IBJNews

Not-for-profit aims to unite city's sports-related businesses

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A new not-for-profit looking to connect Indianapolis-area sports-minded businesses is already attracting dozens of members.

Even before its first major event April 25 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Sports Circle Indy has signed up 40 dues-paying members, and co-founder Ken Ungar thinks that number will grow to well over 300 in the near future.

“I think 300 members is a very conservative number,” said Ungar, a former Indianapolis Motor Speedway executive who now runs Indianapolis-based branding and marketing firm US Sports Advisors. “We know there’s a very strong demand for this type of organization. We think we could have 200 corporate members alone.”

Late last year, Ungar, along with Faegre Baker Daniels attorney Amie Peele Carter and St. Vincent Sports Performance Executive Director Ralph Reiff, brainstormed the idea for the organization.

“We realized that there were a lot of sports organizations here that look outward, that look to bring sports entities and events from outside the area into the area,” Ungar said. “But there was not an organization that help sports-related businesses here connect through education, networking, communication and advocacy.”

Sports Circle Indy organizers held a meeting in December at Faegre Baker Daniels' office to float the idea to the local sports community.

“When 70 people representing organizations like the NCAA, Pacers, Indians and USA Track & Field showed up, we knew we had something,” Ungar said.

Since then, Sports Circle Indy has added Indiana Fever Chief Operating Officer Kelly Krauskopf, Horizon League executive and local sports columnist Bill Benner, USATF executive Aron McGuire and iHoops Director of Finance and Administration Ronda Hite as board members.

The group offers two levels of corporate membership, priced at $250 or $500 per year. Individual memberships are $60 and student memberships $25.

While there are sports business groups that focus on networking or marketing, there are few others that have Sports Circle Indy's broad mission, Ungar said.

“There’s no other organization that I know of quite like this one,” he said.

David Morton, president of Sunrise Sports Group, a local sports marketing consultancy, said the organization is already creating considerable buzz in the local sports business scene.

The Indiana Sports Corp., Morton said, holds networking events occasionally, but it’s time to have a group dedicated to that endeavor.

“This organization definitely has a place in our industry and community,” Morton said. “Networking is critically important for sports-related businesses and I think it’s important to have an organization focused on that.”

Morton said if Sports Circle Indy accomplishes its mission of bringing businesses together for networking and other common needs, it could be a big boost to the local sports business economy.

“Everyone in this business is so busy doing what they’re doing, we almost have to stop ourselves to meet new people,” Morton said. “If this organization can facilitate that, that’s a good thing.”

The organization plans to conduct regular seminars, educational events and networking opportunities. It also hopes to serve as an information clearinghouse of sorts for the local sports business community. The organization plans to produce a directory of area sports business and a calendar of sports-business related events.

Sports Circle Indy is in the process of planning a major event for 2013 that will feature a “prominent national sports figure,” Ungar said.

“We want to hold high-profile speaking events like you see with the Economic Club of Indianapolis,” Ungar said.

Sport Circle Indy’s first meeting on April 25 will serve to further introduce people to the new organization’s mission and plans, and to introduce people in sports business to one another. Ungar expects 70 people at next week’s meeting.

“There are a tremendous number of sports organizations in town beyond the Pacers, Colts and the Speedway, and quite frankly, not a lot of people know that,” Ungar said. “This is a unique opportunity for sports businesses themselves to get together to get to know one another.”
 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Little boys and girls play games
    Gee, it's a real shame that there isn't a sports business in Indy that can't make a go of it without taxpayer assistance. These little boys and girls can play all they want, but they need to start doing it on their own dime, instead of taxing mine and every other family in town so that they can act bigger than they really are.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

  2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

  3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

  4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

  5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

ADVERTISEMENT