Sports Business

Indiana Ice looking to build new arena: Hamilton County targeted for $25M, 5,000-seat facilityRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Indiana Ice owner Paul Skjodt is rolling out a plan to build a 5,000-seat hockey arena in Hamilton County to keep his team skating into the black. If he pulls it off, he could be the first franchise owner to achieve long-term financial stability in Indianapolis' seven-decade hockey history. To fortify his effort, Skjodt recently hired a vice president of sales and marketing-someone with experience launching new arenas-and launched a grass-roots marketing campaign he hopes to parlay into profitability. Skjodt,...
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SPORTS: Can U.S. pros reach the world hoops summit?Restricted Content

July 24, 2006
Bill Benner
Team USA gathered in Las Vegas this past week to begin its attempt to reclaim America's rightful place-which would be first place-in international basketball. Imagine, American hoopsters with a hill to climb. Who'd a thunk it? Well, me, for one. Anyone who was paying attention to international hoops-and I happen to be an aficionado-could see that America's dominance, so pronounced when the 1992 Olympic Dream Team pounded hapless opponents on its way to the gold medal, was slip, slip, slipping...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Newsman reflects on iconic pastRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
One of the great things about being a newspaperman is that you get the inside scoop on everything. Even more so than reporters, editors have a unique perspective because they are in on the details of all the big news that's breaking. They are also privy to lots of information and background that doesn't end up in print for one reason or another. So it is with a sense of collegial empathy that I highly recommend an upcoming book by...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Driving the distance for the basicsRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
I recently called my doctor's office hoping he could squeeze me in to diagnose a minor, but annoying, health problem. His nurse informed me I wouldn't be able to get an appointment for at least three days. She suggested I go to an immediate-care facility if I needed attention right away. I was surprised the doctor couldn't see me, but I appreciated the nurse's candor. She knew better than to cheerfully suggest an appointment days in the future, by which...
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SPORTS Bill Benner: Giving up the corner office to follow your passionRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
My friend, former boss and fellow Jimmy Buffett Parrothead, Dale Neuburger, asked that I not turn this into one of those "Where are they now?" pieces because (A) he hasn't been gone that long and (B) he hasn't gone that far. With regards to the latter, Neuburger still occupies an office in Pan Am Plaza, though not the top-floor corner office with its dramatic view of the city skyline, one of the perks associated with the presidency of the Indiana...
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BULLS & BEARS: Use paper, fifth-grade math to track investment resultsRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Ken Skarbeck
Throughout history, we have devised methods to calculate and measure results for all kinds of activities. In academics, we have grading systems that measure student performance. In sports, the most important factor in any game is the score. But when it comes to keeping track of investment results, I suspect that many investors do not have a good grasp on how well their money has performed. Attempting to keep a mental scorecard of the rate of return on your investments...
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Players' desire to shorten season could doom RCA ChampionshipsRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Officials for the WTA, which represents women professional players, and the ATP, which represents men, are considering shortening the lengthy tennis calendar by imposing a short offseason-possibly a three-week, midyear respite that would collide with the RCA Championships.
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SPORTS: Ames, Iowa: site of my 'goose-bump' sports momentRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Bill Benner
I've been blessed to experience a multitude of "goose-bump" moments in sports. Watching Indiana's Hoosiers complete a perfect season and win a national basketball title in Philadelphia. Jack Nicklaus capturing a Masters at age 46. Hoosier Fuzzy Zoeller winning a U.S. Open at Winged Foot in a playoff with Greg Norman. A New Castle/Batesville high school basketball regional championship game at Chrysler Fieldhouse that epitomized all that boys' basketball used to be in Indiana. So many incredible performances at Olympic...
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Animated startup foresees big growth in life sciences: Company produces 3-D graphics with young talentRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Scott Olson
Harlon Wilson and Kurtis Rush originally intended their Indianapolis-based upstart business to provide 3-D animation for use in court cases. But if they had stuck to that business plan, Medical Animatics Inc. could not have produced the video to the hilarious "Urine Stream," a song parody of Abba's "Dancing Queen." Here's a sample of the chorus: So when you get the chance, undo your pants ... And make a urine stream, gold and clean, oh it's such a dream. Urine...
