By Melissa Donovan
Consumers are passionate about their favorite sports teams, musicians, characters, brands—the list goes on. With the advent of digital printing and the subsequent advancements to the technology, wide format printers are both cost effective as well as user friendly, enabling anyone to print to anything.
Combined with the power of social media, smaller businesses with niche ideas effectively communicate personalized product to the masses. My Custom Sports Chair of Stoney Creek, ON, Canada is one of those companies.
Above: My Custom Sports Chair’s officially licensed NHL Toronto Maple Leafs resin adult folding chair. Graphics printed using an HP Latex 570 on 3M Scotchcal Graphic Film 3690LF.
Building a Business
Launched in 2015 out of president/founder, Ricky Walton’s garage, My Custom Sports Chair builds folding adirondack chairs that are customizable with something as simple as a name and number to a completely unique design. Back in 2015, Walton landed a licensing deal with the NHL and the rest is history. It was operating out of a 7,800 square foot facility, however, as of press time it was in the middle of building a new 12,300 square foot facility with a planned completion date of July 2022. 34 active employees are part of the company including Walton and his two business partners, twin brothers Matt Ruberto, VP marketing and Mike Ruberto, VP sales.
In addition to the NHL, My Custom Sports Chair currently holds licenses with the NFL, MLB, NCAA, CFL, NASCAR, WWE, Molson Coors, and multiple bands and entertainment assets. It offers a variety of country flag chairs and lifestyle patterns/designs. Product is sold and shipped to customers in Canada, Finland, Germany, and the U.S.
90 percent of the designs found on the adirondack chairs are digitally printed. “Digital printing is the main driver to provide value add to all of our customers. It gives us the flexibility to personalize all orders from our direct-to-consumer customers to our retailers to our variety of corporate customers,” explains Walton.
To achieve this, My Custom Sports Chair works with an HP Latex 570 printer, printing onto 3M Commercial Solutions vinyl. “This specific printer is known for producing vibrant, targeted colors. We also have a GMG membership for PrintFactory to ensure targeted colors for digital printing,” adds Walton.
My Custom Sports Chair works closely with 3M. The partnership between the two companies led to developing the correct substrate that will withstand long-term outdoor use. In particular, 3M Scotchcal Graphic Film 3690LF and 3M Scotchcal Matte Overlaminate 8520 are preferred.
Also in house, two Graphtec America, Inc. cutters and a Kala laminator. Three MultiCam, a Kongsberg PCS Company CNC machines cut all of the material that is used to make the chairs, which is resin. After graphics undergo printing, cutting, and lamination, they are heat sealed to the resin furniture.
Success with Digital
My Custom Sports Chair’s success is intricately linked to advancements in digital print and it’s certainly following the same upward trajectory.
Sep2022, DPS Magazine