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Colts fans snap up travel packages for London game

January 14, 2016

Bullseye Event Group is aiming to fill a Boeing 747 airliner with Indianapolis Colts fans for next season's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London.

The Indianapolis-based event and travel partner of the Colts is shooting to sell 575 packages, which range in price from $3,999 to $4,999 ($200 less if you don't need a game ticket).

After less than two weeks marketing the packages for the Oct. 2 game, Bullseye has sold more than 100 of them, and company partner, Kyle Kinnett, said he's confident the company will meet its goal.

During the last week of the NFL regular season Bullseye launched an advertising campaign for the packages that includes television, radio and print. Kinnett declined to say how much Bullseye is spending on marketing but said it's a "significant" ad buy that will continue for several months if necessary.

So far, he said, the campaign is paying off.

"The travel packages are being tremendously received," he said. "We're advertising on 1070 The Fan, Fox Sports Indiana during Pacers games, and also doing some email campaigns to Colts ticket buyers through StubHub and running ads on Colts.com. The response has been fantastic."

The packages include a direct charter flight to London, transportation to and from the London airport to the hotel and to and from the hotel to the game, a reception party and tailgate party with alcohol the day of the game and hotel accommodations either at the St. Martin Lane or Mondrian London for four nights.

"People might be able to hunt around and put together a package for a couple hundred dollars less, but they're not going to get a direct, non-stop flight from Indianapolis to London and they're not going to get to fly with a plane full of fellow Colts fans," Kinnett said. "We're not just selling the game. We're selling an entire experience."

Bullseye's charter jet will depart at 9 p.m. Sept. 28, a Wednesday, and arrive in London at around 10 a.m. Sept. 29. The group will return to Indianapolis Oct. 3.

A wide range of people have bought packages, Kinnett said, including a father and his 20-something daughter, couples, a group of eight 30-something guys, and business executives who are buying tickets either to reward stalwart employees or clients.

"It's unbelievable," Kinnett said. "We're getting all walks buying this package. This group is going to be a real melting pot. That's what will make it so much fun."

Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward said Colts fans started showing interest in the London game as soon as it was announced in November, and he thinks the interest will intensify when tickets become available later this year.

"The NFL games played in London have been tremendously popular with Europeans and fans in the U.S. who want to combine a trip overseas with the opportunity to see their favorite team," Ward said. "I expect a good number of Colts fans will make the trip to see the Colts play at Wembley Stadium."

Capacity crowds of more than 80,000 at Wembley Stadium have been the norm since the NFL started playing regular season games there in 2007.

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