MainGate to be acquired by New York-based hospitality firm Legends

Indianapolis-based merchandising and marketing firm MainGate LLC is being acquired by New York City-based Legends Hospitality LLC, the two companies announced Thursday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies said they expect the acquisition to close within 30 days.

MainGate, which provides custom merchandise and marketing platforms to a wide array of professional and collegiate teams and leagues throughout the United States, is expected to remain in Indianapolis following the merger.

The company, headquartered at 7900 Rockville Road on the city’s far-west side, employs about 220 people in the Indianapolis area. It will unite with the retail arm of Legends, which also has a large presence in the sports merchandising industry.

The merged retail group will operate under Legends’ hospitality division, which is one of three worldwide units operated by the company (global planning and sales are the other two). Legends employs more than 1,500 full-time employees and 30,000 seasonal workers.

“It’s business as usual for right now,” MainGate President Dave Moroknek told IBJ. “The MainGate name will remain and we’ll see where everything develops from there.”

No employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the sale, Moroknek said.

Instead, he said, the deal will allow MainGate to grow larger.

“I believe it will create growth and we’ll” be able to hire more people, he said.

Moroknek said the firm “was not actively looking to sell,” but noted the acquisition came from a “natural progression” of its relationship with Legends.

The two companies have collaborated on several projects in the past, including the e-commerce portals for Ultimate Fighting Championship and U.S. Soccer.

MainGate was founded in 1963 and counts the International Speedway Corp., numerous college programs and dozens of NFL, NBA and NHL teams among its clients.

Likewise, Legends—which is owned by the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees—works with MLB teams and various NFL and NBA franchises. It was founded in 2008.

Both companies have worked on the retail side of major events such as the Super Bowl and the Indy 500.

The East Coast company said it plans to use its newest subsidiary’s experience in retail to offer clients a better fan-side experience and a wider array of products.

Legends President Shervin Mirhashemi pointed to MainGate’s e-commerce, retail event operations and merchandising proficiency as assets for the merged company.

“[This] represents another significant step in our ambition to build the most compelling, flexible and effective retail and e-commerce platform for our clients across the globe,” he said in written comments. “MainGate’s capabilities … strategically align with our focus toward building a platform that delivers omnichannel retail services leveraging cutting-edge technology and robust data, to present our partners with the best option to successfully grow their business.”

Moroknek said MainGate’s acquisition “automatically puts [it] on a global platform,” and will allow the company to build its list of clients, most all of whom have been from within the United States to this point.

“It opens up opportunities for us to do things on a worldwide scale,” he said. “Being part of a larger organization brings more opportunities, and it’s going to bring exciting times for the company and all of our employees.”

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