HOLYOKE, Mass (WGGB) — Holyoke is called the Paper City because for over a century the paper industry was the back-bone of the cities economy.
While most of the paper industry has gone by the wayside, Hazen Paper continues to flourish. And this week has a hand in one of the most famous publications in the world.
When the Patriots and Giants take the field for Super Bowl 46 Western Mass will have more than its fair share of rooting interests. Ron Brace, Victor Cruz, and James Ihedigbo will be the most visible faces. But when 60-thousand plus fans break out their collector edition Super Bowl program, Hazen Paper will become the real stars of the show.
The official Super Bowl program, and that shiny state of the art hologram that makes the program shine, was made right here in Holyoke.
Our holographic lab is unique in the world,” said John Hazen, president of Hazen Paper. “And for the things we’re doing it is the cutting edge lab in the world. If I could boil it down to the essence of what differentiates us, we’re big and we’re fast. Which means we can create a hologram that’s up to 60X60 inches. And we can do it in a matter of hours.”
For the last nine years Hazen Paper has produced the holographic image for the Super Bowl program.
The process begins when the NFL releases the cover design. Hazen then designs the hologram that brings the cover to life. Once the teams are determined, team logos are added. Hazen prints the base page, it’s shipped in a heated truck over-night to Minneapolis where the program goes through two more printing steps. The finished product, all shiny and new, is ready for the Super Bowl.
Add the hometown Patriots to the mix, and a great opportunity gets even bigger.
“That adds a tremendous amount of excitement,” said Bob Hazen, vice-president of sales and marketing. “Whether it’s our company high fiveing each other when we finally see the Patriots get their opportunity for sweet revenge. To the few Giants fans that are out there that are able to see their logo on the program. It adds a tremendous amount of excitement.”
Like the contracts the NFL has with its players, the Super Bowl contract is a year to year proposition. But every year the NFL keeps calling, and every year Hazen Paper saves its best performance for the biggest game of the year.
“Every year we try to offer not only fantastic service,” said John Hazen. “But we try to take the technology, the visual wow-factor has got to go to a somewhat higher level. And there is still a lot of dry powder in the tank. There is still some tricks up our selves that we haven’t even begun to show yet.”
“We have a very good, solid team,” said Bob Hazen. “Just like the Patriots and the Giants. More so the Patriots though I think. ”
The folks at Hazen Paper are very proud of what their family started. John and Bob Hazen are third generation in the printing business.
And in an interesting footnote, Patriots owner Robert Kraft made his money in the paper industry. Turning a family owned company into a major success, and then turning around and buying the Patriots.
And as we all know, the rest is history.