Are Sports Fan Cutouts The Future?
You must be thinking to yourself, what are sports fan cutouts? Exactly what they sound like. You send a photo of yourself in your favorite team’s garb to a company that prints your photo into a lifesize cardboard cutout. They then install your cutout on a stadium seat overlooking the field. We are not making this up, we swear!
Sports fan cutouts are an example of creative large format printing in the time of COVID-19.
Many sports events have been canceled or postponed. The National Football League (NFL) held its draft virtually this year and canceled all of its preseason games. Major League Baseball (MLB) typically starts in the spring and runs until early fall, but this year, the games were postponed until July 23, 2020.
The professional sports leagues have been trying to find safe ways for sports fans to show their support as well as makeup revenue. The solution? Sports fan cutouts. Dedicated sports fans from around the country are paying for their lifesize cutouts to be printed and installed so they can support their favorite team and also feel like they are there.
Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants were the first teams to adopt this idea. Rather than having the printing vendor, AAA Flag & Banner, install the cutouts, the Giants are working with a nonprofit to employ people that are homeless to install the cutouts. What a great initiative to help those who are struggling the most right now!
Craig Furst, CEO of AAA Flag & Banner, saw lifesize cutouts being used in Europe and decided to pitch it to his sports contacts in the United States. More and more MLB sports teams are adopting this idea, but offering different types of things...these are constantly evolving.
- If the cutout is still in good shape, they may ship it back to their fan as a keepsake
- Seasonal ticket holders may get their cutout for free
- The cutout may be be purchased for a specific seat
- The cutouts are being sold to fans but they don’t have the ability to pick their seats
How have they been printing these cardboard cutouts?
Using EFI presses, including the hybrid LED Vutek. The shop also uses several Zünd cutters, along with a labeling and tracking system to ensure all jobs get to the appropriate places.
There have been thousands of orders already and Furst believes he will see another round. The NHL, NBA and NFL are also looking into this as well as collegiate sports teams.
So long story short, sports fan cutouts are probably here to stay until there is a vaccine.