Cooney Sports Locker, 654 E.
Wisconsin Ave., stocks Cooney and Five O’s gear as well as
some shirts advertising Oconomowoc in general.
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 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
“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.
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
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.”