Sports Business

SPORTS Bill Benner: Is blowing up Pacers roster a risk worth taking?Restricted Content

April 17, 2006
On the last day of the regular season, many professional teams schedule "fan appreciation" ceremonies. Judging by the numbers of empty seats in Conseco Fieldhouse, the Indiana Pacers might hold "fan depreciation" night April 19 when the regular season comes to a merciful conclusion. The paying customers, as is their wont, are voting with their feet. Time to spend their evenings at home, or outdoors, enjoying the benefits of daylight-saving time (blame it on Mitch!), rather than witnessing another dark...
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Paid boards spur not-for-profit debate: Critics: If directors won't give time, who will?Restricted Content

April 17, 2006
Andrea Muirragui
Indianapolis-based USA Funds is a large, complex organization, and members of its governing board are busy people. Same goes for the NCAA, another local not-for-profit with a national reach, a nine-figure budget and directors who are anything but professional volunteers. The two organizations have one key difference, though: USA Funds pays its board members. The NCAA does not. "It's simply the nature of the world," said Norm Lefstein, an Indiana University law professor who chairs the compensation committee at student-loan...
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NFL pulls plug on local TV crews: Team owners vote to oust videographers from gamesRestricted Content

April 17, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Indianapolis TV stations say a new National Football League policy that bans them from the sidelines during games is a violation of their First Amendment rights and threatens a major source of income. A league-wide rule that was passed 32-0 by team owners March 28 allows only the licensed broadcast rights-holder to shoot sideline footage during games. The National Association of Broadcasters, Radio-Television News Directors Association and Society of Professional Journalists have petitioned to have the rule overturned. Though owners...
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SPORTS: Final Four manager enjoys his shining momentsRestricted Content

April 10, 2006
Bill Benner
On the day after the Men's Final Four Basketball Tournament concluded, the NCAA's Greg Shaheen said two national champions had been crowned: The University of Florida in winning, and the city of Indianapolis in hosting. For the local organizers, that was some sweet praise coming from an NCAA guy. Sure, one could question Shaheen's objectivity. As many know, the 38-year-old is an Indianapolis/Carmel native who not that long ago was one of those local organizers. At the 1997 Indy Final...
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COMPEN$ATION CLASH: Complexity boosts not-for-profit pay, but should work be its own reward?Restricted Content

April 10, 2006
Andrea Muirragui
At least two large Indianapolis not-for-profits have been investigated-and cleared-as part of an Internal Revenue Service examination of compensation practices at tax-exempt organizations. Preliminary results of the nationwide inquiry aren't expected until fall, but the scrutiny already has increased the volume in an ongoing debate over how not-for-profit executives should be paid. Some observers have called for setting limits on not-for-profit compensation, citing the charitable nature of the work. Others insist sixor seven-figure pay packages are not out of line...
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Profitable Indians enter pivotal year: Local franchise in better shape than mostRestricted Content

April 10, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Indians have one of the winningest franchises in minor league baseball-at least financially. Since 1973, the AAA franchise has been in the black. And, despite new challenges, the team hopes to maintain that streak this year. But operating expenses that have escalated much faster than revenue in recent years have put all minor league teams on guard, and this season is seen as crucial for the survival of many of those franchises across the country. Even though the...
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SPORTS: Will Hoosier fans find room for Sampson's baggage?Restricted Content

