Tennis event gets title sponsor

February 26, 2008
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Despite rumors-and a report in this space yesterday-that WellPoint will be announced as a title sponsor of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships today, WellPoint and tournament officials say that’s not the case.

Officials for the Indianapolis Tennis Championships, formerly the RCA Championships, have called a press conference for 2:30 p.m. today to announce a “premier sponsor,” of the tournament. The announcement will take place at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.

“We are in no way involved in the announcement,” said WellPoint spokesman Tony Felts. “We are as curious as anyone who the sponsor is.”

Tournament officials wouldn’t divulge who the sponsor is ahead of this afternoon’s announcement, but in a statement said, “The new sponsor is a leading Indianapolis-based company with a strong commitment to healthy active lifestyles.” Tournament officials are also expected to announce a new name and brand identity for the tournament, with the new sponsor’s name incorporated into the tournament title.

Thomson Consumer Electronics’ RCA brand killed its $1 million-plus annual title sponsorship following the 2006 tournament--ending a 15-year run as the event’s marquee sponsor. In 2007, a group of sponsors led by Eli Lilly and National City Bank, increased their sponsorship to help mitigate the loss from RCA’s defection.

The event’s previous $1.6 million in corporate sponsorships helped meet about 46 percent of the event’s annual budget, according to tournament figures. Due to the loss of its title sponsor, the tournament’s budget shrunk from $3.5 million last year to $2.5 million in 2007.

Do you think this latest sponsorship deal will help the tournament survive and thrive?
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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

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  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

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