Lucas thinks Indy will get Super Bowl on regular rotation

January 12, 2011
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Forrest Lucas, CEO and owner of California-based Lucas Oil, didn’t like the way the Indianapolis Colts playoff game ended Saturday, but he has absolutely no complaints about the 20-year, $121.5 million deal his company signed to be the title sponsor of the stadium the team calls home.

“That deal is one of the best deals we’ve ever done,” Lucas said while he was working in southern Indiana this week. “That stadium was a great deal, no doubt. The national exposure we’ve gotten from that deal has been even better than expected. You can’t believe the number of people that come up to me to talk about the stadium. No matter where I go, people ask about Lucas Oil Stadium. I think it’s the nicest stadium in the world.”

Lucas Oil has myriad motorsports sponsorships, but Lucas said nothing has taken his company to a mainstream audience as much as the stadium deal.

“Because of our stadium venture and our involvement with the NFL, twice as many people know Lucas Oil as they did before we did that deal,” Lucas said. “It’s been astronomical.”

Lucas said the bright red neon signs on the outside of the stadium have been worth millions of dollars to the company in marketing exposure every year. He thinks that value will be magnified next year when the Super Bowl is played here.

“A Super Bowl commercial is $3 million,” Lucas said. “If they show that building coming in and out of every commercial break, we’re going to get a lot more value than that. It will be huge, and our image will really be magnified.”

Lucas, who has a suite in the stadium, has been so impressed by the way the stadium operates and the city hosts Colts games, he is confident that the 2012 Super Bowl will not be Indianapolis’ last one.

“I travel a lot for business, and we do a lot of entertaining,” Lucas said. “I can tell you, what you have in Indianapolis is special. I’m confident once people come here and experience a Super Bowl, we’ll be in a four- or five-year rotation for the Super Bowl. I think we’ll be that much better than everybody else.”

  • dreamer
    Well, it doesn't hurt to dream, Forrest. We'll see, but the competition to host just one Super Bowl is mighty stiff.
  • Indy will need it
    to replace the Indianapolis 500 as the city's biggest event because the "500" is in the final years. The IMS is being sold and taken down soon. So a Super Bowl on a regular basis is not a bad thing at all for the city. Auto Racing is no longer a major league, mainstream sport. It is returning to second-tier status. The NFL, on the other hand, is the big daddy.
  • Dreaming
    I am glad that Lucas thinks he is getting his money's worth on the naming rights deal. For me, I still think he vastly overpaid. Yes, this has helped name recognition: hell, I had never heard of Lucas Oil before the deal was announced. But has the name on the stadium contributed to sales? I doubt it. And yes, everyone says the stadium is first rate (yes it is) but has that helped Lucas bottom line. In my mind, the size of his capitalization versus what he paid for naming rights make this a little pricey.
  • Win, win
    It's a win, win. Win for him if he thinks it's helping his company. It doesn't matter what reality may be (whether + or -) or even what we think. And it's a win for the city and the stadium in having $20M coming in for a sponsorship. I will continue to call it 'Lucas Oil Stadium' as long as they are paying a pretty penny. [And I too had not heard of them prior to the deal.]
  • Keep in mind
    A couple things to keep in mind. The $121.5 million from the naming rights deal goes directly to the Indianapolis Colts, not the city, state or some stadium operating fund. Secondly, Forrest Lucas did share with me that sales are up a considerable percentage since the naming rights deal was signed. How much of that is directly related to the stadium naming rights deal is really anyone's guess, and I suppose up to Lucas' analysts to determine in order to calculate a return on investment. Thanks as always for reading.
  • clarify
    Anthony, Thanks for the clarification on who gets the $ for naming rights. From Forrest's grass-root business to Irsay's pocket by way of the backs of Indiana taxpayers.
  • Gloombuster
    What a bunch of gloomy pessimists some of you are (IMS is going down, Lucas overpaid, a "we'll see" on chances of Indy getting on Super Bowl rotation) The facts are that we have a great stadium, our city has a great reputation for how we host events, and Mr. Lucas thinks he got a "great deal" and is making more money. Furthermore, whenever people all over the country ask him about the stadium, it's good promotion for Indy. Having a well-traveled guy like Mr. Lucas, who entertains a lot and moves in influential circles, on board to spread the word that "what you have in Indianapolis is special," and share his views about how impressed he is by the way the stadium operates and the city hosts Colts games, it just can't be a bad thing. Buck up!
  • Sunny,

    Don't sweat Burl, he hates auto racing and the IRL in particular.

    The rest pretend that the Colts, the Superbowl and the NFL do little for Indy.

    If a 1 minute commercial for the Superbowl runs $3 mil, how much ad time is Indy going to get with a season, the playoffs, two weeks of build up and 12 hours plus of pre game and game going to do for Indy.

    That does not include all the publicity Indy gets from having the team here, the conventions here etc....

