• EMI History
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History

In 1978, the founders of Event Merchandising Inc. revolutionized the concert merchandising business. The concept was simple - create a merchandising company that would represent concert venues and have exclusive control of all event sales. This exclusivity allowed the venues to negotiate merchandise deals that, for the first time, became a substantial source of revenue.

The company quickly expanded to venues nationwide, and subsequently to the Superbowl, the Rose Bowl, and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. In 1985, MCA Entertainment purchased the company. The next year, the company acquired the retail contract for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After experiencing the success of the 1988 championship season with the Dodgers, the founders sold their remaining interest in the company to MCA Entertainment.

In 1990, Event Merchandising Inc. was formed, starting out with three buildings, and growing to more than fifty venues in less than ten years. In 1999, a majority of the company was purchased by SFX, with EMI maintaining managerial control. In 2001, SFX was sold to Clear Channel Entertainment. Currently EMI operates the merchandising for 56 indoor and outdoor venues nationwide.

2001 saw EMI contracting with the NBA for the retail operations of all eight teams in the National Basketball Development League for their Inaugural Season. In January 2002, EMI acquired the exclusive rights to the Target Center, including the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx. EMI created a new retail store, the Timberwolves Gym, which opened in the 2003/2004 seasons and has become a major success.

While many in the industry felt that the business was down for the year 2005, EMI celebrated with per cap records being broken at the Bradley Center for U2 and the Wiltern Theater in August.

Excitement continued for EMI in September, by the building of a new retail store at the Bradley Center and was the beginning of a record 4th quarter for gross revenue. EMI's expansion continued in October signing the one year old FedExForum in Memphis, TN. In October EMI set a new per cap records for the Hollywood Bowl for merchandise sales for the Rolling Stones and for the NBA Pre-Season Miami Heat-Memphis Grizzlies game for the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

2006 did not slow down for EMI. In April, EMI pulled off a feat that no one has been able to do in over 5 years which was land an auto racing account. The signing of the Milwaukee Mile which plays host to NASCAR, IRL, ASA, and USAC Midget auto racing events. While landing that account, EMI set a new NCAA per cap record for the Frozen Four Hockey Tournament.

June continued even more excitement for the company as it broke per cap records for the NASCAR weekend and IRL races at the Milwaukee Mile along with breaking the companies previous record at Arena Bowl XX.

In July EMI landed the Memphis Grizzlies and Memphis Tigers account which are located at FedExForums which also includes taking over the operations of the team store "The Den."

As the business grow, EMI is starting e-commerce sites for BC Sports (which will consist of the Milwaukee Bucks, Marquette University Basketball & Milwaukee Admirals Hockey) and e-commerce for the Milwaukee Mile starting in August and September. This is not new as the company has done e-commerce for the Minnesota Timberwolves & Minnesota Lynx.

2006 looks to be another prosperous year as the company sees dramatic increase in revenue, attendance and events and looking forward to another fantastic 4th quarter.

2007  produced record breaking gross sales  for the second year in a row.

Signing of the new Prudential Center in Newark for concert  merchandise  which opened  with 10 Bon Jovi shows and  Hannah Montana.

In 2007, along with producing a record breaking year for gross sales for the second year in a row, the company also extended its long term partnership with Live Nation in all of its outdoor amphitheater's and starts its latest partnership with AEG's and the new home of the New Jersey Devils The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ for non game events. The building opened with 10 sold out Bon Jovi shows.

2009 was an extraordinary year for EMI as it began a partnership with two of Los Angeles legendary theatres. The Wiltern Theatre which opened in 1931as the Warner Bros Western Theater and opened to a Hollywood premiere attended by Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Carol Lombard and James Cagney and the Hollywood Palladium which opened in 1940 featuring Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra with band vocalist Frank Sinatra. EMI also extended its partnerships with Bradley Center& Bradley Center Sports in Milwaukee.

2011 was another great year for EMI as it began a new partnership with one of Los Angeles' premier concert venues the Gibson Amphitheater and Nob Hill Masonic Center.

2012 is shaping up to be another great year as we extended our agreements with the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY and the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Congratulations on a successful opening. EMI is proud to be a partner of the New Prudential Center.

2013 for EMI was a great year! EMI saw increase in attendance at all of its venues and with an upturn in the economy. EMI experienced growth across the board.

2014 has started off with an explosion of shows running through its venues with the announcement of multiple shows that included Def Leppard/KISS, Lil Wayne/Drake, Jimmy Buffett, Blake Shelton, Pearl Jam, One Direction, Fleetwood Mac, Arcade Fire, Backstreet Boys, Motley Crue and many more. 2014 saw EMI extend their contract at FEDEXFORUM and land a new account JBL Live at Pier 97 in New York City. EMI's long term client the Milwaukee Bucks were sold. We welcome and wish the new ownership continued success in the future.