Toronto Raptors’ mania is having a huge ripple effect for one West Island company. At Mint Green Group in Pointe-Claire, the T-shirt presses have been working constantly.
The company right across from Fairview Pointe-Claire produces Toronto Raptors apparel. Employees are working overtime to keep up with surging demand.
“It’s been non-stop hours, non-stop printing,” explained Mint Green president Bob Côté.
Mint Green is the exclusive Canadian distributor for 47 Brand, an American company that makes all sorts of sports merchandise. Mint Green imports blank hats and shirts to their Pointe-Claire facility, and print logos and slogans on them representing teams for every major sport.
Only one team is important these days.
“Right now, the NBA with the Raptors is killing it,” said Côté.
READ MORE: Are Montrealers on the Raptors’ bandwagon?
Shirts with the popular Raptors rally cry “We the north” were rolling off a conveyor belt by the hundreds on Wednesday afternoon. Machines were kicking out mountains of shirts.
The clothes get labelled, packaged and shipped to stores across the country.
“We’re double our sales this year,” said Côté. “What we did all of last year, we’re double that number.”
When Côté watches the Raptors games on TV and and sees pictures of thousands of fans decked out in gear, he sees the fruits of his company’s labour.
“I recognize our t-shirts from a distance on TV, so it makes me feel very proud,” he said.
Even though he’s grateful for the boost the Raptors have given his company, he wishes another Canadian team was creating all the hype.
“This is the hat I’d love to be selling personally,” he said through a smile, after pulling a Montreal Canadiens cap from a warehouse shelf. “But not until next year.”
Though most of the demand is still coming from Toronto, he says Montreal seems to be gradually getting on the Raptor bandwagon.
“We can see there’s more and more demand in Montreal for this product,” Côté said.
The company actually has “Toronto Raptors NBA Champions” designs at the ready in case the team does win it all. They refused to show them to Global News, saying they didn’t want to jinx the Raptors.