SBD/October 15, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Pacers Reach Deal For On-Court Ads, To Be First Of Their Kind In NBA

IEDC's floor sign may be removed for nationally televised games
The Pacers have "brokered a deal with an unusual sponsor" in the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and have become the first NBA team to "sell courtside ads emblazoned on the hardwood," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The IEDC "will be the first corporate entity with a presence on an NBA court," with the exception of naming-rights sponsors. Sources said that the IEDC, which "previously had no in-venue signage deals" at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will "pay a low-seven-figure sum over two years." The floor signage, "along with other fieldhouse advertising IEDC bought," will debut during tomorrow's preseason game against the Mavericks. The NBA is "allowing only one floor sponsorship, with the company's name placed in two locations -- one in front of the home bench and one in front of the visiting bench" -- and "reserves the right to remove the ad during nationally broadcast games on TNT and ESPN." As part of the deal, the Pacers "brokered an agreement with league officials for IEDC to put a slogan on the floor, something owners have forbidden with most commercial sponsors." Instead of "advertising its own name, IEDC will market its efforts to draw business to the state with the slogan, 'A State that Works.'" Pacers Senior VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor said, "The IEDC and this deal are tied to the community. So the NBA agreed to modify its regulations for us." Schoettle reports the Pacers "packaged the deal with advertising time on the digital sideboard between the two benches, the digital ribbon board that encircles the middle level of the fieldhouse, goal post pads, and logos on the backdrop" for in-arena interviews (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/14 issue).
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