A Michigan company is the top pick to quickly personalize draftee’s new NFL jerseys

(22 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
St. Clair Shores, Michigan – 22 April 2024
1. Various of Brent Kisha, STAHLS’ vice president of strategic sales, demonstrating how to heat-press a name onto a shirt at the company’s headquarters
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Brent Kisha, STAHLS’:
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“So, STAHLS’ at the upcoming draft in Detroit will be contracted to work in the Nike jersey room, putting the names on the jerseys after the first-round pick is announced by the commissioner.”
3. Various of Kisha showing off a completed shirt
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Brent Kisha, STAHLS’:
++PARTIALLY COVERED++
“So, we make the athlete’s name in all 32 NFL jerseys’ font and colorway. And so, then we have a representative from the NFL in our space. And they’re actually listening to the call of the show. So, they actually know who was picked, who was ever on the clock, who was picked. And we know in advance before the commissioner ever announces it. So, the pick comes into the NFL representative, he whispers to us who it is, we grab the name, and we press it on the jersey and then the jersey makes it out to the stage.”
5. Various of framed photos and jerseys from drafts STAHLS’ has worked, including those belonging to quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow
6. The demonstration and the heat-press machine
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Brent Kisha, STAHLS’:
++PARTIALLY COVERED++
“And we have literally less than two minutes to put the name on the back of the jersey. ‘Well, how do you do it?’ The heat press is the secret sauce that enables us to be able to react to the actual pick itself.”
8. Various of the STAHLS’ logo at the reception desk
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Brent Kisha, STAHLS’:
++PARTIALLY COVERED++
“So, STAHLS’ is located here in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Been here since 1932. And so, the draft coming back to Detroit is extra special for us this year.”
10. Various of a shirt and equipment
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Brent Kisha, STAHLS’:
++FULLY COVERED++
“It sounds like, ‘Oh, man, that’s cool.’ And it is really cool. And I’m very honored that I’ve been able to do it for Nike and the team for many years. But every year, in the beginning, until that first jersey goes on the stage, you’ve got butterflies.”
12. Kisha holds up a finished shirt
STORYLINE:
Employees of the company tasked with rapidly personalizing jerseys for each first-round pick as they are announced don’t need to travel very far for this year’s NFL Draft in Detroit.

STAHLS’ headquarters in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, sits 17 miles from the stage where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will inform the players — and the world — that they have been selected by an NFL franchise.

“The draft coming back to Detroit is extra special for us,” said Brent Kisha (KISH’-uh), the company’s vice president of strategic sales.

The STAHLS’ team has under two minutes, from the moment the pick is made until Goodell greets him, to personalize the jersey backstage in the Nike jersey room at the NFL Draft Theatre.

The draft gets underway Thursday at Campus Martius (MAR’-shehs) Park downtown. It marks the 13th year the apparel decoration technology, software and equipment manufacturer has worked behind-the-scenes at the draft.

STAHLS’ took on heat-pressing duties in 2012, quickly affixing top pick Andrew Luck’s surname to an Indianapolis Colts jersey in New York. Since then, the company’s team has traveled to drafts held in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Nashville, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Kansas City and now its hometown.

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