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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo-based companies are playing major roles in the Major League Baseball’s championship.
Both New Era and Delaware North are providing major services to the teams, players and fans during the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.
Both the Cubs and Indians have had lengthy pennant droughts. The last time the Indians captured the World Series – 1948; and the Cubs, 1908. It’s generating a lot of energy and sales for several Buffalo-area companies.
Delaware North is the food and beverage provider at Progressive Field, the Indians’ ballpark. They’ve been partnered with the organization since 1994.
“We’re big Indians fans,” says Jerry Jacobs Jr., the co-CEO at Delaware North. “You just can’t describe the energy and excitement.”
Jacobs Jr. says they put a lot of effort into making each fan feel like family and feels, by doing that, they’re bringing Buffalo’s morals to every city they’re operating in.
“We like to say Buffalo isn’t so much where we are but who we are,” said Jacobs Jr. “We’re humble, hard working, put our heads down and we get things done and that’s symbolic of Buffalo and the history of Buffalo. I think other communities like that and they’re attracted to that approach.”
Many fans are attracted to World Series game gear- specifically the hats- coming out of Buffalo.
“There is pent up demand beyond what we’ve seen before,” said Tony Desimone, the New Era MLB category director.
He says their sales are through the roof right now.
“These caps that these players are wearing in the World Series are made right here in Western New York,” said Desimone.
New Era has been affiliated with MLB since 1934 — their first team signing on, the Cleveland Indians. New Era became the official hat designer and producer for MLB in 1993. The company says they’ve seen a growing interest in hats since then – peaking right now, during the 2016 World Series.
“We can’t keep [hats] in stock right now.”
Both the Cubs and Indians have had lengthy pennant droughts. The last time the Indians captured the World Series – 1948; and the Cubs, 1908.
Desimone says the company does extensive research each year to try to figure out what sort of demand they’ll be facing. They look at young, successful organizations and produce hats based on projected post-season runs and fan bases. Following the 2015 Cubs deep run into the post season, they anticipated a greater demand for gear this season. And they’ve been right.
“We realized last year, wow we might not be ready to meet the demand for they have so many passionate fans with pent up demand,” said Desimone. “If the Cubs do win this year, we know there will be in a different stratosphere than anyone else would have been and we’re ready to go.”
Based on research, New Era is projecting, if the Cubs win, post-season sales will be four-times greater than ever before.
While it’s only game two, already, tens of thousands of fans are sporting World Series stamped hats made right here in Buffalo.
“Either way it goes, we are going to have our best post-season in the history of New Era,” said Desimone.
And tens of thousands of fans are experiencing a bit of Buffalo each game.