Colts announce final gate sponsor for new stadium

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A day after the team clinched its division championship on the field, the Indianapolis Colts front office scored its final gate sponsor for the new Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts today announced a multi-year deal to make Sprint the stadium’s east gate sponsor. Though terms of the deal were not revealed, Colts officials told IBJ in September 2006 that the asking price for such a gate sponsorship was $1.4 million annually.

Huntington Bank signed on as the west gate sponsor and HHGregg will sponsor the south gate. Lucas Oil, which agreed to pay $121.5 million for the naming rights to the entire stadium, will sponsor the north gate.

The gate sponsorships are part of a larger effort by the Colts to sign 12 sponsors, which will help design and decorate specific parts of the $675 million stadium’s interior. Each gate will have a sponsor-specific theme.

Colts officials said the goal of the project is to score $9 million to $10 million in annual sponsorship revenue. That’s on top of the approximately $6 million the team will bring in annually for its 20-year naming rights deal.

The other sponsorships in the program include the stadium’s four corners, which team officials said would go for about $750,000 annually; and two suite-level and two club-level sponsorships, each of which would generate $400,000 to $600,000 a year.

Team officials said all 12 sponsorship deals in the program are sold, but several still have not been announced. Those announcements will be coming early next year, team officials said.

Sponsors get a design and decorating allowance from the Colts as well as funding to keep their displays fresh; use of a design consultant; the company’s logos, colors and theme weaved throughout its section; sponsorship messages on 65 flat-screen TVs placed throughout the venue; and advertising opportunities on the 1,574-foot electronic ribbon board circling the inside of the stadium.

Sprint officials promise an eye-catching experience for Colts fans entering the new stadium – set to open in September 2008 – as they enter from Capitol Avenue.

“Colts fans are some of the most passionate fans in the NFL,” said Kevin Gleason, Sprint’s area vice president. “Sprint is focused on enhancing the fan experience through our products and services and now Colts fans will be able to experience our technology firsthand at Lucas Oil Stadium.”

The telecommunications company, which has featured Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in some of its broadcast commercials, also has inked a five-year deal to become the team’s exclusive wireless provider.


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