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JOSTENS CRAFTS NCAA FINAL FOUR CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS

MINNEAPOLIS, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The road to the NCAA Final Four for men's and women's basketball is paved in gold and winds through Jostens, the country's premier supplier of championship awards and jewelry for amateurs and professionals.

For the ninth consecutive year, Jostens is producing the coveted NCAA Final Four championship rings for both men and women. The winners receive 10-karat gold championship rings, while the runners-up receive finalist rings.

The classically designed rings display the NCAA letters encrusted on a black onyx stone to identify the champion whose dedication and hard work have reached a distinguished new height. The NCAA seal appears on one side of the ring and school customization on the other.

"The success of the event requires the coordination of more than 100 Jostens employees," said Andy White, vice president-marketing for Jostens' college business. "Seeing the athletes wearing that symbol of achievement is what Jostens is all about -- teamwork, service and quality."

Jostens representatives travel to the four regional sites and size every player and coach, check the spelling of their names for the personalized rings and relay the information to Jostens' ring manufacturing plant in Denton, Texas. The next day, immediately after the regional winners are known, the factory swings into action, making 26 rings for each of the Final Four teams for the men and women.

"Since the NCAA and the various schools involved closely guard their players during the tournament, our representatives have to resort to creative ways to gain access to the players," White said. "Some have been known to size players in locker rooms, elevators, taxi cabs, restaurants, hotel rooms and even on the bus to the airport."

Jostens relationships with championship teams is nothing new. The company will produce the championship rings for the NCAA Football champion Nebraska Cornhuskers, as well as Florida State, Oregon, Kansas State, Washington State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, West Virginia and South Carolina. The company also has crafted championship rings for 19 Super Bowl champions, as well as World Series, Stanley Cup and NBA champions.

Jostens, a leading provider of performance awards and services for the youth, education, sports and corporate recognition markets, is dedicated to promoting and recognizing achievement throughout a lifetime. Jostens, a Fortune 500 company based in Minneapolis, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "JOS" and last year reported sales of $827 million.

Jostens Corporate Communications has samples of both men's and women's Final Four rings, as well as b/w and color photos.
 -0- 3/23/95


/CONTACT: Greg Bailey, 612-830-3374 or Kevin Whalen, 612-830-3251, both of Jostens/

(JOS)

CO: Jostens, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

DS -- MN017 -- 0261 03/23/95 16:51 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 23, 1995
Words:450
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