MainGate to expand HQ, create 75 jobs-WEB ONLY

Local merchandiser MainGate Inc. announced plans yesterday to expand its west-side headquarters and production operations, which should create 75 jobs by 2013.

The company, which primarily provides marketing and merchandising services to clients in the motorsports industry, said it would invest more than $3.6 million to expand its production and office facility from 106,000 square feet to 170,000 square feet.

MainGate employs 140 people and plans to begin hiring more production associates and administrative and supervisory staff immediately.

“We are very proud of the fact that in this volatile economy where you often hear of people losing jobs, we are creating jobs for Hoosiers,” MainGate President and CEO David Moroknek said in a written statement.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company up to $275,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $65,000 in training grants contingent upon the jobs it creates. The city of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Economic Development Inc. will request property-tax abatement from the Metropolitan Development Commission.

Just last month, MainGate inked its fourth deal with a National Football League team in less than a year. The 10-year deal with the Detroit Lions makes the company the team’s exclusive retail and merchandise company.

The company has existing deals to handle merchandise sales for the Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.

MainGate has had record revenue each of the last four years, Moroknek told IBJ, adding, “I expect no less for 2009.”

Moroknek said motorsports revenue has taken a slight hit in the last year, but other areas of the company are seeing explosive growth. In addition to the NFL teams added over the last year, deals with another NFL team and a large “national philanthropic organization” will be unveiled in the next 60 days, he said.

Moroknek added that deals with other NFL, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball teams are a distinct possibility as the company grows.

“The opportunities are everywhere,” Moroknek said. “We are being aggressive, but we are also being calculated in our growth. The key to our growth is forming great partnerships.”

MainGate, founded in 1963, first made its mark in National Hot Rod Association drag racing. Now, the firm does business for the Indy Racing League, Danica Patrick, golfer Jack Nicklaus, NCAA, Harley-Davidson, Budweiser King Racing, John Force Racing and other well-known brands.

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