April 3, 2006
Bill Benner
Congratulations to Kelvin Sampson? Forget that. Congrats go to Indiana University's athletic director, Rick Greenspan. In this age of wallto-wall media, talk shows, blogs feeding rumors, and undisclosed sources, that Greenspan did an "abracadabra" to pull Sampson out of his hat as IU's new men's basketball coach was an astounding piece of magic. Because of all the names mentioned in the six weeks following Mike Davis' resignation-the Steve Alfords (my choice), the Randy Wittmans, the Tom Creans, the Mark Fews,...
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Tourism's new buzz: Product development: Officials want to build on Indiana's unique assetsRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Matthew Kish
Billboards in southern Indiana used to tug spelunkers in four different directions. Come to Marengo Caves. Spend an afternoon at Bluespring Caverns. Visit Wyandotte Caves. Don a headlamp at Squire Boone Caverns. Two years ago, however, operators at the four attractions decided it might be a better use of cash to market the area as a single attraction. They pooled their advertising budgets and printed a brochure that listed all four destinations. They also created a passport that visitors could...
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Brand balances big bucks and books: NCAA chief: Boosting revenue not out of sync with educationRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Which of those constituent groups is most important to Brand is open to debate. Since Brand stepped down as Indiana University president to take over at the NCAA in January 2003, the association's annual revenue has grown from $433.2 million to $521.1 million. The increase is driven largely by an 11-year, $6 billion TV contract with CBS that took effect during the 2002-2003 sports season. Under Brand's watch, the NCAA has ushered in new sponsors, including Sirius Satellite Radio, Direct...
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Colossal hotel pitched: $250M project features water park, 1,350 roomsRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Greg Andrews
A development team this week plans to submit a proposal to the city to build a $250 million, 1,350-room hotel complex downtown on a site where a 235-room Courtyard by Marriott now stands. The project, just south of the entrance to White River State Park, would include a convention hotel with ballrooms; three smaller, more limited-service hotels; an indoor water park; and a 1,200-space underground parking garage. At 800 rooms, the convention hotel by itself would rank as the city's...
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Indiana Sports Corp. expands youth initiative: John Byers hired from Tabernacle Presbyterian to lead effort to address health issues of city's childrenRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
After more than 20 years heading up one of the biggest youth sports programs in Indianapolis, John Byers is leaving Tabernacle Presbyterian Church to help Indiana Sports Corp. play a bigger role in improving the health of Hoosier children. Byers will become ISC's vice president for youth programming, a new executivelevel position at the not-for-profit, on April 10. "The Indiana Sports Corp. made a decision to look at youth wellness in our city and in our state," said Susan Williams,...
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National City Center to get $11 million facelift: Projects include new Starbucks and restaurantRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Matthew Kish
National City Center and anchor tenant Hyatt Regency Indianapolis plan to pump more than $11 million into the aging, 16-story building to boost its competitiveness with other downtown towers. The plans might grow to include connecting the building to the Artsgarden at the corner of Washington and Illinois streets. The Hyatt Regency, which occupies a wing of the National City Center, plans an $8.5 million renovation that will include the addition of 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a Starbucks...
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SPORTS: Byproducts abundant at basketball's big eventRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Bill Benner
Our big basketball week is upon us. With it, I have some hopes. For starters, I hope we don't take the event and all that comes with it for granted. The NCAA's Men's Final Four is one of the few moveable mega-feasts in sports. That local visionaries dreamed big dreams and put in place the venues, forged the relationships, and formed the partnerships to make Indianapolis the only city to be part of the Final Four's permanent rotation is an...
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Lucas owner says skeptics off base: 'Small company' big enough to handle major deal, he saysRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Colts had to be convinced that California-based Lucas Oil Products Inc. was the right company to buy its stadium naming-rights package. Football franchise executives were quickly converted, but the deal still has its detractors. A month after the 20-year, $121.5 million agreement was announced, sports sponsorship experts remain skeptical it will pan out. "This is a heavy investment for such a small company," said William Chipps, senior editor of Chicago-based IEG Sponsorship Report. "I can tell you it...
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Mega-hotel on city agenda: Pan Am Plaza possible site for 800-room developmentRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
Matthew Kish
The city is looking for developers interested in adding 800 hotel rooms downtown, a project that could be accomplished by building a massive, new hotel or augmenting several existing facilities. Insiders say a new hotel is most likely. They picture it on Pan Am Plaza. If that happens, the hotel would become the city's largest-eclipsing the Indianapolis Marriott by almost 200 rooms. Ideally, the rooms would be available by 2010, when the wraps come off the expanded Indiana Convention Center....
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Hospitality madness: City wants to grow reputation as Final Four's ideal siteRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
Matthew Kish
Bill Evans' phone rang at 11 p.m. It was a basketball team. The players wanted milkshakes. He popped up like he was bouncing on one of those mini-trampolines mascots use to dunk basketballs at halftime. He tapped his partner on the shoulder. They rolled two coolers to the downtown Steak n Shake. He ordered milkshakes. Large ones. Two for each player. They put the shakes in the coolers and rolled them through the downtown night to the team hotel. The...
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SPORTS: A basketball breakfast you won't soon forgetRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
Bill Benner
One of the reasons the NCAA chose Indianapolis to host this year's Final Four is that it coincides with the association's centennial celebration. What better way to bring attention to the NCAA's 100th year than by having its showcase event in its headquarters city. But that won't be the only significant basketball anniversary to be feted during Final Four weekend. Three others have significance to Hoosiers. Call it a coincidence of greatness. For starters, it will be the 50th anniversary...
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NOTIONS: The power of persistence in work, art and sportRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
Bruce Hetrick is off this week. In his absence, this column, which appeared on April 19, 2004, is being reprinted. During spring break, my wife, Pam, and I took our sons, Austin and Zach, to Chicago. Because Zach is a budding photojournalist and Austin likes to write, we arranged through a friend to visit The Chicago Tribune. One of the newspaper's photographers, Nuccio DiNuzzo, arrived at work an hour before his Sunday shift to meet with us. He gave us...
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SPORTS: Pacers' off-the-court performance never wanedRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Bill Benner
Like any team, especially the professional variety, the Indiana Pacers are to be judged by their success ... or lack thereof. Their bottom line is the one that's posted on the scoreboard 82 times a season, then again in the playoffs. It comes as no bulletin that the last two years have been more painful than pleasurable, much of which can be traced to the excesses and eccentricities of the nowdeparted Ron Artest. Collateral damage has been the organization's reputation...
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Lilly says hands off Gemzar: Drugmaker files suit to keep cancer drug off generic marketRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Tom Murphy
Fresh off one blockbuster patent defense, Eli Lilly and Co. mounted another last month when it filed suit to protect its billiondollar cancer drug Gemzar. The Indianapolis drugmaker sued Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and a subsidiary, Sicor Pharmaceuticals Inc., to prevent them from selling generic versions of Gemzar, which treats several forms of cancer and comprises 9 percent of Lilly's worldwide sales. Lilly learned in January that California-based Sicor had filed so-called "abbreviated new drug applications" with the U.S. Food...
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WANTED: Coach with Midas touch: IU searching for hoops leader who'll bring financial stability to athletics-and universityRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
With a $1 billion capital campaign looming at Indiana University, athletic director Rick Greenspan is facing his biggest decision. Many observers think the choice of basketball coach will determine not only the health of the men's basketball program, but of the entire IU athletic department-and to some extent the entire university-for decades to come. IU officials have not yet publicly announced their capital campaign, which would allocate about $85 million for the university's athletic facilities, and likely won't until next...
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SPORTS: It's about more than hoops if Chicago gets tourneysRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Bill Benner
Our month of Much Madness has begun. Forty-one games in 33 days downtown. The Big Ten women's and men's tournaments (20 games). The IHSAA girls' and boys'state finals (eight games). The National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star Game on Final Four weekend. The NCAA Men's Final Four (three games). And, interspersed throughout, nine Indiana Pacers home games. So what's your pleasure? High school, college, pro? No matter the level, it is coming to Indianapolis in abundance. Quality and quantity, packaged...
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Bulls of the Fairways:Restricted Content

