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Published: Friday, 1/30/2009

Pittsburgh win would suit local firm to a T

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Les Arquette of Image Group holds a prototype of a children's T-shirt the firm will print if the Steelers win. Les Arquette of Image Group holds a prototype of a children's T-shirt the firm will print if the Steelers win.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

If the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII Sunday, employees of the Image Group in Springfield Township will go to their hurry-up offense.

Their mission: print 3,300 championship T-shirts for shipment to department stores in the Pittsburgh area by Monday morning.

"We won't know if we are going to print until we know what the score is," said Les Arquette, operations director. "If Pittsburgh wins, we'll come in about 10:30 and print all night."

The Steelers will play the Arizona Cardinals in the National Football League's championship game in Tampa that begins shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday.

Mr. Arquette anticipates no problems landing volunteers to work on Sunday night. "The guys are pretty charged up," he said.

Adding to the excitement, he said, is the presence of two northwest Ohio men on the AFC champion Steelers: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of Findlay and wide receiver Nate Washington, who is a graduate of Scott High School in Toledo.

Aveey Lucas stands next to a press at Image Group in Springfield Township that is set up with two designs for children's T-shirts. Aveey Lucas stands next to a press at Image Group in Springfield Township that is set up with two designs for children's T-shirts.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

This isn't the first time the firm has been selected for Super Bowl work. Employees printed shirts when the Steelers were victorious in 2006 and have been on stand-by when other Midwest teams were in the game.

The local firm was hired for the jobs by Overstuff Ltd., a children's wear manufacturer located in New York.

Image Group has been asked to print on white T-shirts in youth sizes. Both short-sleeved and long-sleeved, they will carry the logos of the team, the Super Bowl, and marketer Reebok.

If Arizona wins, printers in the West likely will print championship T-shirts.

"We'll have the machines all set up," Mr. Arquette said. "The challenge with this is we have to sit around at home, watch the game, and wait until the end."

If the Steelers win, a truck will arrive at the Image Group, 1255 Corporate Dr., at 3 a.m. to pick up half the shirts for delivery to Pittsburgh by 8 a.m. Monday. Remaining shirts will be shipped for arrival in the championship city later in the day.

Contact Gary Pakulski at:

gpakulski@theblade.com

or 419-724-6082.



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