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Volume 22 No. 6
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Gold rush of playoff teams sends Penguins scrambling for T-shirts

For this year’s Stanley Cup playoff run, the Pittsburgh Penguins turned to the city’s famous gold color (think the Steelers’ Terrible Towels) for T-shirts handed out at the gates of Consol Energy Center. To create the ultimate effect, the team made a request to the NHL to be able to wear its designated third jersey, which is black with gold accents, for its playoff home games.

Gold T-shirts have been a hot giveaway in Pittsburgh.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Not surprisingly, the giveaways have become hot commodities in the city this spring.

Terry Kalna, the team’s senior vice president of sales and broadcasting, said the Penguins have been able to produce each night’s 19,000 shirts and complimentary gold towels for free thanks to corporate sponsors for each giveaway. But the effort hasn’t been without a challenge in production.

With the St. Louis Blues making it to the Western Conference Final this year, and the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers advancing to the NBA Finals — and all of those teams giving away gold shirts at some point during their playoff runs — sourcing enough gold shirts to hand out in Pittsburgh hasn’t been a snap. Kalna said in particular there were some anxious moments in the quick, three-day turnaround between hosting Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, which also happened to fall during Memorial Day weekend.

The team got its order completed, but Kalna said if you were to compare some of the earlier Penguins playoff shirts to those given out more recently, you might be able to notice slight differences in color.

— Ian Thomas