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March Madness Reflections

March Madness is now upon us again, and we again remember the once in a lifetime opportunity that we and our city of Indianapolis were given when we hosted the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament in 2021. The unprecedented circumstance of hosting the entire tournament in one city in an isolation bubble created unknown challenges.

In normal times, teams come to their tournaments with clean ready to wear laundry. This time, since teams were quarantining themselves, they came to Indianapolis early directly from the last game of their conference tournament with bags full of dirty laundry. The event organizers reached out on Monday morning to see if we could help these freshly arrived teams with laundry prior to the tournament. The other selected laundry services would not be ready until Thursday and our service would be greatly appreciated by any and all we were able assist. Fabric Care phones immediately began to ring and continued through that week and the rest of the tournament.

Interestingly enough, we expected little need for laundry team members, so we had let a team member have the day off on that Monday, and management would handle the normal work. By early afternoon on Monday literally a ton of laundry was coming through the door and we called for “all hands on deck”. Our pressing team members, their mothers, sisters and brothers came to help, as well. By 7:00 pm the teams had their laundry. The next day our regular team and this new group of employee family members finished the work on time, as the tournament teams needed it.

By the end of the tournament Fabric Care Cleaners had cleaned around 5 tons of laundry for the teams in the NCAA Men’s Tournament.

The city sent us a thank you letter with gifts for our own team. They described Fabric Care as “a rookie that dives for every loose ball”. While we have many years of experience in our normal everyday operations, that experience and our team’s flexibility, helped us to “dive for the ball” in this unprecedented tournament experience.

This March Madness experience for Fabric Care was an expansion of our laundry business. As more events came to Indianapolis we have been able to serve. Teams like Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, National soccer team of Mexico, and many other events and organizations now use Fabric Care Cleaners when they need special service. The true reward was that several of the “mom’s brigade” of temporary helpers became valued team members continuing to help us process considerably more that we did before COVID.


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