SBJ/20090727/This Week's News

Chevrolet drives off, but Colts sign new sponsorships to fill gap

The Indianapolis Colts have made a few changes to their sponsorship inventory at Lucas Oil Stadium after General Motors-owned Chevrolet dropped out as a founding partner because of GM’s bankruptcy protection filing.

James Allen Insurance Brokers, a new Colts sponsor, signed a three-year contract to replace Chevrolet as one of the team’s 14 founding partners. Those firms activate their deals with branded destinations and showrooms on the main concourse inside the 63,000-seat stadium.

The insurance broker will brand its space with signs and wall graphics but there will be no kiosks or other interactive elements, said Tom Zupancic, the team’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

The Colts also signed Toyota to a five-year deal as their official vehicle to replace Chevrolet, a Colts sponsor since the team started playing in Indianapolis in 1984, Zupancic said.

Chevrolet sponsored the facility’s southwest corner with a kiosk and a Colts-branded truck, but exercised an option to get out of its contract after the first season in the new building, Zupancic said.

Toyota’s deal includes vehicle displays outside the stadium and brand exposure in the seating bowl and on the scoreboard.

In addition, the Hoosier Lottery has expanded its presence at the stadium after the Colts signed a deal to create a scratch-off game. The lottery was already a Colts sponsor and had a small booth in a transitional area between the southwest corner and the west gate, Zupancic said.

Colts officials declined to reveal the value of the new and expanded deals, but Zupancic has said that the founding partnerships’ combined value adds up to between $10 million and $12 million annually. Most terms are five to eight years.

The Colts did not provide the insurance broker with cash credits to develop its space, as it did for the other founding partners, because of the limited scope of its activation, Zupancic said.

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