NBC doesn't honor Lucas' request

September 8, 2008
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stadiumApparently NBC’s Andrea Kremer didn’t get the memo. At least she didn’t get the one from Lucas Oil Products Inc. founder Forrest Lucas. During a sideline segment during last night’s Indianapolis Colts-Chicago Bears game, Kremer talked about the new $720 million retractable roof stadium. She raved about some of its qualities. Then she said “Lucas Oil Stadium, which is becoming known as The Luke …”

Last month, Lucas, who paid the Colts $121 million over 20 years to put his company’s name on the stadium, asked that the stadium not be called The Luke. One of his company’s primary competitors is LukOil, a Russian owned operation with its North American headquarters in New Jersey. There is also a Luke Oil Co. based in Hobart. Lucas thinks calling the new stadium The Luke will cause confusion over the affiliation of his company and his competitors.

The Luke was coined by local sports radio hosts, and quickly caught on with several local print journalists. Now, the national media has picked up on it. Colts officials said they will continue to emphasize to media members and partners that the facility should be called by its proper corporate name, but they admit there is only so much they can do.
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  • Al Michaels and John Madden talked about the stadium, but didn't really say anything nice about it. I guess if they couldn't say anything nice about it, they didn't want to say anything at all. I thought it looked fantastic from the aerial views and I am anxious to see it in person.
  • It will be interesting to see what people say about this venue's ability to host concerts, basketball games, etc. What people call it may be the least of their concerns.
  • I remember both talking about how nice of a stadium it was. They raved about the open window and views of downtown. Maybe you were on a bathroom break.
  • Yes I also remember Al and John saying good things about the new state-of-the-art stadium but they never referred to it as The Luke.
  • Thanks for this piece, Anthony! I hadn't heard about the mishap yet. Here's my take on it: http://www.blastmedia.com/blogs/mediablast/2008/09/branding_gone_awry.html.
  • I will forever call it The Luke. If we are forced to have the word 'oil' dominate our skyline, then we should be able to call it whatever we want, and frankly, The Luke is almost endearing.
  • Hey Chis, I think they mispelled the last half of your name - the t should be a g because you have the brain of a gopher! Forever, a gopher.
  • Michels described Lucas Oil stadium as wild design more than once. I'm not sure that was a compliment.
  • I definitely noticed when Kramer said The Luke. I thought it was highly unprofessional of her. I say this as a play by play announcer with nearly 20 years of experience in calling games. It was my honor and privilege to call the Avon Hamilton Southeastern game on opening weekend before the Bills Colts preseason game. I had used The Luke in referring to it in private conversation, but once on the air, I used the proper name for it, as it is supposed to be.

    Now, if John Madden were to use that nickname, it would be more acceptable because of his role on the broadcast, but Kramer is there as a reporter and as a reporter, it's unprofessional to go the nickname route.
  • Oh, and I too heard Al and John gushing about the stadium on more than one occasion. I know the word
  • Big deal if someone called it the Luke.

    We ALL pay for it, collectively many times more than what Irsay or Lucas will ever pony up -- hah!

    Continuing with the bad pun, I heard mostly Luke-warm comments on the stadium, words like: imposing, cavernous, midwest, traditional, brick, fieldhouse --did I hear barn in there? Yes they did talk, but not rave about the roof and the window.

    Lets face it, other stadiums like Cincy's Paul Brown, the Browns stadium, and, I suspect, the new stadium in Dallas have a bigger WOW factor and a more distinctive and dramatic architectural footprint.

    We don't have that -- but it is bigger and nicer. Lukewarm it is.
  • When the new Yankee Stadium opens next year, nobody will be talking about the Luke. Forrest should appreciate the chatter while it lasts.
  • This would never go - but since Indy and the surrounding counties are paying a tax to finance it, and it's also an expansion of the convention center, I think it should be called the Central Indiana Convention Lucas Oil Products Stadium or CICLOPS. Then we could nickname it THE I as in eye.

    Okay - it's a stretch but you gotta give me points for creativity! LOL
  • With all the names plastered all over the stadium and all the Lucas Oil gadgets stuck throughout the stadium, I think everyone knows this is Lucas Oil. This dude shoud relax. Or, if Luke still bothers him, then buyout his competitor.
  • Why not, The Oil Can or The Can

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