Break the Ice
ER2 Image keeps the Chicago Wolves' ice resurfacers looking fresh.
Fans of professional sports teams know that any blank canvas would look better emblazoned with a team logo or mascot. From adult onesies, cornhole boards, underwear, and bedspreads to the sides of buildings and arena interiors, team spirit knows no bounds. Rather than have fans watch a boring, standard ice resurfacer clear the rink of Allstate Arena, the Chicago Wolves American Hockey League team opts to wrap their machines with something a little more interesting.
The team first turned to ER2 Image to wrap an ice resurfacer in 2003; the Chicago-based PSP has been wrapping new equipment and existing machines with updated brand messaging ever since. Designs have ranged from Chicago Wolves artwork to advertisements from supporters. When the Wolves acquired a new ice resurfacer last November, the team called upon ER2 once again to match the new machine’s branding – featuring a coyote for coyote.com, a team sponsor – with the existing ice resurfacer in time for the next home game. “The puck drop stops for no one, so time was of the essence,” says Laura Petersen, ER2 Image account executive.
The shop produced the 310-square-foot wrap on an HP Scitex LX850, printing onto 3M Controltac Graphic Film 180-10 and finishing with Scotchcal Gloss Overlaminate 8518. As with many wrap installations, the challenge was to “take a two-dimensional concept and turn it into a three-dimensional reality,” says Pete Bussert, ER2 installer. The contoured shape of the ice resurfacer required extra time to guide the straight cuts of vinyl into their curved positions while simultaneously aligning the graphic elements, adds Petersen. The machine’s vents, spines, and control panel posed an additional wrapping challenge. All told, a team of three installed the full wrap on location at Allstate Arena in six hours.