Minnesota-based Jostens puts the bling in championship rings

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When the Super Bowl comes to Minnesota, we’ll have a chance to be part of the game and learn about its history with all the special events surrounding the big day. But for decades, a Minnesota company has already been a big part of the history that the players take home.

Jostens has designed and made 33 of the 51 Super Bowl rings to date. While Jostens is more commonly known as the class ring provider, it's also a powerhouse in the business of making championship rings.  

“Jostens has had the honor to produce more championship rings than any other sport in the world,” said Chris Poitras the vice president and chief operating officer of Jostens College and Pro Sports Division. “We’ve done all four of the major championship rings."

You’ll also find the Heisman Trophy and NCAA trophies on their list. Every time they custom make a ring, it’s a big order.  

“For example, last year with the Cubs, they gave 1,908 rings to their entire organization,” said Poitras.

Of course, the year 1908 was the last time the Cubs had won a World Series. Jostens' Super Bowl ring shelf includes all the Green Bay Packer wins and the iconic 1986 Chicago Bears victory with the biggest ring they’d ever made, fitting the hand of William “Refrigerator” Perry.  

Each year the designs become more and more elaborate. Take the 2017 New England Patriots’ Super Bowl ring, for example.

“At one point in the game it was 28 to 3, so if you put the 2-8-3 together, 283, that’s the number of diamonds that was on that ring,” said Poitras.

The Jostens company started in 1897 with Otto Josten’s watch repair and school award company. Many of the employees are long-term employees and very proud to be part of the legacy. Blaine Stewart, the senior director of creative services, has worked for the company for 30 years and his father worked for Jostens before that.

“Many of the products that we produce are ones that are kept for a lifetime," said Stewart. "I think in our society where things are disposable, this is a product that stays with families forever.”

Jostens will have their 33 Super Bowl rings on display at a private tailgate party for the Host Committee on game day. The NFL will also have a display of all the rings at the NFL Experience event at the Convention Center.

As soon as Super Bowl LII ends, Jostens will go to the winner and bid on the contract to design the next ring and perhaps add Super Bowl ring number 34 to their shelf.