Part of the experience of attending any major league sporting event—whether it is baseball, football, basketball, or hockey—is the food and drink. Savvy to the attraction, many arenas offer its concession stands as sponsorship opportunities. These high-profile companies promote the newest liquors, beer, and food. Winning this contract in the print world stems into repeat business across multiple locations.
Raise Your Glass
DIY Decals, based in Ann Arbor, MI, began six years ago in an 800 square foot building. Michael Drozdowski, president, DIY, quickly got involved in printing projects for Red Bull through a friend and business boomed. Today the print service provider (PSP) creates jobs for clients in 17 states in a 16,000 square foot space with eight full-time employees, which includes three in-house graphic designers. Its biggest services are custom signage and graphics, vehicle wraps, promotional products, printed material, and flags and banners.
Drozdowski credits his relationship with Red Bull for snowballing into the liquor industry, which makes up some of its largest customers. DIY is consistently asked to print work for 1800 Tequila & Three Olives Vodka (Proximo Spirits) and MillerCoors LLC, whose branding and messages appear in concession stands and restaurants found in National Hockey League (NHL) arenas. These promotional materials are how arenas make the bulk of their profit.
For example, in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Nationwide Arena, 1800 Tequila & Three Olives Vodka (Proximo Spirits) bought sponsorship rights to an eating area. DIY just recently started work within the Joe Louis Arena, which is home to the Detroit Red Wings. The company was sub-contracted by MillerCoors to update all the logo signage in the concession areas where their product is sold. Additionally, William Grant & Sons commissioned DIY to update their concessions with a new front counter graphic that now includes logos from Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, and Stoli. DIY also created corn hole boards with both the Detroit Red Wings’ logo and the Miller Lite logo as well.
All of these projects require a lengthily list of applications that range from tabletop graphics to perforated window decals—basically anything you can think of according to Drozdowski. The PSP utilizes media from 3M Commercial Graphics, Arlon Graphics, LLC, and Quality Media and Laminating Solutions for the bulk of the work. Many items are laminated to protect against human contact, scuffing, abrasion, and food spills. DIY utilizes Roland DGA Corporation wide format printers for their graphics work as well as a digital press from Konica Minolta Business Solutions.
Depending on the length of the sponsorship, most graphics stay in the arena for about a year. Projects generally take about one to two weeks from design inception to print and install. DIY’s team usually comes in to apply the graphics, which go down in a matter of hours.
Because of the nature of the NHL venues, with the various set ups and different sizes, many of the graphics are custom designed. DIY’s team works closely with whatever member of the beverage industry may be their client and then that graphic is sent off for approval.
In Between Periods
The beverage industry is constantly introducing new products and the sports crowd is a great testing audience. The allure of sports arena promotion is many eyeballs on your brand at one time in multiple days. DIY works hard with its clients to ensure their messages are noticed across the sea of fans. The variety found in its concession and restaurant signage is unique and serves its customers well.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Boarding Penalty.