If the Utah Jazz beat the Chicago Bulls to win their first NBA title, Shaun McCardell will celebrate by going to work.
McCardell's company, Design Ink in Salt Lake City, has a contract with sports apparel manufacturer Starter to produce 50,000 Jazz championship T-shirts in 48 hours if the team wins.For obvious reasons, it isn't the kind of job he could do in advance.
"It will be a challenge," he said. "We'll run round-the-clock, non-stop."
His only comparable job came when Salt Lake City won the right to host the Olympic Games in 2002. Then Design Ink produced about 72,000 shirts in just under four days, he said.
"It will get down to that game where the Jazz possibly could win," he said. "The Starter people will all be here in our facility, and at that time, they'll make the decision (when to start printing). We don't know what they'll do. We've never had that happen before.
"It's very taxing. You're all geared up and ready to go, and if they don't win, you tear everything down."
If Utah does come out on top, local stores will need all the shirts they can get, said Scott Shuler, vice president/general manager for the Jazz retail division.
"We would expect everybody in the state to buy a T-shirt," Shuler said. "Our biggest demand ever on Jazz products was (after) the Western Conference finals last year. We're expecting probably four times that, which was far above phenomenal. It was just off the charts."
Several local silk screeners have agreements with national apparel-makers to print shirts. The national companies control the shirts' design and printing under licenses they hold from the NBA.
Jimmy Brown, president of Graphic Traffic Inc. in Salt Lake City, has a contract to help produce championship shirts for Starter. But his plant will commit only two or three machines, 10 hours a day, to the job so it can continue handling its other business.
"If the Jazz win this NBA title, the market and the marketing may go on right through the summer," Brown said. "It won't be as emphatic as the first week or so. But I know they've written up over 100,000 shirt orders right now, just for contemplated winning."
And happy fans may buy more than just T-shirts.
Steve Young, co-owner of Banner Mania in Midvale, said his company has produced about 100 banners with Jazz-related messages for individuals and companies this year. They range in size from 2-by-6 feet to 4-by-20 feet.
"It's way up from last year," Young said. "We've had some big fans, and they spend several hundred dollars on the big ones."
If the Jazz win, he said, he expects to sell some congratulatory banners, but he is not gearing up for a big rush.
At Creative Color in Salt Lake City, employees already have finished what will probably be their biggest Jazz job of the year.
Wendy Ripley, the company's marketing director, said it made the enormous murals that adorn the front of the Delta Center.
The banners feature photos of John Stockton and Karl Malone that are 18 times life-size, she said. The murals are made up of 478 individual panels, and their combined size would cover more than three basketball courts.
"You can see them from blocks around," Ripley said. "We're five or six blocks from the Delta Center, and you can see them from my window here. So I get to see them every day, and that's kind of exciting."
And the excitement of a Jazz win may even stretch to an Illinois company.
Michelle Schifo, customer service representative for Enviromint in Elk Grove Village, Ill., said the company produced gold and silver Jazz coins to commemorate the team's Western Conference championships in both 1997 and 1998.
If it looks like the Jazz are going to take the title, she said, the company will get its dies cut and ready so it can start minting championship coins as soon as the last game is over.
Of course, it also will mint Bulls coins if Chicago wins the title.
But McCardell said he thinks this will be the year the Jazz prevail - and provide him with the busiest two days of his life.
"We were ready to do the Finals last year for Starter, and it never panned out, so this is great," he said. "The Utah fans really want to see the Jazz win the whole thing. It will be crazy."