Hawking Hawks gear profitable day after Stanley Cup win
BY MEENAKSHI DALAL AND NAUSHEEN HUSAIN Staff Reporters June 25, 2013 12:54PM
Oliver Langrall sells Blackhawks merchandise for Clark Street Sports outside of Ogilvie Transportation Center Tuesday morning. | Nausheen Husain~Sun-Times
Updated: June 26, 2013 12:12AM
Around the same time Chicagoans made their way home from Blackhawks celebrations across the city, Jon Chandler and his fellow vendors started laying out freshly-printed “2013 Stanley Cup Champions” T-shirts in merchandise stands near Chicago’s train stations early Tuesday morning.
The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup Monday night for the second time in four seasons.
“We got the championship shirts at our stand at 6:45 (a.m.) and by 6:50 (a.m.) were out of all the larges,” said vendor Jon Chandler, at Union Station where passersby could hear “Chelsea Dagger,” the Blackhawks’ victory song, playing from a boat on the Chicago River. “We ran out of the rest at 7:30” in the morning.
There were two stands outside of both Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center owned by Clark Street Sports.
One man, already sporting his white “2013 Stanley Cup Champions” shirt pointed at the vendors and yelled, “Stanley Cup Champions, boys!” as he exited the station. Other fans who hadn’t yet bought their championship gear stopped by the stands full of Hawks’ merchandise.
Clark Street Sports ordered thousands of items — key chains, T-shirts, tank tops, jerseys, hats — ahead of time with fingers crossed that they would be able to sell them, said Sarah Yeazel, the social media director for the Chicago-based company.
The management flew to Boston early Tuesday morning to pick up the merchandise, and then back again to distribute it to Clark Street Sports locations in the city, Chicagoland suburbs and Indiana.
More than 30,000 championship shirts were pre-ordered, said assistant manager Flutra Gjota.
“They were running around like a chicken with its head cut off,” Yeazel said.
But all that rushing around may pay off: The store’s street locations were bustling Tuesday morning with Chicagoans eager to show off their Hawks gear.
The vendors, who have been selling the merchandise on Canal and Madison outside of Ogilvie Transportation Center for about two weeks, said they have seen several hundred customers daily for the past two weeks. Women’s tank tops and men’s jerseys have been especially popular, said Christian James, one of the vendors.
Karen Petrelli bought a $25 gray championship T-shirt for her brother Tuesday morning from a stand outside of Ogilvie.
“I would have liked to pay $20 for the shirt,” said Petrelli, 57, “but I guess it’s just part of the championship experience.”
Yeazel said she thinks the merchandise craze will last until Friday, and maybe a little later than that.
“The Hawks did well in 2010, but this year was a record-setting season,” she said. “There’s definitely more of an energy this year.”