BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Ahead of the St. Louis BattleHawks debut, Ryan Malaschak of Belleville Screen Printing Co. decided he wanted to create some BattleHawks-themed apparel. He initially just wanted something for himself to wear.
“I came up with two shirts and a hat idea that I really just wanted for me,” Malaschak said. “Anytime we do anything personally, we always put it out to see if it gains any interest and it kind of blew up.”
The Belleville shop says each of its XFL-themed shirts has had nearly 50 sales apiece in the past week and a half, with similar figures for its hats.
The rapid sales are yet another data point that highlights the local craze around the BattleHawks, who on Sunday played their first home game in front of a sellout crowd of around 29,000 inside The Dome at America's Center.
For Belleville Screen Printing, the sales are unexpected loot. The company earns most of its revenue through business-to-business custom apparel sales, with Malaschak noting the company’s retail arm accounts for about 8% to 10% of its income. The demand for the custom, unlicensed BattleHawks products couldn’t come at a better time.
“This is normally our down time of the year and so it’s nice to be able to keep employees busy with something during our slow season. It’s been awesome,” said Malaschak.
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