A look inside Detroit-based Banner Sign Co as they make banners for NFL Draft

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 09:30:03-04

(WXYZ) — The NFL Draft is expected to bring in well over $100 million to the local Detroit area economy, and that’s not just direct spending from tourists. Besides restaurants and hotels, local small business owners are also scoring big contracts with the NFL and the City.

According to Visit Detroit, more than 60 local businesses have been contracted by the NFL, which is investing millions into the setting up and running the event. One of those companies is the Banner Sign Co. Just like the City it calls home, the 100 year old business is on the clock for the NFL Draft. They're still hard at work making all the NFL banners hanging from light poles around the downtown area.

VIDEO: Come along on a full tour of Banner Sign Co.

Walking tour of Detroit-based Banner Sign Co

“You know you drive by it in your car and you see a banner on a light pole and you don't really think about where it comes from," said Nicholas Piach, Co-Owner of the Banner Sign Co. "As you see here it takes robots to print it, humans and to cut it, humans to take it down and put it up.”

Piach has owned the company with his wife for 30 years. They print banners for the Red Wings, Tigers and Lions and more. However, not many contracts are as big as what they’re doing now.

In total, they're printing roughly 700 banners for the NFL Draft. From individual team names, sponsors and more, each one is printed in their Detroit shop. Work began in early March, and Piach says this work alone doubled their revenue last month.

"I think the whole city does good when the sports teams do good,” Piach said.

The work for this began weeks ago. Not only do Piach and his team print the signs, they are responsible for installing them too. Many of the signs are already up along Woodward.

"I think it’s gorgeous," said Rob Montroy of Lincoln Park as he was walking to the Tigers game. "I think it’s classy."

VIDEO: Watch part of the banner making process at Banner Sign Co

VIDEO: Watch part of the banner making process

The material of the signs has to be thick enough to weather any storm, the print is also UV and water resistant. The signs are much taller than they appear, taller than most people.

But that's not the only big NFL Draft project the Banner Sign Co was behind, they also put the Draft jersey on the Spirit of Detroit, as they have for many other sporting events.

"What does it mean to you personally when you look back and see all these big events that Detroit has hosted and know you played such an integral role in that," I asked Piach.

"That is very gratifying,” he responded.

So when it comes to sporting events and their impact on the local economy, it goes well beyond hospitality. It’s been a lot of work for Piach and his employees, but a project of this size with this much visibility is well worth it.

“We really love getting put to the test because a lot of times we look back in the rear-view mirror and we cannot believe we pulled something off," Piach said. "This is a good example of that.”