One-on-One with Kent McKeigg

Kent McKeigg (top row, in gray jacket) with the original OrderMyGear team: (top row, left to right) Jay Kinderknecht, Laura Campbell and Matt Drollette; (bottom row) Tiffany Hartman and Amber Inman.
Tell us about how OrderMyGear came about?

Back in 2008 school budgets were declining, but parents and kids still wanted apparel for their team or group. My father was a sales rep for Larry Black Sporting Goods in northwest Oklahoma and was collecting orders and payments from individual parents for their team’s spirit wear. OrderMyGear (OMG) solved that problem by building an e-commerce platform to streamline the process of collecting orders and payments. 

It certainly took off in a big way.

It became a valuable tool for those selling apparel to small groups and teams that required individual payments. Today OMG continues the same mission of streamlining group apparel sales, with a much broader reach with additional functionality.

How did your father influence you?

My father had an influence in several ways. Because I understood what my dad’s day looked like gave us insight as to the real pain point and thus value. It was complicated and administrative. He had a loyal customer base and built great relationships, but had to do a lot of paperwork. I saw he needed more time to do what he excelled at, which was providing his customers with great customer service and selling more. 

And in what other ways did he have an impact on how OMG was formed?

He also had a big influence relationally in the industry. By the time I started OMG, I had no idea how many factory reps and other owners knew and respected my father. Those relationships had an enormous impact as well. I got credit for knowing the industry when I still had a lot to learn. Lastly, I joke that he was always our toughest customer. Having someone that close as a customer really allowed James (Skidmore, OMG co-founder) and I to build software that had an immediate impact on his day-to-day.

We have been told by many team dealers – that the OrderMyGear technology and dealer sites kept them in business through the pandemic. 

It is really hard for me to look at it that way. I believe we were in the right place at the right time and what kept team dealers in business was their scrappiness, their desire to serve their customers and their unwillingness to quit. I know we played a role, but we were just a tool. They are the ones that had to go out and fight. 

Bit it is undeniable that you and OMG played a major role in that process.

I will say that being a tool that helped them keep their doors open, pay their employees and serve their customers is a great feeling. I have a tremendous amount of respect for how the team dealers we worked with adapted and worked to survive the pandemic.

What best describes you: a tech guy, a marketing guy, a team dealer, an entrepreneur?

Well, I am 47 and still learning about myself, but I would describe myself as an opportunistic people person with a short attention span. Serving people is how I was brought up and I think it is where true joy and meaning come from. I do enjoy seeing big-picture patterns and opportunities and trying to connect how they impact a day-to-day operation. I have always felt the obligation or drive to be a good steward of opportunities that present themselves. Although it is cheesy, I have learned to enjoy the journey and the people with you more than idolizing a destination. 

What does your Hall of Fame induction mean to you personally?

This is hard to put into words, but to be recognized in your industry is very humbling. And to be honored with this award in light of the people who have also received it means so much. It is honestly hard to believe. It makes me proud of the team side of the business. Although it may not be as sexy as retail, it plays a critical role in the overall industry. And the men and women that are a part of it are great people. 

You are perhaps the youngest inductee. 

Being one of the youngest feels confusing, honestly. When I first got the call from Matt Carlson from the NSGA I was shocked. Having attended the ceremony many times and being aware of the people inducted, I felt like I was getting invited to a club where I didn’t belong, but I certainly wasn’t going to turn down the invitation.

The HOF Committee recently decided to change the eligibility criteria from 20 years in the business to 15 to accommodate companies such as OMG. 

I think that shows “impact” is important in addition to “accomplishment.” It shows future entrepreneurs that the sporting goods industry welcomes change and innovation. 

You have mostly transitioned out of OrderMyGear. How did that come about, how difficult/easy was it? 

I left OMG as an employee in late 2019 and continue as a board member. We did a private equity deal in 2018 with the intention of filling out our executive leadership team in 2019. Although I had no intentions of leaving, I realized it was best for OMG and myself to move on. It was an interesting couple of years and at times it was difficult to try to keep the main thing the main thing. The reality was OMG had outgrown my skill set and it was time to figure out the next chapter. I learned a ton through those years. By the end of 2019, I was excited to dream again. My role today is to help in any way I can without sticking my nose in areas where I don’t provide any value.

Now tell us what you are up to with your new venture, Team Gear Flow.

While OMG solved the problem of managing group orders paid individually, it created a problem for a rep as their volume through OMG grew. Managing the fulfillment process from purchasing and printing to delivery becomes more difficult. Team Gear Flow solves this problem by bringing an on-demand solution so reps don’t have to deal with the fulfillment burden that exists with online team stores. As the demand for online team stores has grown it has become more difficult to provide the service reps were able to provide in the early days. We aim to help them provide that same level of service without having to do the work.

Any message you want to send as you enter the Hall of Fame?

I would just say thanks for letting me be a part of it. I am truly grateful for those that I have been able to work with over the years. It was such a privilege to be in a spot to have so many conversations with vendors, dealers and industry partners where we were collaborating on innovative solutions for the industry. n

Insight Into Kent McKeigg

From Matt Kaplan, President, Ordermygear

I had the pleasure of meeting Kent McKeigg over 15 years ago when I was working as the director of team sports at Under Armour Performance. Kent had recently founded OrderMyGear and shared his vision for revolutionizing the sporting goods industry with easy-to-use technology.

Kent’s goal was to build software that would save sales reps time, drive efficiency, create opportunities for sales and ultimately provide a better quality of life for industry professionals. His enthusiasm, passion and commitment to his vision were not only impressive. but also reminiscent of another successful young founder in Baltimore, Kevin Plank. On that day, on that Las Vegas trade show floor, I decided to take a chance and work with Team OMG. That decision changed the trajectory of Under Armour Team Sports, the sporting goods industry as a whole and my personal and professional journey.

By 2018, Kent had built an exceptional team with an outstanding culture in Dallas and had established OrderMyGear as the leading technology provider in the sporting goods industry. As the company continued to expand, my relationship with Kent remained strong and he eventually extended an invitation to join Team OMG. I am not only grateful for Kent’s accomplishments but also feel a profound sense of pride in building upon his legacy in the sporting goods industry.

Kent’s exceptional leadership, unwavering innovation and commitment to excellence have played a pivotal role in shaping the industry for the better. His induction into the Sporting Goods Hall of Fame is a testament to his extraordinary contributions and serves as an inspiration to all young entrepreneurs. Kent’s success is a shining example that anything is achievable by operating with trust, integrity, transparency and investing deeply in personal relationships.

Kent’s exceptional leadership, unwavering innovation and commitment to excellence have played a pivotal role in shaping the industry for the better.