While millions of people will be fixated on the plays and score of Super Bowl LIII, the owners of a small Burbank business will have their eyes locked on something else during the big game.
Buddy’s All Stars, a family-owned sporting goods manufacturer at 3216 W. Valhalla Drive, will be focused on the jerseys the Los Angeles Rams players will be wearing.
That’s because for the last two seasons the business has been sewing the uniforms for the football team, which moved back to Los Angeles in 2016.
Daniel Perez, sales manager for Buddy’s All Stars, said the company has been in charge of manufacturing the uniforms, warm-up gear and other clothing accessories for the Rams since they came back to Southern California after spending 21 years in St. Louis, Mo.
The seamsters and seamstresses at the business have been tasked with making sure each uniform and all athletic apparel are tailored to the liking of each player and coach. Perez said they mock up two to three styles of uniforms based on each player’s input and let the athlete try them on and see which cut they prefer.
“Any [alteration] that deals with the Rams’ jerseys has to be done by hand or hand machines,” Perez said. “Even though our bigger machines are sophisticated and you can do anything with them, they sew at a much faster rate and can damage the fabric.”
Perez added that all of the uniforms and accessories the Rams players and coaches will be using on Sunday is already with the team in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where Super Bowl LIII will be played this weekend.
While the Rams may be Buddy’s All Stars’ biggest client, the business, which opened in Burbank in 1981, is no stranger to making uniforms and athletic gear for other teams.
The sporting goods manufacturer started supplying uniforms for various Little League teams in Los Angeles County and, over the years, has expanded to athletic teams from various high schools and colleges across the country, including UCLA and the University of Arizona, as well as being the uniform supplier for USC for the past 18 years, said Louis Talamantes, owner of Buddy’s All Stars.
Talamantes said it was his company’s relationship with USC’s former equipment manager, who now works for the Rams, and its proven track record of manufacturing high-quality athletic gear that gave Buddy’s All Stars the edge to work with a professional sports team.
“It’s a great feeling to be recognized by our peers because it’s all about trust and relationships in this business,” Talamantes said. “We don’t do advertising. Our business comes from word of mouth. Our Yelp reviews are horrible, but when you have someone like USC coming back to you for 18 years, it means that we must be doing something right.”
Though it has been exciting and stressful working with a team like the Rams, Talamantes said it was never his intention to seek out contracts with professional teams.
He said he rarely says “no” to a customer, but he recently had to turn away a potential client, another NFL team, because he knew taking on another big contract without being prepared would jeopardize the quality of his company’s work.
While he said he understands the final score of Sunday’s game will declare a victor, Talamantes said he already feels like a winner knowing the Rams uniforms were made just a few feet from his office.
“How many times in a business’ life does it get to be a part of the world’s biggest show?” Talamantes said. “We’ve already won. The score doesn’t mean anything to us. We’ve got to work with some of the best people and the best athletes. We can’t control what the player will or won’t do, but we can control what we can do. Our work is on the field.”