IndyCar's Mark Miles Pushing For Consumer-Oriented Sponsors To Help IMS Sell Tickets
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles is "firing up an effort to go after consumer-oriented sponsors -- a move aimed at helping the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sell more tickets for its events," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. IMS and the Verizon IndyCar Series have "traditionally been heavy in business-to-business sponsorships," and this move could put IMS in "direct competition" with the likes of the Colts and Pacers. Miles this month decided to move forward on an "intensive effort to sell sponsorships to companies in four primary categories: banks, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and fast-casual restaurants." He said, "Business-to-business partnerships are and will always be a very big focus for us. Now we're trying to get more consumer companies involved." Miles said that the new initiative is "not a reaction to declining attendance" at the track, but rather an effort to "bolster the profile of the track and all its events." He added that he and his staff will "talk to local, regional and national companies -- but it's key that the new partners have a strong presence in Indiana and, ideally, Indianapolis, where a huge chunk of IMS' tickets sales are generated." Miles is "aiming to sign deals of $500,000 per year and up, with some reaching the seven-figure range." He "wants cash as part of the deals," but is also looking for sponsors who will "spend money to promote" events at IMS and help the track sell tickets. Miles said that the new deals will focus on May events -- "including the Grand Prix, which needs a new title sponsor, and the Indianapolis 500 and its qualifications -- but would not be limited to that month" (IBJ.com, 9/16). This comes as IndyCar likely will be looking for a new title sponsor after Verizon's current deal expires after the '18 season.