Posted at: 01/30/2013 3:11 PM
By: Steffani Nolte, WXOW-TV
When the Super Bowl ends Sunday night, memorabilia from a southeastern Minnesota company will hit the shelves.
WinCraft is one of the NFL's oldest licensees. They began almost 50-years ago as a four person company serving high schools. Now, they've grown to ten different locations around the country, with six of them in Winona; now serving colleges and professional sports like the Super Bowl.
Even though the Vikings haven't made it to the Super Bowl in a while, Minnesota has been represented every year.
"Oh yes, that's true," Dick Pope, CEO, WinCraft said. "That's the neat part."
Everything from fans waving their favorite team's pennants, to the lanyards that hold everyone's credentials for the big game; a little piece of Minnesota in just about everyone's hands.
"Waste baskets, puzzles, buttons, jewelry-a wide range of products," Pope said.
They have all the designs ready, waiting to be printed as soon as the Conference Championship games are over.
"Retailers want everything in stores on Thursday to prepare for the following weekend," Pope said. "For the winning market they'll want things in earlier than that for the parade."
Some retailers want to have Super Bowl Championship memorabilia right away so WinCraft makes it for both teams, ships the winner and destroys the loser.
Pope said they're ability to ship quickly is what sets them apart.
"Our business model is 'made in USA' so that's very helpful to us in the quick terms with what we can do as opposed to the importers who have to bring things in," Pope said.
They're ready; a team will be in on Sunday, after the game, to begin the process immediately.
But Pope wouldn't give up who he's rooting for.
"We sell winners, simply stated," he said. "So it's a business and you go where the winners are. Winners sell and losers don't."
When the all the Super Bowl merchandise is sold out, their work isn't over because spring training starts in February.