2013 Forty Under 40: Rob Laycock

 

“I’m looking to help a non-profit on the business side of a board, something like Indy Cog or Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.”

Age: 32

Vice President, Pacers Sports & Entertainment

Rob Laycock says that when he’s at work, there’s no better feeling than seeing Bankers Life Fieldhouse packed with fans. As vice president of marketing for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, he has a hand in making that happen.

“It’s a collaboration of everyone who works here,” he said. “This is a great organization, and I’ve been given a lot of opportunities.”

Laycock, who credits his parents with giving him the math skills (mom) and entrepreneurial spirit (dad) that have helped him succeed, grew up in Brownsburg and went to Indiana University. After graduating, he served in AmeriCorps. While building a trail in an Arkansas state park, he injured himself and ended up working inside, using his database marketing skills to boost the park system.

That led him to apply to Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business MBA program, and the directors of its Sports and Entertainment Network put him in touch with Quinn Buckner, the Pacers’ vice president of communications. Laycock started as a database marketing intern, helping the team better target its ticket sales efforts. In seven years, he has worked his way up to vice president. Last year, he helped increase single-game ticket sales 55 percent compared with the 2010-11 season.

In his off hours, Laycock has volunteered for Indycog, the bicycling-advocacy group, and the Indiana Canine Assistance Network. But his biggest passion is basketball—playing it for fun and making sure it remains Indiana’s most popular sport. He even said, semi-seriously, that the state should give tax credits to people who put up backboards at their home.

“Everywhere I go outside the state,” he said, “when people find out I work for the Pacers, they always mention the movie ‘Hoosiers,’ and ‘in 49 states, it’s just basketball.’ In the business world, you call that a core competency, and I want to make sure we keep that as a community.”•

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