Footy print stays with current printers

Printers have kept their football contracts for the 2015 season, but the National Rugby League will no longer publish its media guide in print, switching to an e-version.

The league says the guide will be distributed in digital format from now on to save money and because ‘everything is going digital these days’.

The about 300-page book contains background information on the season along with player and team stats and other useful data. It is given to accredited sports journalists at the start of every season.

It was previously printed by Offset Alpine, which handles the NRL’s commercial printing needs including the Big League magazine.

Sydney wide format printer Best Signs will again produce the ground level perimeter signage for six NRL grounds on its Oce Arizona flatbed printer, for its fifth year.

[Related: More print contracts handed out]

Blue Star and Condor Group maintain the lucrative AFL printing contracts they won last year when the league cut its printers from five to two in a bid to improve quality by having closer relationships with its suppliers.

AFL spokesman Troy Davis says the strategy is paying off with Condor winning two medals at the recent Pixi Awards for AFL jobs.

“The whole idea was to work with only two companies to streamline the process and understand each other better, and it is working just as intended,” he says.

Davis says the contract is reviewed every year but will not be put up for tender again unless the league decides it wants to change printers. “We are very happy with both firms so far,” he says.

PMP will continue its more than 45 year association with the footy code in printing the weekly AFL Record magazine using its manroland Lithoman 48-page and Rotoman 8 32-page web presses.

It is regularly produced on a less than 12 hour turnaround and has recently included innovations like foil and other fancy covers, and inline chip-ons. PMP has printed the Record since its first issue.

Stadium Signs is in its 27th AFL season, working directly for the MCG and providing 90 per cent of its signage, which makes up 15-20 per cent of its business.

Director Pamela Hammond says the company does all balcony and corporate suite signage along with 41 TripleM and eight Bank of Melbourne banners in the fan gallery, flags, entrance banners, playground signage; and seat covers, wall and gate signage for a stadium bay sponsored by iiNet.

Stadium Signs will this year also rebrand the AFL Fan Zone Playground outside the MCG and other major grounds for sponsor Woolworths.

“It gets bigger and bigger every year and there is lots of new branding from sponsors this year so plenty of work,” Hammond says.

“You have to jump when they say to jump, it’s a seven-days-a-week job working right up until match time. The creative is often delivered quite late because they are still selling ads through the season, so early in the season and during finals we’re running 24/7.”

Stadium Signs also prints for the Cricket World Cup and will have less than three days after the final to switch the signage to AFL before the 2015 season begins.

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