Millions of dollars on the line for local businesses as Seahawks proceed through playoffs

A Northwest Embroidery production crew will stand ready, on call, when the National Football Conference Championship Game kicks off on Sunday at 12:05 p.m.

If the Seahawks win a little more than three hours later, the crew will meet at company headquarters near Fife and begin a run of T-shirts announcing the victory.

Not far away, the owner of Tacoma’s Party World, Carole Rockne, will make a call to a supplier concerning an order of souvenirs and partyware.

“All I have to do is say, ‘Go!’ ” Rockne said earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Stacy Kahler of Puyallup will be sewing little pompoms onto her own line of “spirit gloves,” and Mark Hagen of Parkland will be thinking of his late Labrador retriever, Gusto, who has been the inspiration for a line of Seahawks dog bowls.

Let Paul Allen make the big money with TV rights, and let the National Football League profit from licensing team-themed products.

With the home team headed for a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl, there’s still room for the little guy.


You can see the effect in most every office (just count the blue-and-green T-shirts) and on most every roadway from Sequim to Walla Walla (just count the 12th Man flags).

Add the party goods that hosts and hostesses will be buying this weekend and next, plus the cost of chips, dips, Skittles and other tailgate essentials.

Jaime Rossman, senior economic analyst for the Washington Department of Commerce, offers some numbers.

“Two economic papers have modeled the effect of a Super Bowl victory on per-capital income in the winning team’s home city,” he said Wednesday. “Adjusted to 2014 dollars, the effect size ranges from $72 to $184 per person.”

“For Seattle, with a population of about 650,000, a Super Bowl victory would result in up to $120 million of increased personal income for Seattleites.”

That’s just Seattle.

“The estimate may well be low given the unique 12th Man spirit,” Rossman said. Also, the estimate “doesn’t take into account the larger, indirect economic benefits that Washington as a whole would experience, in terms of increased name recognition, which boosts our global competitiveness, positive perception, etc. And there may be additional effects for an unprecedented back-to-back victory.”

Part of those additional effects might also include the efforts of cottage-industry entrepreneurs.

Just count all the dog bowls and pompom gloves.


“My dog died two-and-a-half years ago in Pennsylvania. Cancer,” said Fircrest native Mark Hagen.

“I love dogs and I love wood,” he said.

And so he made the first “Doggie Dinette,” a cedar platform that contains a pair of bowls, and the platform is painted with team colors and a logo.

Those colors range from blue and green to a dreaded green and yellow, the colors held by Sunday’s Wisconsin-based opponent.

However, said Hagen, “I’m so tired about hearing about the Green Bay Packers. I had to because of my wife. She was from Appleton, Wisconsin.

“This is my passion,” he said. “It’s like I have a team of angels helping me.”

His bowls range in height from Chihuahua to Great Dane, and in price from $15 on up. If interested, dog-loving fans can contact Hagen (717) 682-1004.

And if you want some gloves with blue and green yarn pompoms, it’s Stacy Kahler of Puyallup you’ll be needing to find.

A crafter for some 40 years, Kahler also produces banners and pennants that she sells at local craft shows.

When she started this year, she said, “I found out it was hard to find Seahawks supplies.”

She visited seven fabric and craft stores between Southcenter and Tacoma before finding a skein of lime-green yarn.

She got the idea for her “spirit gloves” while making Christmas pompoms and after she saw a bin of gloves priced at 50 cents per pair. She has so far sold 10 pairs at $10 each.

“I’m not really trying to make a living,” she said. “This is my hobby.”

She advertises her gloves online and sells them at craft shows. She said, “This is my first foray into sports. My strategy is to make things I like.”

Her stepdaughter, Marcie, works at a Puyallup frozen yogurt outlet — where she sells a special flavor called “Beast Mode,” which contains liquefied Skittles.

And for fans not headed to the game on Sunday, look for specials on drinks and food at places including Pints and Quarts Pub and Frankie’s Sports Bar & Grill, both in Olympia.

Check your local bar, grill, tavern or restaurant readerboard for more information.


April Balsley of Northwest Embroidery said that although her firm typically produces branded products for corporate clients — caps, T-shirts, sweatshirts and such — it also can respond to community events, such as having the best football team on the planet.

Northwest Embroidery’s first Seahawks shirt this season proclaimed: “The Road to the Championship Goes through Seattle.”

That edition has sold out.

The next shirt has been designed and will be ready for production when the final whistle blows on Sunday afternoon, and it states that the Seahawks have won the conference championship.

There also are plans for another shirt to be printed late on the day, Feb. 1.

The company, at 2025 Freeman Road between Fife and Milton, also sells a simple embroidered patch featuring the number “12” for those fans who want to show their subtle, but no less substantial enthusiasm at the office.

For those fans for whom subtlety is a foreign concept, there’s always blue-and-green false eyelashes, or a Mohawk-ish blue wig, or perhaps a green tutu.

All were recently available at Party World at 1565 Center St. in Tacoma. Also on the shelves were items including balloons, pennants, confetti, blue-and-green napkins and plates, cups, leis, feather boas, body paint, beads … and more.

“This year I definitely decided to have faith,” said owner Carole Rockne.

Faith, just like her customers.

“Last year, before each game, it was, ‘Can you believe it?’ ” she said. “This year, it’s, ‘Of course they’re going.’ ”

Last year, she said, “I could have sold one-third more of several items.”

This year, she said, sales so far have topped 2014 by 10 percent.

This year, she said, “I really went for it. I quadrupled my sports (merchandise).”

Last year, she said, “I didn’t get it. What this can do for a small business is unbelievable.”

This year, she said, she gets it.