft jerseys hails from Michigan
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJBK) - The NFL draft is days away and joining the athletes on center stage, with be southeast Michigan. Have you ever wondered how they get the names on the jerseys so fast? The answer comes from Sterling Heights.
Five years ago, Stahls got a call from Nike asking if they could make it happen.
"They said, 'Look, you're literally going to have about less than two minutes to put this name on this. Is this something that's even feesible to do?'" remembers Brent Kisha, Stahls Sales executive.
He said they have the technology to make that work, but the logistics were a little more complex.
"What they do is, they actually have a headset in our area with an NFL representative on that headset listening to the war room going on whoever's on the clock, right? So we know whether or not who the pick was, or whether they traded or all of that before it was physically announced," says Kisha.
So they hang out behind the curtain in their small room with every name printed for every team, anxiously waiting the pick to come in.
"But then there could be a situation where, say, if the Lions traded their pick you're ready to go and you have to scoop it all off and then reload whoever the next pick's going to," says Kisha.
Then, it's scramble time.
"One of the years where there was a lot of trade ups and shifting of positions, we had to react very fast," says Kisha. "We had very little time to get the jersey decorated, so much that, when it was delivered to the commissioner he said, 'Wow, this one's literally still hot off the press.'"
In five seasons they haven't had one misspelling or wrong jersey, but they have had some situations...
"One year we had a situation where the Vikings actually traded up and had an anomaly where they had three first-round picks," says Kisha. "When that went down, it was really at the very end of the draft, they had a scramble and actually run inside of Radio City Music Hall to pick a jersey off one of their mannequins."