One stop shop for everything Oconomowoc, Cooney related
Cooney Sports Locker continues school pride tradition

By Eric Oliver - Enterprise Staff

July 10, 2015

Cooney Sports Locker, 654 E. Wisconsin Ave., stocks Cooney and Five O’s gear as well as some shirts advertising Oconomowoc in general. 
Eric Oliver/Enterprise Staff

OCONOMOWOC — After working in the food industry all his life, Bill Millot started an entirely new career 12 years ago.

Millot was tired and wanted to do something else. He walked into Cooney Sports Locker, 654 E. Wisconsin Ave. and asked the owner if he wanted to sell his business. A year later and Millot was signing the papers to transfer ownership of the Oconomowoc institution to him.

“I figured we needed to get people outfitted in the purple and gold, or in the case of the Five-O’s, the red, white and blue,” Millot said.

Millot revitalized the store, packing it full of purple and gold, red, white and blue and tons of Cooney themed merchandise.

“We’ve got kids that go off to college and they come back and people on their floor want Oconomowoc stuff,” Millot said. “They want Cooney stuff because it’s such a unique name.”

A name, Millot said, that is sticking around for some time to come.

“Cooney has been associated with Oconomowoc for over 100 years,” Millot said. “It’s not going anywhere. I grew up in Hartland and went to Arrowhead High School. When we were going west on a Friday night we never went to Oconomowoc, we went to Cooney. ... Years ago when there were other businesses in town, there was us, Cooney Press, Cooney Motors, Cooney Insurance. Cooney is one of those special terms.”

Millot said business is cyclical, relying heavily on the high school teams and how they’re performing at the time.

Bill Millot has owned Cooney Sports Locker, 654 E. Wisconsin Ave., for the past 12 years. 
Eric Oliver/Enterprise Staff

For example, when the football program went into the playoffs two years ago business was tremendous. However, last year sales slumped because the team wasn’t as successful.

The fastest Millot said he has ever turned a product around was under 24 hours, but usually it takes him one to two days.

His customer base isn’t only limited to people who want Oconomowoc athletic apparel. Millot is also a full time screen printer and has access to a high quality embroider.

“I’ll do screen printing for all different companies,” Millot said. “We have construction workers, landscapers, electricians, business people, car dealers and things like that. It keeps us busy.”

Why he bought the business

Millot has a self-proclaimed love of sports.

Finding out about the business while he was the volunteer athletic director for St. Jerome’s School, he thought it would be an interesting fit.

“I’ve always been involved with athletics,” Millot said. “I’ve been reffing basketball for 23 years. I’ve done years and years of coaching baseball, basketball, even my daughter’s soccer team when they couldn’t find a coach. Things like that.”

Millot has one thing he wants the public to know.

“If you’re looking for Oconomowoc specific things that you can’t find anywhere else, this is the place to come,” Millot said. “Things you get here, you can’t get other places.”