March 6, 2006
Matthew Kish
David Simon and Alan Cohen are outstanding golfers, among the best of all Indianapolis businessmen. The CEOs of Simon Property Group Inc. and Finish Line Inc. share something else in common: Their companies are top performers, with their stock prices more than dou-Professor sees link between golf scores, biz success bling in a little more than three years. Coincidence? Not according to Dan Dalton, golf aficionado and former dean of Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. "Business is like match...
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Ticked off over tickets: NCAA plans to battle hospitality brokers during Final FourRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
The launch of The Tournament Club at this year's men's basketball Final Four in Indianapolis is the first shot across the bow of brokers, travel agents, hotel room resellers and others who've stepped in to meet the demand for hospitality packages the NCAA previously ignored. In December, the NCAA hired rEvolution, a Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency, to launch the association's own hospitality package, including lower-level tickets, access to an exclusive hospitality area at the game venue, premium hotel...
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Blog Boom: Newest Web craze becoming a key tool for business marketing, communicationsRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Myles Brand needed a way for his organization to reach out to the public. It had to be direct and immediate and initiate an honest two-way discussion. Brand, NCAA president, chose an offbeat idea-albeit one with a growing following-to solve this age-old business problem. He gave the directive late last year for the NCAA to launch its first blog, an online presence that two years ago few corporate types understood, much less considered a viable means of communication. Now, the...
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