How businesses stand out in a sea of green

By Kelly McCarthy

July 26, 2013 Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:27 PM EDT

Cortland, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Friday marked the first day of practice for the Jets at SUNY Cortland's training camp, but Gang Green fans aren't the only ones taking advantage of the team being in town.

If Main Street business owners could make one wish, it would be for Jets fans to follow the signs downtown at the conclusion of daily training.

Once they're on Main Street, though, it's the store's creativity that will seal the deal.

"It's just something that I've done for years," said Jodie Wright, owner of The Bling Store, "And we just knew that we would make our products a little different than what they could buy at the training camp over there."

The Bling Store on Main Street adds custom designs on the usual Jets apparel. Wright thinks adding her own touch is necessary if she's going to make sales.

"Because if we didn't, it was going to be like everything else in town," Wright said. "Very souveniry (sic) looking and we wanted ours to be very different."

The Jets hats are their best seller, but this year, a hand-made shirt in the window is grabbing some extra attention.

T-shirts left over from last year's slogan, "Keep Calm and Tebow On," now feature a black "X" over Tebow's name, and "Sanchez" takes its place.

"We had some left over and since he's (former Jets quarterback Tim Tebow) not with the team anymore," Wright said, "We decided to put them up in the window and have a little fun with it, before we toss them in the garbage because that's really what they're worth."

Business owners said what's hanging out front helps draw fans inside. But nothing beats having Jets players stop by for a meal.

"The snowball effect is fantastic," said Anthony Caruso, owner of Harry and Tony's Pub, "They come in, people start to realize who they are, and with today's media everybody can tweet or text and all of a sudden you have a flow of people, it's just wonderful."

On Thursday night, Harry and Tony's served Mark Sanchez for dinner and the restaurant filled with fans shortly after.

"He comes by here quite often," Caruso said, "And when I say quite often, it's as often as he's allowed to leave camp, and right now I think they're on lock down for the next few days."

Meanwhile, loyal Jets fans will take their place on Main Street until the team finds time to return.

Jets training camp continues this weekend at SUNY Cortland. Practice starts at 10 am on both days and fans can register for free tickets online.

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