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NOTIONS: Hailing the hare in the land of the tepid tortoiseRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
I was going to play smart aleck this week. I was going to write in hick dialect. I was going to lambaste us Hoosiers over our stubborn adherence to the status quo, our penchant to take things slow, our preference for partisanship, our pooh-poohing of progress and our bull-headed gumption to go it alone in a global economy. Then news broke that Indiana has the highest high school dropout rate in America. So I figured that for two reasons, I'd...
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Westview soldiers on amid health care explosion: Hospital fares well against larger, newer competitionRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Tom Murphy
A touch-screen directory, a grove of potted trees and a muffin-bearing kiosk greet visitors entering the six-story atrium at the new Clarian North Medical Center in Carmel. A much milder scene awaits people walking into Westview Hospital a few miles away, on the west side of Indianapolis. There, a lonely player piano spills soft tunes into a one-story lobby filled with clusters of chairs and pamphlets on volunteering. "Quiet! Healing in Progress" reads a nearby sign. Indiana's lone osteopathic hospital...
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Colts waiting list grows fast: Despite hot ticket sales, team makes big marketing push to ensure new stadium will be sold outRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Colts in early July will unleash its most aggressive marketing campaign ever-even though demand for tickets, club seats and corporate suites at its RCA Dome home exceeds supply. The push is all about the future. Billboards around the state will proclaim that those who want to see games in Lucas Oil Stadium when it opens in 2008 "better not wait until the dust settles," said Tom Zupancic, Colts senior vice president of sales and marketing. Some radio, television...
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SPORTS: Another victory for Indy-at Chicago's expenseRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Bill Benner
First the Big Ten basketball tournaments. Now the Western Open. Maybe those broad shoulders are beginning to sag a bit. The news that Chicago-longtime host of the prestigious Western Open-is now going to share its PGA Tour stop with Indianapolis/Carmel (Crooked Stick), St. Louis (Bellerive) and quite likely Minneapolis (Hazeltine National) was another blow that sucked some of the air out of the Windy City. Chicago Tribune golf writer Ed Sherman called it "the worst deal for Chicago golf fans...
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Local equestrian show jumps into limelight: Only 2 years old, competition has grown into major eventRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
In only its second year, a unique Indianapolis equestrian competition is gaining a following among equine enthusiasts well beyond Indiana. And organizers already are planning to expand the event into one of the nation's largest hunter/jumper competitions. Craig Dobbs attracted nearly 400 horses to the inaugural Circle City Equestrian 500 last year, even though he began preparations only five months beforehand and had no marketing budget. This year, Dobbs said, more than 600 horses will compete at the show at...
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SPORTS: From ticket manager to 'Mr. Baseball' in 50 yearsRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Bill Benner
Not surprisingly, Indianapolis Indians President Max Schumacher and Victory Field, his own field of dreams, have something in common. Neither Max nor the ballpark looks anywhere close to their age. And by the happy coincidence of timing, there will be a double celebration at that downtown beauty of a ballpark July 16. Recognition will be made of Victory Field's 10th anniversary. Hard to believe, but it's been a decade since that pristine night, July 11, 1996, when the gates flew...
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Driving through adversity: First-time team owner uses business fundamentals to help reach the finish lineRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Matthew Kish
It's been a bumpy ride for Michael Crawford this year. Scratch that-it's been like driving into a concrete wall at 190 miles per hour. Repeatedly. The rookie race team owner put his financial livelihood on the line this year to buy two cars and run them in the Indy Pro Series, the open-wheel racing equivalent of AAA baseball, one step below the major leagues. IBJ is following Crawford's progress in hopes of shedding light on the challenges startups face when...
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SPORTS: High school hoops border war reduced to a scuffleRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Bill Benner
Often, when I'm asked to give talks reflecting on the success of the sports initiative in Indianapolis, I use summertime as an illustration. Back in the old days-and you know you're getting old when "old days" refer to anything pre-1970-Indy's June-July-August sports menu could pretty much be written on a single page and in large type. Once the Indianapolis 500 came and went on Memorial Day, about the only thing to do was wait for the start of college and...
