Merch Madness: Relentless Merch to Print 10,000 Shirts If Chiefs Win Super Bowl
Lincoln, Nebraska-based Relentless Merchandise (Merch) has a stake in the big game happening on Feb. 11. If the Kansas City Chiefs take down the San Fransisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII (58), the screen-printing shop will need to turn around 10,000 championship T-shirts in eight hours.
Wondering how a print shop lands a contract like this, Apparelist caught up with Nathan Richardson, co-founder and account executive at Relentless Merch. “My brother Matt reached out to someone in charge of contracts via LinkedIn and they vetted us, got us set up to do it,” he shares. The process started about two to three months ago, and Richardson says it was pretty straightforward. The contract holder asked about Relentless Merch’s equipment, requested a few samples, and that was it. They were in for one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
If Chiefs Take Home the Win
If the Chiefs do win, Richardson says the shop will work through the night. “We have a few extra people on staff for the night to make sure everything is streamlined,” he says. With a total of 24 employees, including himself, the team will get to work at 11 p.m. the night of the Super Bowl to have the 10,000 shirts ready by 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 12.
While the shop’s typical order size is around 100 pieces, it’s no stranger to large orders. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Relentless Merch has printed for touring bands and big music acts like Lionel Richie, Avril Lavigne, and New Kids On The Block. However, it’s never printed through the night or had all its presses running the same job.
Asking how the shop preps for a job like this, Richardson says, “We are pre-setting up Thursday night — we work four 10s at the shop. We have backup screens, extra ink mixed. We have one production meeting prior to run through the process.” And lastly, they send a proof photo to ensure the print is correct and get approval before they start the job.
If the Chiefs lose, the team gets a good night’s sleep, and the shirts get shipped back to the contractor. As far as all the prep goes, the shop is compensated per press for any setup done.
Possibilities for Relentless Merch
Printing shirts for the Super Bowl champions can be a big accolade on a screen-printing shop’s resume, especially when trying to bring in other big jobs in the future. While this very moment is exciting for Relentless Merch, Richardson is also thinking ahead about what the potential of this job could mean for his shop.
“Our primary objective was to use it as leverage to secure licensing from our local university,” he shares. “Despite making four attempts, we have not been successful so far. Despite being one of the larger print shops in our area, being a younger shop has encountered some resistance from the old guard. We’re competent and ready to take on more work!”
As game day inches closer, Richardson says his crew is excited among all the business and bustle. With his sales team traveling for a trade show this weekend, he says it’s going to be nonstop busy at the shop, but that’s just how he likes it.