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Sports Business

Roundup: Hill finalist for citizenship award, Coke unveils Indy 500 bottle

April 6, 2016
KEYWORDS Sports Business

My friend Scott Olson over at IBJ’s Property Lines blog does such a wonderful job stacking tons of news into his weekly blog roundups. I thought I’d try that format here—for the very first time—on The Score.

So without further ado, here goes.

Pacers’ Hill finalist for citizenship award

One of Indiana Pacer George Hill’s primary personal goals this year has little to do with his on-court performance. The Indianapolis native and Broad Ripple and IUPUI graduate wants to be recognized for his work in the community.

And it looks like that might just happen—in a big way.

Hill is one of five finalists for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, which has been presented annually since the 1974-75 season and is voted on by members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

The lone Pacer to win the prestigious award: Reggie Miller in the 2003-04 season.

The other finalists this year are LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Wayne Ellington (Brooklyn Nets).

Coke making Indy 500 bottle

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues to score commercial deals for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 29.

The Speedway and Coca-Cola will unveil a bottle on Wednesday afternoon commemorating the 100th running of the 500-mile race. Coca-Cola is unveiling special eight-ounce commemorative bottles emblazoned with the Indy 500 logo. The bottles will be sold in limited-edition six-packs, Coca-Cola officials said.

Executives from each organization will be joined at the famed Speedway by Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb and 2016 Indianapolis 500 driver Matthew Brabham for the unveiling.

Local merchandiser sings deal with Texas race track

MainGate Inc. has signed a two-year deal with the Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, Texas.

The deal calls for MainGate to develop a full line of merchandise and apparel for sale at events and through e-commerce. The Indianapolis-based company also will be charged with brokering deals to sell the merchandise through major, national retail outlets.

MainGate will manage event retail for the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas (April 8-10), Lone Star Le Mans (September 15-17) and the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix (October 21-23).

MainGate also will develop and operate an onsite retail outlet to serve visitors and fans during on-track tests and track rental events. In addition, MainGate will redesign and maintain the official COTA e-commerce store, COTAstore.com, with a launch set for later this spring.
Pacers, Purdue going high-tech

For sports fans who love technology or tech geeks who love or work in sports, SportTechie Daily is a must read.

Last week, the Indiana Pacers and Purdue University’s football program were featured in SportTechie.

Purdue was cited for its use of virtual reality technology in developing its football players—and especially its quarterbacks. It turns out it’s a great way to practice without getting beat up.

Speaking of virtual reality, here’s a bonus. Click here to see how the technology is helping ticket buyers see exactly what they’re buying. No more getting hoodwinked for obstructed-view tickets.

SportTechie also featured how the Indiana Pacers head strength and conditioning coach is using technology to keep the players fit and ready for the rigors of an 82-game regular season.

NHRA partners with Purdue

Purdue recently signed a three-year deal to be the engineering and technology partner of the California-based National Hot Rod Association.

Purdue University said the pact will help the school expand its science, technology, engineering and math–also known as STEM–programs as well as advance motorsports technology.

“Purdue has found that motorsports is an absolutely incredible way to truly enliven the STEM discipline,” Jim Caruthers, