Colts' Irsay takes on unusual role as car salesman

April 5, 2010
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In a television commercial which begins airing early this month, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay takes on the unusual role of pitchman.

Irsay agreed to appear in television commercials for Toyota, which took over as the Colts' official automobile provider from Chevrolet last year.

The commercials were produced by Saatchi & Saatchi, a well-known worldwide ad agency that handles the Toyota account.

IMS Productions in Speedway was used to shoot the ads. Much of the shoot took place at the Colts’ 56th street complex.

Irsay appears in a Toyota vehicle along with Colts cheerleaders and the team’s mascot and says, “At the Indianapolis Colts, there’s only one car brand we trust to haul all our MVPs.”

It’s one of the very few direct pitches Irsay has ever made. In fact, some Colts officials don’t recall Irsay ever pitching products directly in an ad for a team sponsor or other company.

“Jim has made himself available to Colts sponsors at their will,” said Colts Senior Vice President Pete Ward. “We certainly want to do what we can to help our corporate partners. They’re an important part of our team.”

According to Ward, officials for Toyota, which signed a three-year deal with the Colts at the beginning of last season, requested either a player or a high-ranking Colts executive for the ad, and the Colts offered Irsay.

The 30-second spot which will air across Indiana through at least May might also prove to be a good branding tool for the Colts.

In the commercial, the Colts mascot is shown with a large horseshoe prominently displayed on his chest, a horseshoe appears on one of the goal posts in the team’s training center, and the team’s playoff and Super Bowl banners are shown in the background of the ad.

Ward calls the ad a win-win.

“They’re a major sponsor for us, so we’re happy to help them any way we can,” Ward said. “And Toyota is pretty critical to Indiana's economy.”
 

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  • Irsay
    I do not care if they are a sponser or not, I would not pitch Toyota for anything. A sneaky car company that has tried to do everything possible from being held accountable for producing cars that are killing Americans. They cannot even figure out why they are making dangerous cars! What a joke.
  • Irsay
    Toyota employs THOUSANDS of Hoosiers. We better hope they rebound.
  • Todd is a joke
    Todd do you really believe what you have written or is this just your knee jerk feedback. Do you really beleive any company would make a product to hurt people. What UAW plant do you work for?
  • Toyota Fan
    Todd sounds like a bitter union worker. I have owned 4 Toyotas and have never had any major repairs or problems, 3 of them I drove past 130K miles. The recent recall issue was a witch hunt. I owned a Dodge Caravan that had multiple problems, including a brake design that was insufficient for the weight and size of the vehicle and there was never a hint of a recall.

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