Toyota takes over Southwest's spot at Lucas Oil Stadium

August 21, 2013
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Colts fans entering Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time this year for Saturday’s preseason game against Cleveland will see a new set-up in the northwest corner of the venue.

Replacing Southwest Airlines’ decorum in the concourse is an elaborate interactive Toyota display. The display includes video walls showing factory highlights and vehicle footage, a 2013 Highlander with a digital wheel stand display; a pair of multi-dimensional monitors featuring Toyota products and Colts players; and an interactive player wall which also showcases the 11 central Indiana Toyota dealers.

The concourse originally was decorated with Air Tran Airlines items, and then with Southwest things after Southwest bought the airline. Southwest dropped its sponsorship deal due to a decreased presence in Indianapolis, Colts officials say.

Colts officials recently announced an extended and expanded agreement with the Japanese carmaker, making Toyota the official team vehicle through 2017. Toyota has been a Colts sponsor since 2010.

Though financial terms were not disclosed, sports marketers estimate the annual price tag in the low seven figures. In addition to the concourse display, Toyota will have its logo on the team’s away game press backdrop.

In 2008, when Lucas Oil Stadium opened, team officials estimated the annual cost of one of the four interior corners on the stadium’s main level at $750,000.

A big part of Toyota’s Lucas Oil Stadium display—and larger sponsorship deal—will be highlighting Toyota’s Indiana presence, company officials said.

“The Toyota concourse celebrates the company’s numerous vehicles, as well as our hard-working manufacturing associates and dealer partners in the state of Indiana,” said Kevin Fletcher, general manager of the Chicago Region (which includes Indianapolis) for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

Toyota’s plant in Princeton assembles the Highlander, Sienna and Sequoia. The Camry is assembled in Lafayette at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. plant. Toyota directly employs more than 4,500 people in Indiana, with an additional 12,900 local jobs affected indirectly, Toyota officials said.

“With Toyota vehicles being built in Indiana, it makes sense this brand be associated with Indiana's own Indianapolis Colts,” said Jay Souers, Colts senior vice president of sponsorship sales.

  • Irsay strums while Indy burns
    How much is Indy or CVB getting from this deal? Oh yeah, zero. Meanwhile property or income taxes are likely going up to pay for police officers because we can't raise food and bevy tax rates since the eternally suffering billionaires needed that hike for their sports palaces. Thanks for the great partnership with the city, Jim! All take and no give.
  • What??
    Irsay just gave the ISO over $750k so they can "strum."
  • CIB gave more first
    In April, the CIB agreed to spend $2million to update suites at Lucas Oil and Colts/Irsay keep all revenue from those suites.
    • Party Hard
      Those with big bucks must party really hard! There is no way the suites in a venue the newly built should need to be updated already!!
    • Whaa, whaa, whaaa!
      "It isn't fair that Irsay and all his players make millions and we don't! The City should make him share all the gate, concession and ad revenue with everyone in the City that isn't working and on welfare so we can watch the games in suites, too, while we talk on our Obamaphones!"
    • GM metal Fabrication
      And anther one Bites the dust go Colts
    • Unvelievable
      GO TOYOTA! GO COLTS!! :)
    • Get a life
      How can you hate on a man that made a GREAT deal and is reaping the benefits of being smarter then the people YOU employ to run this city. I would think people would be happy their team is staying in Indy and not going to LA, but I guess what another man makes financially is more important then the good times and the economic impact of the events coming into building and game day Sunday experience. NEWS FLASH! Everybody has the same 24 hours. Work on implementing a plan that will make you a billionaire instead of wasting your time hating on a man who did it! BOOM!
      • Jody Hurly is Correct
        Everyone should work on being the child of wealthy parents.
      • The word "decorum"
        I do not think it means what you think it means.
      • Why so Angry
        yes,Irsay gets millions in benefits provided by the tax payers, but look what is provided in exchange. we have a national presence, a team for the city to rally around, thousands of jobs for people in the city, a venue that draws tourists and conventions to the city. the total impact of that building on the city incredible. we have invested in our city, not in Irsay. that investment keeps Irsay and the colts also provides jobs and income to a lot people who need jobs. dont look at what he makes, look at what we receive. Irsay is reaping the benefits of his fathers work. I work my but off trying to get rich. and guess what, Im leaving it all for my kids too.

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      Sponsored by
      1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

      2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

      3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

      4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

      5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.