IRL title sponsor hunt on track

August 8, 2008
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rastAfter signing a new television deal with cable channel Versus, Indy Racing League officials are still confident they can ink a title sponsor by year’s end.

Sources close to negotiations said there are five finalists, with Subway restaurant chain being the frontrunner. Kodak also is a candidate and league sources confirmed William Rast, a clothing maker known for its jeans, is another finalist. The other two finalists are technology companies, but league sources wouldn’t say who they were.

“We’re still bullish,” said Zak Brown, president of Just Marketing International, which was hired by the IRL to help find a title sponsor. “I’m still as optimistic as ever we can get this deal done. In fact, I’m more optimistic.”

A big part of the deal, said sources close to negotiations, is the title sponsor’s commitment to make a multi-million dollar ad buy with the new TV partner. Current league sponsors were surprised by the announcement that Versus would air at least 13 of the IRL’s races starting next year.

“The way the league can alleviate the fears is to sit down with all their partners; the manufacturers, teams, sponsors and potential sponsors and lay everything out,” said Doug Boles, a former IRL team co-owner who now works for Atlanta-based Ignition Inc., which represents such companies as Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines in marketing deals. “Their challenge is to show us how this makes sense and to demonstrate a clear plan for growth.”
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  • Zak Brown doesn't seem very credible.

    Funny how they are trying to portray it as some sort of bidding to be a title sponsor. Sources close to me said the price plummeted yet again after the Versus 'announcement'. I am curious to know if Northern Light is one of the alleged tech companies. :lol:

    A multi-million dollar ad buy is gonna be a lot of commercials when this fiasco is basically on the dollar-a-holler plan.
  • I think Zak is vested, thus very optimistic. I would say he tends to be credible and seems to have the track record to back up the results he projects. Check the sponsors he represents in NASCAR and F1. But the Versus deal is a great unknown, and only time will tell.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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