Rings for Kings

O.C. Tanner Chosen to Produce RSL's '09 Championship Rings

RSL Championship Rings (molds)

Photo Credit: 
RSLSoapbox.com/RSL Communications

Real
Salt Lake
has
selected Salt Lake City-based appreciation and recognition business O.C.
Tanner
to mint the team’s MLS Cup 2009 Championship Rings, which will be
presented to players, coaches and ownership in a pre-game ceremony at 6:30
p.m. MT
, prior to kickoff of the team’s home opener this Saturday, April
10
against Seattle Sounders FC.

“We
couldn’t be happier that one of the world’s foremost jewelers resides in our
backyard,” said Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning. “The enthusiasm
that the O.C. Tanner executives and employees have demonstrated for this
process has been spectacular. I can’t wait to see the looks on our players
faces when our owners, Dave Checketts and Dell Loy Hansen, commemorate the
title victory with these rings.”

Espousing
a “culture of appreciateology” as a means of motivating and retaining employees
and recognizing elite performance, O.C. Tanner employs nearly 1,600 Utahns and
services more than 8,000 clients worldwide. Since 2000, the 83-year old
company
has served as the U.S. Olympic Team’s exclusive licensee for the
participating athletes’ rings, and also minted the Olympic medals awarded at
the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games.

The
face of each Real Salt Lake Championship Ring features the words “MLS
CUP CHAMPIONS”
engraved above and below a range of 24 diamonds – one
for each player on the title-winning team’s roster – surrounding a cast relief
of the iconic Philip F. Anschutz trophy. The rings are then cast in O.C.
Tanner’s proprietary yellow gold alloy “Epoch,” or for the athletes that prefer
white metal, a rhodium-plating process is then used to customize their ring,
which also features the individual’s name and number. Finally, four colors of enamel
are baked into the sides of the ring, alongside the scores of each postseason
game adjacent to the logos of the Columbus Crew, the Chicago Fire and the Los
Angeles Galaxy – the three teams vanquished in Real Salt Lake’s 2009
Championship run.

“As
a Utah-based company who helps organizations worldwide appreciate and celebrate
great work,  we at O.C. Tanner could not be prouder of Real Salt Lake’s
inspirational accomplishments during last year’s MLS season,” said O.C.
Tanner’s EVP of Marketing and Business Development, David Sturt. “For
our employees – many of whom are huge Real Salt Lake fans – to recall the
championship game while casting, engraving or setting stones brings forth
exciting memories. To be connected to Utah’s first major league professional
sports championship in nearly 40 years in this unique manner is truly a special
opportunity.”

Each
of the MLS Cup 2009 Real Salt Lake Championship Rings is custom
made-to-order
for each recipient, which includes all players, staff,
management and ownership. None of the rings come from inventory or from an
assembly line; instead, the “lost wax method” is employed to create a
mold and cast of the rings. In this process, true to the 1,000-year old tenets
of jewelry-making, the rings are first made in wax and then a mold is made from
the wax; metals such as gold or silver are then poured into the mold to create
a “ring tree” cast, forming the main piece of the ring. This particular ring
design is more complicated than most due to the unique three-piece construction,
with the trio of pieces welded together to complete the finished ring.

Each
of the approximately 120 Real Salt Lake Championship Rings is assigned to a
specific O.C. Tanner craftsman, who begins the 48-hour process by
finishing that ring – by hand – from start to finish. Casting begins at 4:30
a.m., followed by grinding, polishing, setting of stones, etc., finally
finishing at 1:00 a.m., nearly two days later. Every one of the rings is
personalized with the recipient’s name and number or title, necessitating a
unique mold.