FESPA Americas played host to the Americas leg of FESPA's Wrap Cup series, pitching 16 vehicle wrapping artists from North, Central, and South America against each other to decorate a 2011 Ford Mustang.
Contestants battled through five nail-biting rounds, before Atlanta-based James Miller from Miller Decals was crowned the FESPA Americas Series Champion 2011. Following their win, he was invited to a grand Wrap Cup Master Series Finale, which will be held in London at FESPA 2013. There they will take on the other 16 regional winners, all of whom will be hoping to claim the title of World FESPA Wrap Cup Masters Champion. The Miller Decals team were also presented with a big package of prizes from the event sponsors including software from Digital Designware, Eurosystems and Corel, and tools from Leister and Image1Impact, magnets from Master Magnetics, an event shirt provided by Anajet, a voucher from Yellotools, and, exclusively for the winner, a state of the art HP laptop.
Commenting on the competition, Jim Miller, CEO of Miller Decals said, "We're so happy to have had the opportunity to compete at such a great event! FESPA provided the format for small business owners like me to globally reach out to the printing community and show the importance of vehicle graphics advertising.
"The Orlando stage of the Wrap Cup Master Series was an incredible experience. The competition was very well organized and the judges, fantastic. We were ecstatic to win because it was such a close competition, and we were pitched against brilliant installers from all over North America. I was honored to be competing with such a talented group and even more honored to be awarded first place. It was a moment in my life that will never be forgotten."
Leading the judging team were Michael Meyer, owner of F+Z Folien Wholesale Company and a wrap expert from Hamburg, Germany, and Rob Ivers, PDAA's (Professional Decal Application Alliance) Certification Director and creator of Pro-Wrap Mags, the first vehicle wrap magnets brought to market. Basing their verdict on numerous criteria including graphic placement and finishing, participants were evaluated solely on the quality of their work, although speed was considered a decisive factor in the event of a draw.
Commenting on the winner , Rob Ivers said, "James told us that he started installing vinyl in 1979, when he was just 15 years old. It certainly showed in his quality and technique. He's one of the finest installers I've ever seen and I look forward to seeing him compete in London at the FESPA Worldwide Wrap Cup Masters Finals.
"The FESPA Wrap Cup Master Series Americas was an exciting contest to judge. All competing individuals were excellent which made them fun to watch, yet challenging for myself and Michael to select the winners. In most rounds the installers were so closely matched, only a few points separated them and the finals were no different. All four finalists put on a spectacular show with near perfect quality, wrapping the entire side of a Mustang in just 90 minutes which was not only impressive, but unprecedented in contests I've previously judged."
With the second stage of the Wrap Cup Master Series 'wrapped up' , there are now just five more chances to compete before the grand finale—at FESPA Digital 2011, FESPA Mexico 2011, FESPA Asia 2011, FESPA Digital 2012 and FESPA 2013 in London.