company to a T
The T-shirt-maker would haveBy Treena Shapiro
had a pile of rags if UH lost
For one local company, the University of Hawaii football team's victory over Fresno State made the difference between rags and riches.
Surfvivor, a collegiate merchandise supplier in Waipahu, began printing Western Athletic Conference championship shirts even before the kickoff Saturday.
If the Rainbows had lost, the company would have been out some $2,000 and the 1,350 T-shirts would have become rags, said Peter Deptula, Surfvivor's founder.
"We just roll the dice and we have to take a gamble. We have to get it out there," he explained. The company has also printed volleyball and basketball championship shirts in the past, as well as shirts for the Rainbows last conference title in 1992.
With the Rainbows game-winning touchdown in the second overtime, Surfvivor's risk paid off.
Licensed WAC championship T-shirts were distributed to the players and coaches before they left the stadium.
"We're hoping to sell 10,000 on up. With Christmas, it's probably going to be more than that," Deptula said.
"People are kind of hungry with the winning team, so they're kind of excited," said Didot Soewondopranoto, manager for the Rainbowtique stores at Ward Centre and the Stan Sheriff Center.
Soewondopranoto said that he received several phone calls from people looking for WAC merchandise. But he won't get the shirts in the store until later this week.
The shirts are available however, at Novel-T World at the Ward Warehouse and on the internet at Surfvivor.com.
Darrell Ching, owner of Novel-T World, drove out to Waipahu yesterday morning to pick up his initial order of four dozen shirts so he could get them in his store the day after the game. He said sales were good.
At the Ward Centre, customer Glenn Fujita plans to buy a WAC championship shirt so he can remember and cherish the victory Saturday.
Fujita described following UH football in terms of waiting. The Fresno State game was "a nail-biter" with two overtimes, he said. "It really reflected the struggle the university has gone through the past four years."