When national touring artists stop at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, they leave with a little reminder of our Minnesota Nice. This series examines the locally made treasures given to these celebrity visitors.
Last week during a visit from Mumford and Sons, the band commented on the fact that they never thought they’d play to a sold-out ice arena. For many musical acts in the same boat, the folks at Xcel Energy Center figured why not combine their two biggest assets — hockey and music — into a highly memorable gift.
Luckily, their friends at Spartan Promotional Group were happy to help.
The local business has been working with Xcel since the very beginning, said Murray Rudisill, of Spartan.
“I’ve been working with the Minnesota Wild since day one when they became a franchise again back in Minnesota in 2000,” he said.
Since then, he’s been asked to help create personalized tour logo hockey sticks for Coldplay and Brad Paisley, drumhead covers for Mumford and Sons and Imagine Dragons, street signage for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band and even a tour logo soccer ball for Roger Waters.
“(It was) an interesting new project, something I’ve never done before,” Rudisill said. “It was a unique request.”
When Michael Bublé comes to town on Wednesday, he’ll be greeted with a custom Bublé tour hockey stick, plus a little surprise.
Since he’s recently welcomed a new son, he’ll also get a miniature hockey stick and Minnesota Wild onesie for his new addition.
Rudisill said it took a bit of trial and error to figure out the best approach to wrap the hockey sticks.
“The hockey stick is probably the most detailed of anything,” he said. “Every hockey stick is a little bit different so you kind of have to scan the blades, measure the shafts exactly and hopefully it goes right the first time, which it usually doesn’t.”
And making the mini one certainly had it’s challenges.
“The mini was actually a little more difficult to make because it’s such a smaller stick,” he said. “It was a little more harder as far as the production part of it to do a graphic wrap on it, where the regular sized hockey stick has obviously a much bigger base.”
Each hockey stick takes about two hours or so to wrap, Rudisill said.
And the finished product has the hopes to be memorable, if not inspirational.
“Hopefully the newborn will find it very exciting, maybe for him to start a career in hockey or something,” Rudisill said.