2010 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Susan Baughman

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Senior Vice President of Events, Indiana Sports Corp.

Sphere of Influence: As senior vice president of event management for the Indiana Sports Corp., Baughman is regularly called upon to put Indianapolis’ best foot forward in extravaganzas ranging from the 2004 FINA World Swimming Championships to the 2010 NCAA Men’s Final Four. But her management, organizational and people skills will be tested as never before during the run-up to the 2012 Super Bowl.

Baughman (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The Indiana Sports Corp.’s senior vice president of event management has succeeded in a field that’s not just full of, but choked with, competition. When the ISC was founded in 1978 it was the first sports commission actively seeking major athletic events in the nation.

Even by 1996, when Susan Baughman signed on, it was still the most prominent player in a tight-but-not-cutthroat field. “It took a few years for other cities to try to emulate the process, and become competitive,” she says.

Today, however, Baughman, 42, faces intense competition from every major—and many smaller—municipalities seeking to lure big-name sports events at literally any price. That, coupled with event organizers’ desire to wring every last buck from suitors, makes for a tough day at the office.

Fortunately, her hometown still has a lot to offer. “Indianapolis is a great city to sell,” she said. “The great planning of those who came before us, who were developing the city, has created a walk-able environment. One where the event venues are in the heart of downtown, snuggled next to hotels, restaurants and retail. It’s a dream for event planning.”

It also doesn’t hurt to have Baughman on the city’s side. The Indiana University grad focuses on developing personal relationships with event holders; sniffing out and luring new events to Indianapolis; and personally managing high-profile gatherings herself. Because the ISC relies so heavily on volunteers, this can entail overseeing an unpaid management corps of more than 100. “Most of my time is spent planning events that have already been awarded to the City, like the 2012 Super Bowl,” she said.

Not that she focuses exclusively on birds in the hand at the expense of those in the bush. In her field, such thinking would spell disaster.

“The staff at Indiana Sports Corp. spends a lot of time researching events we may want to bid on in the future, watching event trends, calculating budgets for potential events, and following bid cycles for events’ owners,” she said. “When we see certain events going up for bid, then we activate, research and reach out to other stakeholders in town to see if there is interest in hosting any specific events.”

Baughman thinks relationships are key to her success. “My priority is to get to know people, introduce them to others, create a binding group that is fun to work with, so that work remains exciting and interesting,” she said “If I enjoy the people I work with, I am sure to enjoy the project.”

Besides putting on good shows, she also focuses on managing the calendar. In other words, insuring that a constant stream of major events are Indianapolis-bound, and that the contests all have the fan support, staffing and logistics needed to make them successes. “We want to make sure we pay attention to the needs of the event and make sure each is as outstanding as possible,” she said.

Baughman, who is single, likes to spend her spare time with family and friends. She enjoys cooking, listening to music and burning CDs for friends.


Click here to return to the Women of Influence landing page.


Post a comment to this story

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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!