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Hilbert estate drawing some offers: Letterman, Babyface, Judd not interestedRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Tom Murphy
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning passed on a chance to buy the Carmel estate built for Conseco Inc. founder Stephen Hilbert that's on the market for a cool $20 million. Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal also rejected the opportunity a couple of times, real estate broker Dick Richwine said. Nearly a year after it went up for sale, the Carmel property labeled the most expensive home in Indiana is still searching for the right buyer. But a recent flurry of interest and...
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Diving for Dollars: Carmel water park looks to make splash by soaking up naming-rights dealsRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Carmel water park looks to make splash by soaking up naming-rights deals Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation has a novel business plan for the $55 million Monon Center at Central Park project that includes selling sponsorships and naming rights for its 10-acre water park and other attractions, possibly even for the entire venue. The mammoth development-which will feature meeting space along with sports facilities, including the water park and fishing lagoons-is under construction and won't open for nine months. But the...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Program opens eyes to community needsRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
In 1973, an automobile accident inspired a mother to create a dynamic memorial to the accomplishments of her son and for the benefit of the community in which he lived. For 30 years, the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series has offered a unique perspective to 25 individuals on the issues confronting our city and region. Guided by a moderator through tours, seminars, reading and interaction with experts, the participants debate education, government, health and human services, the justice system,...
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IUPUI again running in the fast lane: Track facility emerges nationally after long absenceRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
For its first 15 years after opening in 1982, the Michael A. Carroll Track & Field Stadium on the IUPUI campus hosted a major national or international trackand-field event almost annually. For the last decade, it's been primarily relegated to charity events and local grade-school championships. But with the first high-profile competition at the track since 1997 scheduled for this month, the venue is poised for rebirth. From June 21-25, it will host the U.S. National Championships-an event organizers hope...
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SPORTS: City's full-court press pays off with tourney victoryRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Bill Benner
Before the press conference announcing the Big Ten's decision about the future of its men's and women's basketball tournaments, I pleaded-to no avail-with Conseco Fieldhouse Executive Director Rick Fuson to post a score on the fieldhouse board. Indy 5, Windy 0. He was right in refusing to play along. It's always good to take the high road. No sense rubbing Chicago's nose in the news that the Big Ten had awarded the tournaments to our burg for five successive years...
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Firm finds direct approach pays off: Marketing Informatics, part of hot industry, sees revenue rise by $28 million in 3 yearsRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Bob Massie came to Indianapolis in 1985 to preach the Word of God. Twenty-one years later, he's spreading the messages of Indiana businesses, not from a pulpit, but through direct-mail advertising. Massie is shepherding a fastgrowing flock of clients. His company's revenue has grown from $1.86 million in 2003 to a projected $30 million this year. The growth of Massie's firm, Marketing Informatics, reflects the growth of the industry. Directmail advertising is growing more than 15 percent annually, according to...
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NOTIONS: Fighting mountains, oceans with human connectionsRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
During the 1992 presidential campaign, H. Ross Perot used the phrase "that giant sucking sound" to describe what he feared would be a rush of American jobs into Mexico should the U.S. approve the North American Free Trade Agreement. In Indiana's 2006 economy, "that giant sucking sound" describes the rush of Indiana talent across the state line to anywhere but here. In a phenomenon known as the "brain drain," Indiana exports more young talent than it imports. But suppose we...
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SPORTS: Two Sams make most of their day at the BrickyardRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Bill Benner
We often hear the sad refrain that the Indianapolis 500 "isn't what it used to be." I would concede the point, although, after last week's scintillating victory by Sam Hornish Jr., the pendulum unquestionably is swinging back in a positive direction. And while there may be fewer people in the seats and, certainly, fewer drunks in the infield, it remains the largest single-day sporting event in the world, which is a fact and not a marketing slogan. Sometimes you have...
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