This past Saturday (and in a few cases, Thursday, Friday and Monday), millions of college-football fans were able to, after months of conjecture and debate about their favorite school’s predicted performance for the 2015 season, dust off the school colors and enjoy watching their team in action.
It’s fair to say that the past several seasons have been a struggle for Eastern Michigan Univ.’s (EMU) Eagles football team. From 2009-2014, the squad amassed a 14-58 record. However, that hasn’t prevented school administrators from attempting to create a fierce home-field advantage for Rynearson Stadium, its home turf.
School officials enlisted CGS Imaging (Maumee, OH) to create approximately 55,000 sq. ft. of graphics to decorate the stadium’s upper deck with the school’s signature green color and piercing Eagle stare – and the slogan “The Factory”, the stadium’s nickname.
“The nickname stands for toughness, pride and resilience, which befits the work ethic of Southeastern Michigan residents,” Chuck Stranc, CGS Imaging’s president, said.
He said school officials invited him to propose a solution for the stadium’s graphic enhancement. After a review of vendor proposals, Stranc said EMU selected CGS Imaging based on its overall concept and industry experience. Paul Juhasz, CGS Imaging’s account executive for the projects, partnered with EMU officials to shepherd the job through to completion.
Using a tight-weave, mesh fabric, the shop produced the graphics on its 5m-wide EFI-VUTEk GS5500LXr LED-curing, roll-to-roll printer with GSLXr 3M™ SuperFlex UV Ink, . He said the ink’s flexibility provided resistance to chipping and cracking that non-LED, UV inks couldn’t provide for flexible substrates. CGS Imaging installed nearly 10,000 linear ft. of steel cables, which were secured into concrete with anchors, to secure the 30, individual graphic panels.
“The ‘Wow’ factor for anyone seeing the graphics for the first time is the most gratifying aspect of the job,” he said. “During the week-long installation, it was apparent that progress became a constant photo-op and center of attention.”
Stranc noted that graphics will be rolled up at the end of the season and stored away for reuse next year. Although the EMU Eagles dropped their first game of the year, a 38-34 decision to Old Dominion Univ., CGS Imaging’s work will undoubtedly generate school pride and team spirit for Rynearson Stadium’s visitors.
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