Designs for 9th National Championship shirts in the works

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - If there's one thing that people in Kentucky love, it's basketball. Another thing they love? Showing it off.

"That's the name of the game for it," says Tony Hammons, a graphic designer at Wildcat Wearhouse. "That's what your job is, to create a nice looking design that appeals to people who would want to spend money to buy it."

So when a national championship is on the line, the pressure is on.

Hammons says, "The challenge is to be creative as possible and most artists have the attitude of 'you're only as good as your last work.' So you're always trying to do better than what you've done before."

Tony Hammons and Shane Slattery are the minds behind the designs at Wildcat Wearhouse. Ever since Kentucky won their ticket to the Final Four, these two have been busy working on a design for a 9th National Championship...just in case.

"So when they win, they print immediately as soon as the game is over," Hammons says.

Traditionally, artists would spend hours on drawing these designs by hand. But with the help of technology, several different versions of a design can now be created in just an hour.

"You can scan those images into the computer," Hammons explains. "So when we apply colors, we can change them immediately. We'll probably have 22 designs or more, 25, maybe 30."

Once approved by collegiate licensing, a final decision will be made. Printing will begin as soon as the game ends Monday night and shirts will be sold the next day. There's only one stipulation: the Wildcats have to win the championship.

If they do, fans can pick up a championship shirt at Wildcat Wearhouse on South Broadway in Lexington.

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