TAMPA, Fla. — Derek Miller and his staff at Smack Apparel have been working overtime since the Tampa Bay Lightning raised a second straight Stanley Cup during their boat parade last Monday.
“It was a crazy five hours and since then it’s been insane,” Miller said.
Miller is still in shock from seeing almost every Lightning player wearing one of their shirts at the championship boat parade.
“When (Steven) Stamkos is riding by wearing the ‘Back to Boat’ shirt, lifting the Cup, it’s just an exciting feeling because of all the work that’s been put into it. When the captain is wearing the shirt, it’s exciting to see,” Jeff Attinella of Smack Apparel said.
The best-selling shirt was taken from Bolts’ star forward Nitika Kucherov’s epic shirtless post-game news conference when he used the phrase, “Number One Bull****,” on several occasions.
“We were getting all these messages on social media, ‘This needs to be a t-shirt,” Miller said.
They sold 50 overnight with that number climbing. Then the unexpected happened. A representative for Kucherov’s agent called.
“He said, ‘Hey, Kucherov saw your shirts. He really likes it. He wants to order 100 of them,’” Miller said.
“(Kucherov) asked that we reach out and get the design going,” Dan Milstein, Kucherov’s agent told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “He had some ideas for the design. There should not be a hashtag (next to the number one), it should be the word ‘number.’”
Kucherov also wanted the shirt in white instead of blue.
“We had it censored,” Attinella said. “He was a fan of the uncensored, so we went with that as well.”
Kucherov requested one more shirt: “18M Over The Cap,” as a way of trolling other teams and their fans claiming the Lightning cheated by being over the salary cap. Instead, Kucherov proudly flaunts his team’s legal and smart roster maneuvers.
Those requests were called in last Friday and with a parade on Monday, it was time to get back to work.
“Very quickly, how do we get as many shirts as we can to print,” Attinella said. “We were talking about running around to different stores and buying every white t-shirt the stores have to offer.”
When the job was done, the Smack Apparel crew hand delivered the box of shirts.
“You can drop the rest off Sunday morning,” Miller remembers Mistein telling him.”We are going to be on our yacht and we’ll have the Stanley Cup, if that’s something you want to do. Yes, that’s what we want to do.”
Just this week, Smack Apparel has seen a 2,000% increase in sales.