Local firm becoming NFL power

January 7, 2009
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maingateEven as the economy tanks, locally based MainGate Inc. continues to ink major merchandising deals. This week, MainGate signed a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. This comes on the heels of a deal earlier this year with the St. Louis Rams, and the growth of its deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Chiefs signed MainGate Inc. as the exclusive online merchandiser for the organization. The three-year agreement, which positions MainGate Inc. to manage and maintain all aspects of the e-commerce Web site, will formally launch prior to the NFL draft in late April.

“Our priority is providing our fans with the best experience possible when shopping for and purchasing team merchandise,” said Tammy Fruits, Chiefs vice president of sales and marketing. “In MainGate, we feel as though we have found a company that is proven in the e-commerce space and has the ability to provide our valued fans with outstanding customer service and exceptional merchandise.”

Fruits’ faith in MainGate appears to be well placed. The Rams and Colts have seen sales increases during the MainGate era, said company officials. MainGate also manages operations at the Colts pro shops at Circle Centre Mall and Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Knowing we were selected by the Chiefs, out of all others, proves to us that we are living up to our vision of being the premier event retail and online merchandising company in the country,” said David Moroknek, President and CEO of MainGate Inc.

With its track record, it's only a matter of time until MainGate starts signing deals with stick-and-ball sports teams in the nation's biggest markets. Think New York, L.A. and Chicago.

The NFL business isn’t the only good news for MainGate during this rocky economic time. MainGate has long been a major player in the motorsports world, making, distributing and selling everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts for the likes of Danica Patrick, NHRA, John Force Racing, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League and others. Moroknek expects to see a 30 percent plus sales increase this year in IRL and IMS goods as the Speedway begins its centennial celebration.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.