MainGate roaring with Lions deal

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jerseyhatLocally based MainGate Inc. is getting a big boost from its new contract with the Detroit Lions. MainGate signed a 10-year deal in February to manage the Lions’ retail shop at Ford Field and the team’s retail Web site.

On April 20, the Lion’s introduced an updated team logo and jersey, and MainGate unveiled a newly revamped Web site at

“We had more than 22,000 visitors and took more than 300 orders in the first 24 hours since the new Web site went live,” said MainGate CEO Dave Moroknek. “Normally, this time of year an NFL team [store] site would have about 1,000 visitors a day. So we’re really pleased with the results so far.”

Within the first 30 minutes of the new Web site going live, Moroknek said it had orders from New York, California, Hawaii and a handful of other far flung states. Orders were taken from 10 countries in the first 24 hours after the new Web site was launched, he added.

MainGate began re-designing the Lion’s retail space at Ford Field two days after the NCAA men’s Final Four concluded in Detroit earlier this month. The store will have a grand re-opening April 25 in conjunction with the National Football League draft. The Lion’s have the overall No. 1 selection.

“We think that draft selection is really going to boost sales for us,” Moroknek said.

MainGate has thousands of blank Lions jerseys at Reebok’s Indianapolis plant, Moroknek said, and when the draft selection is made, local Reebok workers will begin printing the new products. Moroknek has a list of loyal Lions customers, and within one minute after the draft, he said MainGate will fire off an email blast promoting the new products featuring the No. 1 selection.

“They certainly don’t tell me who they’re going to draft beforehand, but we’re ready to go once they make their selection,” Moroknek said. “We figure it’s down to one of four players, so we have four e-mail blasts ready to go.”

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