Winona business making thousands of products for Super Bowl XLVI - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Winona business making thousands of products for Super Bowl XLVIII


WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- There may be a divide among Seahawks and Broncos fans, but one Winona business isn't split when it comes to this Super Bowl match-up.

"These two weeks are wonderful if you're a manufacturer and you have the right two teams. And we have the right two teams," said Dave Schipper, vice president of product management at WinCraft in Winona.

Super fans are all this merchandise company needs, Schipper said.

"Oh my goodness, we'll be in the 300,000 to 400,000 units going out of this place," he added.

WinCraft is the oldest NFL licensee in the market, according to Schipper. About 80 to 90 percent of their product is made in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and right now business is in full-swing as they prepare for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Staff is working around the clock to make team products that include flags, magnets, snack helmets and decals.

That's what employee Karl Feltes is working on.

"This is our Super Bowl. We come in, sometimes start at 2:30 a.m. – 5:30 a.m., right after the games are done," Feltes said. "People come in right after the games to get our merchandise ready to go."

And to work at WinCraft, people need to be able to make any product at any minute, he added. "It's pretty much whatever the demand is, we have to do it right away."

There is a lot of prep work that goes into these products. Crews start planning the artwork and putting together materials as early as August, according Schipper said.

"Of course we always try to jinx somebody," he added. "This year we jinxed the 49ers. We did all of our designs as 'What would the 49ers look like if they won the Super Bowl?'"

But even after the big game, WinCraft needs to produce championship gear. The sales department is already calling customers asking for orders.

Schipper said the AFC/NFC line has about 20 products, but the champion line has about 40.

To WinCraft, that's a win for business.

The company is a big employer in Winona. Schipper said they hire about 500 people locally.

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