Colts bucking to sell jersey ad

June 9, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
coltscampTwo weeks after National Football League officials announced teams can sell an ad on players’ practice jerseys, things are heating up at the Indianapolis Colts’ 56th training complex—also home to the franchise’s sales and marketing staff.

“We have proposals out there, and interest is pretty high,” said Tom Zupancic, Colts senior vice president of sales and marketing.

The jersey ad has broad appeal Zupancic said. “It could be for a retail operation or branding in just about any category,” he said.

Zupancic thinks his staff will have a deal signed by the time training camp opens Aug. 2.

Sports marketers said the practice jersey ads would be ideal for local or regional firms, and estimated a deal will wind up in the mid six-figure range in a market like Indianapolis. Similar deals in markets like Chicago, Dallas or New York would likely command high six figures or low seven figures. All the money will stay with the team and not be poured into the revenue sharing pot.

While the jersey sponsorship is being largely embraced by teams, there is some fear that it could widen the revenue chasm between the league's haves and have-nots. Further, teams that make the playoffs are allowed to sell a seperate practice jersey sponsorship for the playoff run that could further widen the gap.

The Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans are among the teams seriously considering practice jersey sponsor deals.

The NFL mandates that the ads be no larger than 3-1/2 inches by 4-1/2 inches. They can’t be worn on game jerseys, even in the pre-season, and can’t advertise for tobacco, alcohol or firearm companies. The NFL is allowing deals with state lotteries, but Zupancic didn’t tip his hand on that prospect.

The only time the ads would be visible to fans would be during open training camp sessions. But NFL officials think sponsors will pay for the small spots so they show up during media shots and post-practice interviews.

The jersey sponsorship opportunity is coming at an ideal time for the Colts, who lost Chevrolet as the southeast corner sponsor at Lucas Oil Stadium and a handful of other smaller sponsors following last season. The Colts sales staff will have to hustle, Zupancic said, to match last year’s sponsorship sales revenue. In 2008, the first in Lucas Oil Stadium, sponsorship revenue was up about 30 percent from the previous year.

“I don’t think we’ll have a major downfall,” Zupancic said. “But you can definitely tell there’s an [economic] pinch.”
  • Only a matter of time before ads appear on all professional stick-n-ball game uniforms. I say inside five years.
  • I don't think it will take five years. There's already talk among league owners whether cities and states have the right to have their name attached to the team in any way. Some building lease deals have a clause in them to this affect, but most do not.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. So as I read this the one question that continues to come to me to ask is. Didn't Indiana only have a couple of exchanges for people to opt into which were very high because we really didn't want to expect the plan. So was this study done during that time and if so then I can understand these numbers. I also understand that we have now opened up for more options for hoosiers to choose from. Please correct if I'm wrong and if I'm not why was this not part of the story so that true overview could be taken away and not just parts of it to continue this negative tone against the ACA. I look forward to the clarity.

  2. It's really very simple. All forms of transportation are subsidized. All of them. Your tax money already goes toward every single form of transportation in the state. It is not a bad thing to put tax money toward mass transit. The state spends over 1,000,000,000 (yes billion) on roadway expansions and maintenance every single year. If you want to cry foul over anything cry foul over the overbuilding of highways which only serve people who can afford their own automobile.

  3. So instead of subsidizing a project with a market-driven scope, you suggest we subsidize a project that is way out of line with anything that can be economically sustainable just so we can have a better-looking skyline?

  4. Downtowner, if Cummins isn't getting expedited permitting and tax breaks to "do what they do", then I'd be happy with letting the market decide. But that isn't the case, is it?

  5. Patty, this commuter line provides a way for workers (willing to work lower wages) to get from Marion county to Hamilton county. These people are running your restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and retail stores. I don't see a lot of residents of Carmel working these jobs.