SBD/Issue 241/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

MainGate's Profile Growing Thanks To Deals With NFL Teams

Six NFL teams have signed deals with Indianapolis-based retail and merchandising company MainGate in the past two-and-a-half years, making the company "one of the biggest retail players in the goliath of professional sports leagues," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The bulk of MainGate's revenue "still comes from other sports," as the company "designs and makes items from Danica Patrick T-shirts to NHRA caps, coffee mugs and key chains." But MainGate officials said that revenue from the NFL deals is "approaching $10[M] annually, close to one-fourth of MainGate's growing revenue." Sporting Goods Intelligence Publisher John Horan: "They've compiled an impressive record in a short time. There aren't more than one or two companies nationwide that can rival the size of their (NFL) retail client list." Lions VP/Business Operations Bob Raymond said that the team has seen its "merchandise sales increase across the board in the seven months since hiring MainGate, with online sales up 75[%] and sales of merchandise at the team's training camp four times what it was last year." Raymond: "I've seen a lot of merchandising companies in sports, and I've seen none better than MainGate." The company has a "turnkey operation in the licensing industry, with the ability to not only run warehouse distribution and direct-to-consumer retail operations, but also to manufacture products" at its HQs. MainGate currently "doesn't manufacture NFL goods -- at least not yet -- but it manages all other phases of team retail operations from top to bottom," and MainGate President & CEO Dave Moroknek said that an NFL license to make products "could come." Vikings VP/Sales & Marketing Steve LaCroix, whose team also is a MainGate client, added of the company, "They've gotten the league's attention" (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/29 issue).

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