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    HomeLifestyleBay Area CHamoru dresses Dub Nation in Warriors pride | Lifestyle

    Bay Area CHamoru dresses Dub Nation in Warriors pride | Lifestyle

    When Dub Nation streams into Chase Center for the first game of the NBA playoffs tonight, they’ll be greeted by a sea of gold: 20,000 T-shirts emblazoned with the logo “Gold Blooded: 2022 Finals.”

    And believe it or not, there’s a Guam connection to those Golden State Warriors commemorative tees. Jeremy Castro, a 45-year-old CHamoru who grew up in the San Francisco Bay, was tapped to print half of the promotional shirts being given at every home game.

    Read Manny Crisostomo’s “Manaotao Sanlagu” feature on Jeremy and Jay Castro

    He and his 18 full-time employees at Brand Marinade have been working furiously over the past few weeks, printing logos onto the shirts at his 15,000-square-foot San Leandro shop since May 20, when Stephen Curry and company dropped the Dallas Mavericks in the second game of the semifinals.

    Brand Marinade owner Jeremy Castro in his San Leandro, California shop, where he’s standing in front of an eight-color, 10-station press that is printing designs on gold T-shirts celebrating the Golden State Warriors being in the 2022 NBA Finals. The shirts will be placed on all the seats at Chase Center during Warriors home games. Castro’s father, Joe Castro, was 4 years old when he boarded a ship from Guam with his parents Jose Rosario Castro, familian Piyu’, and Rosalia Garcia Cruz, familian Jeje, both from Hagatña. The family eventually set roots in Alameda, California.

    For that game, they produced 10,000 of the shirts draped over every seat in the stadium. For the fifth semifinals game on May 6, when the Dubs sealed the deal to move on to the finals, he printed all 20,000. He’s also contracted to print 10,000 for each of the upcoming home games on Sunday, June 13 and June 19 if the series goes to seven.

    He’s been able to meet the quick turnarounds because he’s strategically kept the business agile by diversifying his services, which means his printing shop isn’t normally running at full capacity. So when this opportunity fell into his lap after a chance conversation with the main printer on the contract, Blue Frog, he was ready.

    “Just all the moving parts around it is pretty crazy,” Castro said. “In addition to like, keeping my team tested (for COVID-19) and making sure everybody’s feeling good … it’s been a challenge.”

    And it’s not like they don’t have other projects going on. “I’m doing some stuff for the Parks Department in Alameda. I’ve got some stuff for a school in San Francisco — the more really hyperlocal smaller projects like we’re still chasing all those things every day,” he said.

    “At the end of the day, the more (business) we get, the more vibrant our businesses is and the more likely I am to be able to give people raises so that eventually people could figure out how to buy a house or you know, send their kids to school and go out to eat dinner once every now and again.”

    Jeremy Castro of Brand Marinade

    Jeremy Castro, owner of Brand Marinade in San Leandro, California, goes through gold T-shirts celebrating the Golden State Warriors being in the 2022 NBA Finals.

    T-shirts bring unity

    In that way, and in so many others, the CHamoru value of inafa’maolek permeates his business ethos and has since day one.

    “I always like to help, I’m always down to help. And the whole point of me even starting this business was because I found something that people could use and therefore, I could use it to help them,” Castro said. “T-shirts were always a magnetic thing, right? You bring T-shirts and T-shirts will bring people together? I always say, it can bring unity to the community.”

    “This is what I get so excited about this project, is the other day we got to fill that entire stadium up with T-shirts. I’ve never done that in my life. I’ve dreamed of it,” he said.

    Jeremy Castro of Brand Marinade

    Although Jeremy Castro’s preferred sport is rugby, seeing his hometown team get to the finals for a chance at a seventh NBA title is as sweet as Stephen Curry draining one from long range. Castro’s company Brand Marinade, is one of the companies printing the promotional T-shirts for Golden State Warriors home games.

    “I was watching the game, and I’m just like literally just staring at the TV and seeing this crowd of yellow gold everywhere, just people screaming and yelling. And I’m thinking about the collective like sort of energy that is created with everybody.

    “I can’t help but think of the home-court advantage that the Warriors are gonna get because they have 20,000 people screaming and yelling at them in a way that is only going to empower them.”



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