The Indianapolis Colts yesterday announced a sponsorship deal with Ohio-based Huntington Bank that includes sponsorship of the new Lucas Oil Stadium's west gate, which will be named and themed for the bank.
Terms of the deal were not released, but sources close to the deal said it was a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal.
In September, 2006, Colts officials told IBJ that the gate sponsorships would be sold for $1.4 million per year. The gate sponsorships were part of a plan to raise about $10 million annually by allowing companies to sponsor and theme 12 distinct parts of the $675 million stadium that is set to open in 2008.
The naming rights deal with California-based Lucas Oil will bring in about $6 million annually over the life of the 20-year deal.
As part of the most recently announced deal, Hunington Bank also will be the official bank of the Indianapolis Colts. This fall, Colts officials said, Huntington Bank will start offering a debit card with the Colts logo that will get patrons a 10-percent discount at the team's gift shop.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said the sponsorship is one more step in keeping the team at the top of the National Football League.
"When you are in a smaller market and you see ... the sort of revenue generated by the [Washington] Redskins for instance, it's really competitive," Irsay said. "Last year we had the highest payroll in the league above anyone, and that includes the Redskins which outgross us by $100 million or more."