Super Bowl guru wants BioCrossroads-type effort for Indy sports

May 1, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Sports Corp. CEO Allison Melangton is starting to talk about making Indianapolis an international sports city.

Maximizing that initiative, she said, will require a group effort. And there might even be a platform on which to build an international reputation.

Indianapolis became an amateur sports capital in the ’80s and ’90s, and a national sports hub in the 2000s with the success of the Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and hosting the 2012 Super Bowl.

Not too shabby. But last week, Melangton told more than 100 members of Sports Circle Indy, an upstart local group, that the city needs to think boldly.

Speaking to the group at the Columbia Club, Melangton said that for Indianapolis to maximize its potential as an international sports city, local sports teams, facilities, organizations and businesses need to come together to do for sports what BioCrossroads has done for life sciences.

“We have to work together,” she said, pointing out that sports is one of the area’s biggest employers.

Melangton, who was CEO of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, is calling for a cohesive effort among sports entities to draw some of the world’s biggest sports events and organizations to Indianapolis.

Ken Ungar, who co-founded Sports Circle Indy along with Faegre Baker Daniels attorney Amie Peele Carter and St. Vincent Sports Performance Executive Director Ralph Reiff, thinks his organization could grow into the type of entity Melangton wants.

After only one year in existence, Sports Circle Indy has grown to 225 dues-paying members, said Ungar, a former Indianapolis Motor Speedway executive who now runs Indianapolis-based branding and marketing firm US Sports Advisors.

Sports Circle Indy is focused on advocacy, communication, networking and education, Ungar said. He sees a day when it could work alongside other organizations to increase the size of the sports industry here.

“What Allison is talking about is exactly what we want this organization to be dedicated to,” Ungar said. “Sports can be insular. We have to get people in this industry out of their silos and talking. We need to engage more senior-level leaders.”

Melangton clearly supports what Sports Circle Indy is doing. Not only was she a keynote speaker at the organization’s biggest event to date, but the ISC is a Sports Circle Indy member.

One of Sports Circle Indy’s first major objectives is to commission an economic-impact study encompassing all sports events and organizations in Indianapolis.

“We’ve seen economic-impact studies on motorsports and the Super Bowl, but we’ve never had one on the big picture of sports in this city,” Ungar said. “That will help us not only realize the impact but to set our future objectives and priorities.”

Sports Circle Indy is raising money for the study and finding an organization—likely an academic institution—to partner with. Ungar hopes to have it done by year’s end.

Melangton gave the call to action for sports entities to come together to do even more.

Longer term, Ungar hopes to grow Sports Circle Indy to where it has a paid staff that can focus on sports initiatives full time.

“We want to facilitate growth,” Ungar said, “by getting people in sports to work together on things that will benefit all of us.”



  • Simply Put........
    Simply put....Sports matter
  • question
    What can/will Sports Circle Indy do that the Indiana Sports Corp can't? Anthony mentions advocacy, communication, networking and education, which ISC could do.
  • More With The Jock Sniffing
    Hasn't our jock-sniffing economy done enough damage? Talk to me about arts, education, infrastructure, furthering our image as a tech hub, I'll listen. Enough with the jock sniffing detracts from what Indy REALLY needs to be focusing on for the good of all, not just the self aggrandizement of a few preeners who couldn't make the team in high school and are trying to make up for it now on our dime.
  • Why is arts and sports either or proposition?
    Why do certain people seem to think that supporting sports and/or the arts is an either or proposition. Why can't they co-exist? Maybe an organization should focus on that.
    • Good point, Matt.
      Look to other real cities like Pittsburgh and it's clear they can co-exist. But not in a city with a mayor who allocates $175,000 a year for its world-class symphony and $6 million for a cricket stadium.
    • Bold Bio Crossbucks
      Need-ant argue in what name and behind what purpose a major economic and developmental improvement lay claim. Regardless of where a Bold Bio Crossroads initiative comes, we should take a local leaders request for recommendations as not cause for critique but an opportunity to suggest something the city and, in turn, its sports and life sciences themes benefit. The Sports Corp should look beyond improving the wonderful highlights of our city that have already drawn national acclaim. Sports and Life Sciences are about health and overcoming obstacles and challenges. Its about conquering opponents on the field and court and in our blood. In order to promote these well aligned causes, we have provide some of the most world class venues and accommodations to facilitate the latest advances and spectacles. Now we must look to connectivity. Connectivity in Sports and Life Sciences is critical to success. Whether it is connecting the latest technological and biological sciences, labs, and facilities, or connecting spectators to their venues, lodging, and entertainment, the more well connected Indy is, the better the its success. Indy, in one year, rewrote the book on how to host a Superbowl. If it wishes to play host again, it must continue to advance. Since our venues and institutions for sports and life sciences sit within walking distance of union station, the sports corp and bio-crossroads should use their political and social clout to push a rail line to its facilities from the number 1 airport in North America. Indy does such big and bold things but sometimes forgets to fill in the cracks or connect the disconnected. Lilly alone, for all that it has done, deserves a rail to union station. The hospitals saw the importance of connectivity and pulled together an elevated rail line that is decades ahead of Indy's slacking advances. I hope Indy, the Sports Corp, and Biocrossroads connect and lay rail from the track to the fields of our life sciences and sports attractions.
      • Airport Rail
        Nick, I couldn't agree more. Indy has done an outstanding job developing world class facilities (Lucas Oil, Bankers Life, IND, the new Mariott, etc....) but is simply lacking a HUGE piece of the puzzle. It has grown a reputation for conventions and large events, but lacks a quick, convienient option to get downtown to where the action is. Additional mass transit projects aside, a rail line from IND to Union Station is a MUST for Indy to take the next step. My biggest complaint about the current Indy Connect Mass Transit initiative is that the plan does not call for the hub of transit to be at Union Station, citing some reasons, to be quite honest, that do not make much sense to me. Union Station is already there, perfectly located, and just begging to be used. I digress. I am very pleased with how Indy has advanced over the last decade(s) and hope to see further bold thinking to continue the progress. My last thought...There does need to be a great emphasis on the arts; ecspecially the symphony. They are a gem for this city and need more support.

      Post a comment to this blog

      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
      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

      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. 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 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 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 !!!