Indianapolis-based retail merchandising company MainGate Inc. has landed its first major college contract, it announced this week, by signing an exclusive merchandise agreement with Purdue University.
The firm’s six-year contract with Purdue, which officially began July 1, gives it the exclusive rights for on-site and online merchandise sales for both the university and Purdue University athletics.
The firm has created and will manage the official Purdue e-commerce store, PurdueTeamStore.com, as well as manage and staff two retail outlets on the West Lafayette campus, in the Purdue Memorial Union and at Ross-Ade Stadium, with the possibility of adding one store.
“We’re going to be extremely aggressive with e-commerce,” said MainGate president and CEO David Moroknek. “That makes it easy whether you’re in Greenwood or South Korea.”
Purdue said the agreement is a revenue-sharing deal, replacing a five-year agreement the university previously had with Jacksonville, Florida-based Fanatics Inc.
Mari Leffert, Purdue's vendor manager for procurement services, said revenue raised from the agreement goes "to support student affordability. "
As part of the deal, MainGate will operate event sales at Ross-Ade Stadium, Mackey Arena and at all varsity athletic events, including setting up a large tent at home football games this year.
Moroknek said he is unsure where a new Purdue merchandise store would be located but said the demand is there.
“We’re not going to limit ourselves,” Moroknek said. “There’s probably room for another one on campus. Is it at the airport or one of the Indianapolis malls? That’s what we’re going to take a look at.”
He also said MainGate would be updating the merchandise available for Purdue fans.
“You’re going to see what we know is going to be much nicer line of clothing, more on target with today’s looks, whether that be for a student or alumni. We feel the female fan has been way under-served so we’ll put an extra emphasis on that.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Moroknek said only that it was a “seven-figure deal.”
The company also has other merchandise deals with several professional teams, including the Indianapolis Colts and Indy Eleven, and a multiple sports organizations, including the Big Ten Conference, NCAA, NBA, WNBA and the United States Bowling Congress.
MainGate said Purdue had been working with various vendors. The university put out a request for proposals last year for a company to consolidate their services.
“Whenever a business opportunity in Indiana comes up it’s important for us to try and get it,” Moroknek said. “From a size and scope standpoint, it’s very meaningful. In working with the people at Purdue, we all feel there’s still an unbelievable amount of growth potential.”