Tag Archives: Stahls’

Franco Tackles the NFL Draft

“Hello and welcome to the 2016 NFL Draft.”

To the fandom that surrounds the NFL, there are few phrases that conjure more excitement. That phrase means fresh talent on their team’s roster, it means seeing the next Joe Montana before he becomes a superstar. But, for Franco client STAHLS’, it means making custom, national TV ready, NFL jerseys in minutes.


Tina Kozak and Erica Swoish arrive in Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft representing Team STAHLS’

During the draft, teams select their new players one by one. As the newly drafted NFL player approaches the stage, the STAHLS’ team is working backstage to pull the correct jersey, correct player’s name in the proper font, press the name plate to adhere it on the jersey, and get it to the stage before the player is officially welcomed into the NFL, all in less than two minutes. Whew!

STAHLS’ has been part of this event for the past five years. When they began in 2012, they were not even sure if their products would make it to the stage. After doing countless tests preceding the 2012 Draft, STAHLS’ had to prove their abilities during the actual event.

As the first draft pick, Andrew Luck, was selected, STAHLS’ printed the jersey but making it to the stage was a game time decision. The jersey still had to get the final ‘OK’ from both the NFL and Nike, Inc. before the jersey was allowed to go the whole nine yards to the stage. The garment passed with flying colors and the rest is history.

2016 Draft Jerseys

STAHLS’ has their NFL jerseys ready to go leading up to the first round of the Draft.

In support of STAHLS’, Franco teammates Tina Kozak and Erica Swoish, traveled to Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft.

From the moment they arrived in the city they could feel the excitement surrounding the festivities. Grant Park was completely transformed into ‘Draft Town.’ This included a fan viewing area, games, souvenirs, the NFL Shop and so much more.

But Kozak and Swoish had a game plan they needed to execute before reveling in the thrill of the day, so they got to work.

“As soon as we got the lay of the land we started talking to media on-site and making connections. It was a ‘Where’s Waldo’ hunt for the cameras,” Swoish said.

Our Franco quarterbacks had generated media hits leading up the event, and prescheduled a live hit with a local station for STAHLS’ during Draft weekend, but they knew that intercepting media to make those in person connections could further the STAHLS’ message.

“The next day we had Fox 32 Chicago come out and do live hits from the STAHLS’ area of Draft Town,” Swoish said. “Later in the day we had a reporter and photographer from the Chicago Tribune out to Draft Town and a phone interview with Printwear Magazine.”

Brent Kisha is the head coach for the STAHLS’ team and was the main interview subject for STAHLS’ throughout the event.


Brent Kisha and the rest of the STAHLS’ team is interviewed live by Fox Chicago.

“It is great to see a message we helped to craft get picked up by so many media outlets. We just felt a huge sense of accomplishment.”

As draft time approached, Kozak and Swoish joined the huddle in Selection Square to watch the Draft live on the big screen.

“The energy was magnetic!” Swoish said. “We were right in the middle of the crowd. People who didn’t even know each other hugged and gave high fives when their team made a selection. I am not a die-hard football fan but you couldn’t help but get swept up in all the excitement.”

The two even purchased their own STAHLS’ custom made apparel before heading back to home turf.

And while the weekend was definitely full of fun, Swoish collected professional lessons that she will wear with pride.

“I experienced firsthand how important it is to make a local connection to any story when pitching the media,” Swoish said. “We received placements in key areas across the region because we were able to make a local tie. The Draft was an experience I never imagined having, but one I will definitely not forget.”


Swoish and Kozak pictured outside of Selection Square in Chicago.

Frozen Fish Fiasco, Team STAHLS’ and Tales of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick

I grew up playing hockey, but after trading in my skates for office life, I never thought I’d play a meaningful game again. Turns out, I was wrong.

I emerged from hockey retirement and laced up my skates to support Team STAHLS’ as we faced off against the Detroit Red Wings Alumni team for a charity game. It was arguably the biggest game during the Frozen Fish Fiasco weekend benefiting Clark Park, the home of the only regulation-sized outdoor ice hockey rink in metro Detroit.

STAHLS’ is the leading international manufacturer, distributor and direct supplier of garment decoration equipment and materials – from small businesses and entrepreneurs to pro sports leagues, including the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB – so it wasn’t a surprise that they enlisted Mark Wells, gold medal winner from the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team as head coach for Team STAHLS’.

If anyone could coach us to a win against the heavily-favored Red Wings, it was him. We held four team practices, where Coach Wells channeled his inner Herb Brooks to help get us in shape and ready for the game, but none of us could prepare for playing outdoors on a sunny 50 degree day with the Ambassador Bridge in the background. The 50-minute game went by quickly and all of us savored every minute playing against retired professionals that we grew up watching in the big leagues – Darren McCarty, Mickey Redmond and Peter Klima to name a few.

Ferlito and Redmond STAHLs' vs. Red Wings Alumni

It was truly a surreal experience and the STAHLS’ team hung in there with the pros. We lost 9-8, but it was a close game throughout. I scored a goal and an assist, and I may or may not have been the reason why Darren McCarty decided to “fight” the Team STAHLS’ bench.

Darren McCarty jumps into STAHLS' bench at Frozen Fish Fiasco

Since Darren jumped over the boards right onto me, I guess that makes it a goal, an assist and a fight – a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Ferlito nd McCarty STAHLs' vs Detroit Red Wings Alumni

Good news! Darren didn’t hold anything against me and was gracious enough to stick around for a photo after the game.

If you missed the game, you can catch the highlights on Fox Sports Detroit. A list of upcoming show times can be found here.

And if you are feeling generous, donations can be made to support Clark Park at http://frozenfishfiasco.com/.


Joe Ferlito is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5031 or ferlito@franco.com.


Franco on the Town – January Edition


January was all steel, LEGOs and Red Wings Hockey for the Franco team.

Franco ladies Tina K., Tina S., Ann Marie, Erica, Lauren and Elizabeth working it at SMDI’s booth at The North American International Auto Show.

Franco Team at SMDI NAIAS Booth


Deanna Lorincz from SMDI, Tina S. and Tina K. before the NAIAS Charity Preview event.

Franco at NAIAS Charity Event


Sarah, Andrea and Pat celebrating a partnership between Arbor Hospice and Henry Ford Village.

Franco at Arbor Hospice and Henry Ford Event


Elizabeth, Alex, Sasha and Tina K. at the LEGOLAND Lego brick GMRENCEN reveal at NAIAS.

Franco at GMRENCEN LEGOLAND Reveal at COBO Center


Andrea and Mary with Motown recording artist, KEM at The Salvation Army water distribution event to assist those affected by the Flint water crisis.

Franco with KEM at Flint Water Distribution Event


Dan H., Lori, Tina K. and Sarah cheered on Joe as he and the rest of the Stahls’ team took on the Detroit Red Wing Alumni team.

Red Wings Alumni vs. Detroit Red Wings Alumni



Coming in February: Opening of Granite City Detroit, Bed & Bread Radiothon, Automation Alley at the DIA, Chicago Auto Show