Killer app: Signs ‘R’ Us knocks out punchy graphics for big fights

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, March 1, 2021

One of the countless challenges that sporting events organisers have faced since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic is how to make huge venues usually packed with tens of thousands of fans look good when no or very few spectators are allowed in to watch the events in person.

What was produced?

For a six-match boxing series organised by promoter Matchroom, which culminated in the December 2020 showdown between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev, just 1,000 people were granted access to Wembley Arena.

While long black drapes were installed to cover much of the auditorium, it was otherwise up to print to cover the massive space, and Matchroom turned to long-standing supplier Ringcraft for help.

The Evesham, Worcestershire-based boxing ring manufacturer and its sister print business Signs ‘R’ Us, which distribute their work worldwide on behalf of Matchroom as well as numerous other promoters internationally, were on hand to supply a wide range of graphics and dressings for the event series.

What did the job entail?

Some of the graphics were designed by Matchroom with the remainder designed in-house by Signs ‘R’ Us. Proofing went through numerous stages, with the promoter, all sponsors and the broadcaster all required to sign everything off.

Signs ‘R’ Us used its new InkTec Jetrix LXiR320 wide-format printer to produce 12 6.5x2m banners for each of the first five matches and a further six for the final event. It also produced around 200 2x2.5m reusable barrier covers for the series that carried adverts for sponsors and the broadcaster.

The banners and barrier covers were all printed on various substrates from Papergraphics’ Expanse range of PVC materials

Other graphics produced included 16 7mx200mm rope covers for each match and a total of 24 1x7.5m skirts for the boxing ring, four for each event.

Finishing including hemming and eyeletting was all completed by hand at Signs ‘R’ Us and a team from the company also carried out the installation of the graphics at Wembley.

What challenges were overcome?

The biggest challenge with this type of work is the typically short lead times, according to Ringcraft and Signs ‘R’ Us managing director Mike Goodall. Work on producing the print for the Joshua vs Pulev fight, for example, started a week before the match, but turnarounds for similar events can often be as short as two days.

What was the feedback?

Matchroom continues to be pleased with the service and quality of print it has received from Goodall’s companies, remaining a loyal customer since 1988. Goodall quipped: “If you don’t do it right, you don’t keep doing the job!”

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