MainGate CEO Calls Merchandise Deal a 'Natural Extension'

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MainGate is headquartered in Indianapolis. MainGate is headquartered in Indianapolis.

The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based MainGate says a new merchandise agreement with International Speedway Corp. (Nasdaq: ISCA) builds on the company's roots. The multi-year agreement gives MainGate exclusive rights for trackside and online merchandise sales at all racing events held at ISC's 12 tracks throughout the country. The first event under the new partnership will be The Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, David Moroknek said the nature of the deal is good for MainGate because of more than just the size of the ISC brand

"It also fits really well with us because we're a company who was founded in motorsports. Being able now to bring our expertise to such races as the Daytona 500 is just a natural extension and an amazing piece of growth for our company," said Moroknek. "There's such a fanaticism around racing and unlike some of our other business, you really don't have to worry about wins and losses. People are fans of the event and certain drivers, so it's very nice to have just a consistent fan base, no matter what's happening in the sport itself."

MainGate was founded in 1963 as Sport Service in southern California by Chick Saffell, who was close friends with Wally Parks, founder of the National Hot Rod Association. The first merchandise produced by the company was for the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. The company has also done business with Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the past.

ISC owns several motorsports facilities in the U.S. that have hosted numerous NASCAR and IndyCar races, including Daytona International Speedway in Florida, ISM Raceway near Phoenix, and Watkins Glen International in New York. While the on-site retail locations will begin in January, Moroknek says an integrated eCommerce site will also be available beginning in June.

The deal is the latest merchandise agreement for MainGate this year. In March, the company announced agreements with Susan G. Komen of Central Indiana and Indy Eleven Professional Soccer. The company also announced a deal with Purdue University in July. Some of MainGate's other partners include the NBA, NHL, NCAA, Big Ten, and WWE.

Moroknek says the nature of the deal is good for MainGate because of more than just the size of the ISC brand.
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