By designing and printing a commemorative T-shirt for a welcome home parade honoring Wichita boxer Nico Hernandez, Marion businesses Western Associates and Western Graphics will be forever tied to the 2016 Olympics.
Scoring a 295 T-shirt order to celebrate an Olympic light flyweight boxer’s bronze finish was no small achievement, and it may likely have been good as gold.
“It’s good for publicity,” Western Associates CEO Dave Crofoot said. “We definitely made sure to have it done on time.”
They took the order Friday and it was finished by Tuesday to ship out for the Saturday parade in Wichita.
Western Associates graphic artist Jason Funk made the design; it incorporates the boxer’s name, a pair of American flag boxing gloves, Power 93.5’s name, and a slogan, which Funk said, was originally “Way to go Nico” but was changed to “Wichita Proud.”
“It was a cool concept,” Funk said. “I wanted to make it look really good for the customer.”
Donna Hajek, graphics manager at Western Graphics, watched Hernandez’s bronze medal bout on television.
“The fight was exciting to watch,” Hajek said. “It’s neat to be able to print the shirts here in Marion, and it’s great that our salesmen have those connections.”
She said the businesses also printed shirts for the Miss American pageant years ago.
Churning out 295 shirts paled in comparison to a 20,000 order Crofoot said his business handled for Spirit Aerosystems of Wichita.