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.
  • 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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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.