After an enjoyable lunch on the Fox River in downtown Oshkosh at the Fox River Brewing Company, the Packers Tailgate Tour made a surprise stop at a Berlin, Wis., manufacturing company with ties to the Packers: Ripon Athletic.
It won’t be too long before the staff at uniform manufacturer can see the fruits of their labor in action at Lambeau Field for the 2016 season, but the Ripon team got a sneak peek at their models when the tour paid them a visit during the workday. The visit offered the players and alumni an interesting opportunity to see how their uniforms are made.
After a walk through the offices, the group sat in a conference room adorned with a variety of Packers uniforms. Hank Derleth, the company’s chairman of the board, described a bit of the company’s scope, which includes manufacturing jerseys for high school, college and pro teams, across many sports, around the country. They also contract manufacture for apparel companies, including Nike and 23 of its NFL teams such as the Packers.
A trip to the manufacturing floor was next and the tour members enjoyed seeing each step of the process that creates their jerseys, from cutting the materials to stitching on the numbers and names.
Photos: Packers see where their jerseys are made
Surprised workers approached the players for pictures and conversation, and proudly invited the players over to their stations to observe their skills.
“It was pretty sweet,” said Jayrone Elliott. “I never really thought about how they were made all these years. Seeing the ladies and the hard work they put into them was really intriguing. I told them we really appreciate their work as athletes.”
After some downtime in the afternoon, the players will be set for the evening’s tailgate party that will benefit the Ripon Community Thrift Store and Food Pantry.