SBD/Issue 61/Facilities & Venues

Lucas Oil Taking Sponsorship Opportunities To New Level

hhgregg Gate One Of Many Sponsored
Areas At Lucas Oil Stadium
In the "latest frontier in stadium sponsorship," the Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium "features a hallway filled with dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines" from Indianapolis-based retailer hhgregg, according to Stephanie Clifford of the N.Y. TIMES. Lucas Oil Stadium also has "gasoline pumps in the north gate area, sponsored by Lucas Oil, airplane seats in the AirTran Airways food court in the northwest section and cars in the northeast corner, sponsored by Chevrolet." The stadium's club lounges and gates also are sponsored. Clifford notes NFL and MLB teams "share revenue from television deals, merchandise and some ticket sales with other teams" in their leagues, but stadium sponsorship money is "not shared, so selling suites, naming rights and sections of a stadium to corporations is one of the ways a team can bolster its own revenues and stay competitive." IMG Consulting Senior VP David Abrutyn: "In today's world of a very crowded advertising marketplace, it's very important for facilities to provide the brands and companies they're associating with a lot more than just signs and tickets." But Abrutyn added that teams "must be careful." Arbrutyn said there is a "fine balance of not having it be so overcommercialized that it turns the consumer off from your brand." Abrutyn: "I understand the goal of the Colts is to make money, and they will make as much money out of this as possible. Where will get really annoying is if you get to the point where you're more bombarded by advertisements than by the actual game." Meanwhile, Twins President David St. Peter, whose team has a naming-rights deal with Target for its new Target Field, said, "Advertising and sponsorship and signage are very synonymous with baseball. There have been outfield signs for 100 years. It's nothing new" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/11).

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