    But we have been through all this before.
  • I think Indy will put on one heck of a show. If any cold weather city could get in the rotation it would be Indy. Don't forget, cold weather is a relative term.

    Jacksonville was in the 50's for the Superbowl they had, not quite golf or swim weather. Atlanta had an ice storm their Superbowl and Dallas is in the 30's and 40's this week. Lets not forget the monsoon Miami had.

    Since Indy knows it has cold weather and it is built for it, they can pull off an incredible Superbowl and avoid the problems surprise weather can cause.

  • why not share
    This is great for indianapolis, and good for Lucas Oil. But could Irsay find it in his heart to let some of that money that Lucas pays him every year to go to paying off the stadium. and maybe let some of the taxpayers off the hook, just a little?
  • Positivity is good
    I like your thinking, Sunny!
  • LOS
    I believe it is vital for Indy's downtown, which is built around hosting conventions, events and sports, to have venues like Lucas Oil, Conseco, and the Convention Center. I just want people to know who pays for it and who is paid for events held there.
  • Irsay already agreed to pay $100 million for the stadium, not sure he should have to give more. I am sure you are not willing to pay more than what you owe on your house, are you? Or add a little extra to what you pay in property taxes out of the kindness of your heart?
  • The problem is...
    LOS and the Colts gain revenue from Colts games and other events at LOS. Which means....any event held at LOS, the revenue generated from tickets, etc. actually goes to the Colts organization. This also goes for the Pacers. I honestly don't understand how anyone finds this acceptable. The city is losing out on all this revenue but yet wonder why this city is so "broke". This stuff always frustrates me. I'd run for city-county council if I can get the backing. 7 issues the city needs to resolve now

    1. Homelessness and panhandling
    2. Housing (either tear ones down or more renovation)
    3. Jobs
    4. Transportation (Indygo/Light-rail)
    5. Education (Making Indy a College Hub(Satellite campus of ND, and BSU)
    6. Development (too many surface parking lots)
    7. Modifying that horrible parking meter deal.
  • I think a reality check is in order. The Colts do not get all revenue from events at LOS. They do get all ticket revenue from Colts games. That was agreed to, because the contract they had with the City had the City paying them to keep in the middle of the NFL in profit. That meant we were paying millions a year to the Colts to keep them here. As part of the City's request to alter the contract, they get the football revenue, and we do not have to pay them tax dollars.

    We get all money for other events held at the stadium, although ticket revenue is just a small portion of the benefits of LOS.

    Where the City and State cash in on LOS is the money the events that come here bring in and the new development lured here by the stadium.

    Income tax from the workers who are directly and indirectly employed because of the stadium. the sales tax, hotel/motel tax food and beverage taxes, gas tax, airport taxes and so forth and so on. Property taxes paid by businesses that locate here primarily because of the stadium.

    Those areas are where Indy and the State greatly benefit. Add to it, the publicity that Indy gets for every major event held here. The Colts-Jets playoff game was the highest rated wild card game in 11 years. Almost 30 million people watched it. And they got to see and here about Indianapolis after coming out of every commercial break. How much is that kind of publicity worth? Indy typically plays in the highest rated games which is milions of eyeballs and ears seeing and hearing about Indy and what it has to offer.

  • As far as your 7 issues,

    1. Homelessness and panhandling

    Hard to do more than we currently are. There are several groups, but government and private setup to help the homeless. Of course as WISH-TV pointed out, not all panhandlers are homeless and many of the homeless prefer to be and refuse permanent help. LOS does help them, by bringing more people downtown, there is more chance for them to find suckers.

    2. Housing (either tear ones down or more renovation)

    Every city is having this issue. You tear down houses and you are left with empty lots. Ballard did announce that millions from the sale of IWC is going to work on this problem. Not sure how LOS affects it either way.

    3. Jobs

    LOS is responsible for many new jobs. Be they construction jobs for it and the many other buildings being built because of it, or the jobs because of service businesse opening up because of LOS, or the jobs because of businesses that are opening because they were lured here by LOS.

    4. Transportation (Indygo/Light-rail)

    The City is working on a regional solution to this. LOS is bringing more people to Indy from the suburbs which obviously increases the chances suburbanites would understand and support mass transit.

    5. Education (Making Indy a College Hub
    (Satellite campus of ND, and BSU)

    Indy three world class Universities, Butler, IUPUI and U of I. Why would ND and BSU want to move into an already crowded college market? How would LOS affect it one way or the other?

    6. Development (too many surface parking lots)

    The majority of the disappearing surface lots are directly related to projects that have been encouraged by LOS.

    7. Modifying that horrible parking meter deal.

    LOS has some impact on that? Personally anything that brings us millions of dollars that our Council does not have the balls to raise is a good thing. Why have our meter rates been the same for 30 years and the meter technology from about the same era? What Council member is going to vote to raise taxes (parking fees)?

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