Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tie one on in style for next Jets game

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You can attract a lot of unwanted attention if you walk into an important board meeting downtown wearing a Jets jersey and face paint.

But for the many people who go directly from the office to their seats at the MTS Centre to take in an NHL game, their options to show support for their favourite team have been limited.

Until now.

EPH Apparel, a Winnipeg-based men's clothier, has signed a deal to supply Jets Gear stores with five different styles of ties, two sets of cuff links and a tie clip.

Andrew Parkes, a principal at EPH, said there wasn't much in the way of Jets-branded accessories for men, and those that were out there reminded him of stereotypical Father's Day gifts. You know, the kind that are still in the packaging.

"We wanted to design something that the average guy would like to wear and be proud to wear with their nice suit," he said.

"All of us (at EPH) are massive Jets fans and we thought it would be really cool if we could wear Jets stuff that could be built into your business wardrobe. Sometimes putting a jersey over your suit doesn't make sense."

The ties, which come in a variety of blues and blacks and feature a subtle Jets logo, sell for $49.99 while the cuff links and tie clip retail for $44.99 each.

Dan Suga, director of retail development for True North Sports & Entertainment and the Jets, said the team has fielded many requests for these kinds of products, and it liked what EPH brought to the table.

"It's something that's really underserved. We had one style of tie in two colours (previously). It was nice but we were looking for something a little more fashionable," he said.

The ties, cuff links and tie clip arrived at the Jets Gear stores at the MTS Centre and at St. Vital Centre a few days ago.

They will also be available at a soon-to-be-opened second location at the MTS Centre. Suga said an 800-square-foot store on the suite level on the north side of the arena will open in mid-November.

It will be accessible from all levels of the building and will be open a couple of hours before game time. The plan is to keep it open during the Christmas shopping season, too, so people can shop via the nearby walkway without going outside.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2013 A2

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