MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - When the final second ticks off the clock in this year’s Iron Bowl half the state will celebrate, and the other half will start thinking about next year. But for one Montgomery business, when the game ends, its work begins.
“We actually started something several years ago where we have a TV set up, they come in at halftime, and clock in so they get paid to watch the second half and then be ready to print," said Greg Shafer owner of AKD.
AKD has been in business for 32 years. The screen printing company works with schools and churches making custom shirts and all kinds of other items. About 25 years ago it got into collegiate apparel. Now when the game is over, Alabama and Auburn fans can’t wait to get their hands on an Iron Bowl score shirt. The designs are approved months before the big game.
“We are required to have the designs licensed and approved by both universities and CLC which is a licensing agency,” Shafer said.
So when the game is over, the machines are cranked up and will print shirts well into early Sunday morning. They have two designs for each team and usually crank out more than 4,000 Iron Bowl collectors items.
“Two of our longtime printers, one is an Auburn fan and one is an Alabama fan,” said Shafer. "The printer of the losing team has to wear the other teams shirt as the print all night long.”
Well, at least one of those workers will be smiling all night long making those shirts. For the other fan, it’ll be a 364 day wait for redemption.
“The shirt for us is like the fan’s trophy," Shafer said. "It’s their opportunity to brag to their neighbors who are the opposing fan.”
AKD’s shirts will be boxed up and sent to Bama Fever Tiger Pride stores all over the state. The store in the Eastchase area will open up at 6 a.m. Sunday for all those fans eager to get a new Iron Bowl score shirt.