Color Me Wolf Pack
Local business owners and University of Nevada, Reno graduates Mark Glodowski and Brad Platt have taken their enthusiasm for Wolf Pack sports and turned it into a thriving business in northern Nevada.
Their business, Silver and Blue Outfitters, a Wolf Pack apparel and accessories retailer, held the grand opening of their second store in early November located across from the university’s campus at 1505 N. Virginia St.
Glodowski and Platt acquired the building this April and signed a ten-year lease for the 2,900-square-foot store. The building was previously used as a day care center and was in need of major renovations to convert it to retail use. Glodowski and Platt worked with the landlord of the building, Josh Theriot with JEF Enterprises, to add $150,000 of renovations to the property.
“Its been a true partnership every step of the way,” Glodowski said of Theriot.
They opened the store through a special-use permit Oct. 3, just in time for the Nevada vs. UNLV football game, and held their official grand opening Nov. 5.
Looking around town, you can see strong support for the Wolf Pack with car decals, Nevada clothing and Wolf Pack apparel sold in many northern Nevada locations. But according to Platt and Glodowski, it wasn’t like this over ten years ago.
“There wasn’t Scheels; there wasn’t the two-story Wolf Shop in the student union,” Glodowski said. “There was just a small selection (of Wolf Pack merchandise) in the old student union.”
“If you saw someone wearing Wolf Pack gear, you would go give them a high five (because it was rare),” Platt said.
Glodowski started an online sports-related message board while he was in college that was designed to connect sport fans. After graduating from UNR in 2004, he went on to attend Texas A&M for graduate school and transitioned the message board to Platt.
“Part of the college experience is feeling like you are part of something bigger than yourself,” Glodowski said. While he was at Texas A&M he saw, “a massive amount of school spirit.”
Glodowski wanted to bring the college pride that he had experienced in Texas to northern Nevada.
So in 2006, Glodowski and Platt launched an online retail store to offer a wider range of Wolf Pack apparel. In 2008, they opened their first brick-and-mortar store in the Meadowood Mall.
Silver and Blue Outfitters also became the official merchandiser of Wolf Pack Athletics in 2009. The business runs concession stands at the Nevada games and fills all the online orders through the university’s athletics web page. The contract runs to 2017 — at which time they will look to renew their contract.
Their stores employ between 11 and 20 people depending on the time of year.
“It is a seasonal business,” Glodowski said.
Peak shopping time is from August when school starts to the end of football season.
The new location is located across from Lawlor Events Center and the Wolf Shop in the Joe Crowley Student Union.
Glodowski pointed out that while the Wolf Shop is part of their competition, they are not the same. Silver and Blue Outfitters has a wider selection of gear and the Wolf Shop sells other items such as textbooks, electronics and food.
“The more merchandise out there the better it is for the (Wolf Pack) brand,” Glodowski said. “At other universities, every campus is surrounded by other stores like ours.”
The business also provides part-time jobs to students. One of their notable former employees includes San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who worked at the Meadowood Mall store while he was attending UNR.
The new store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Meadowood Mall store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. University of Nevada, Reno students and faculty receive a 15 percent discount when they show their ID.
Eaton Dunkelberger, CEO of Sierra Nevada Journeys, said the nonprofit raised $5.57 million for the purchase thanks to support from 56 donors.