A run on Cup gear

Bruins title wear tough to come by

Fans jammed Modell Sporting Goods in Medford just past midnight yesterday to buy Bruins gear. Fans jammed Modell Sporting Goods in Medford just past midnight yesterday to buy Bruins gear. (Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)
By Jenn Abelson and Kaivan Mangouri
Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent / June 17, 2011

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Sure, Bruins pride is everywhere. But what isn’t so easy to find? Stanley Cup T-shirts and hats.

The prized gear sold out in less than an hour after Reebok, the National Hockey League’s official outfitter, opened its store yesterday at Patriot Place in Foxborough.

By 1 p.m., hockey fans had cleared out the Sports Authority in Braintree. A line of 100 people snaked through Bob’s Stores in Randolph yesterday afternoon waiting for a shipment of Stanley Cup hats.

“I spent my entire day trying to track down hats for my father and grandfather,’’ said Matt Pare, of Scituate, who came up empty-handed after stops at Modell’s Sporting Goods and Dick’s Sporting Goods in Brockton. “It’s frustrating. But I’m on a mission to get those hats.’’

Despite a 14-hour manufacturing marathon that began at 11 p.m. Wednesday, local shops could not keep up with the feverish demand fresh off the Bruins’ victory against the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night. Reebok contracted with eight local businesses to produce the merchandise, including a hat-making facility in Mattapoisett and a shirt factory in Charlestown.

At RC Silkscreen in Charlestown, roughly 800 an hour shirts flew off the production line, with trucks leaving the site every 20 minutes.

But the merchandise still was not getting to the stores quickly enough for fans who had waited 39 years to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory.

“Boston is a huge [hockey fan] base, and they’ve been waiting such a long time, and there’s been such hype around it,’’ said Kristina Brandenburg, a product manager for Reebok, as she oversaw the manufacturing at the Charlestown factory. “The volume we’ve had for the Bruins is one-and-a-half half times where we were in the Pittsburgh market, and they also have an extremely large fan base.’’ (The Pittsburgh Penguins captured the Stanley Cup in 2009).

Brian Cornish was willing to spend $300 on Bruins apparel but could not find what he wanted.

The Abington resident called around yesterday morning and discovered that nearby Dick’s and Sports Authority stores had sold out of hats at 6 a.m. Bob’s Stores promised to have them in stock by 1 p.m., but when Cornish showed up in Randolph at 2 p.m., the hats had already vanished. Two hours later, Cornish and his friends were still in their car in the parking lot waiting for the next shipment to arrive.

“We got the Cup, now it’s the quest for the hats,’’ Cornish said.

Mahlon Williams, who runs Boston Sports Apparel Co., is trying to get some factory time to print his hockey shirts with graphic art.

All of the local facilities are tied up with Reebok-licensed goods. Williams managed to squeeze in 3,000 shirts yesterday and plans on getting another 10,000 made by tomorrow.

“I’ve been up since 5:45 a.m. trying to get stuff printed,’’ Williams said. “We are going to ship some today and the rest will go out Monday to keep it going. This is something that will carry me for years to come.’’

Marc Spinella, meanwhile, was just trying to get through yesterday. The Weymouth resident was up late on Wednesday celebrating the victory and checking out $27 Zephyr Stanley Cup Champions hats featured on the NHL’s online store.

A daylong hunt for the cap took him to Sports Authority, Lids, Champs, Foot Locker, and Olympia Sports. It was nowhere to be found. Then it disappeared from the website.

“I should’ve known to order it online last night,’’ Spinella said. “I’d pay $50 for that hat right now.’’

J enn Abelson can be reached at; Kaivan Mangouri at

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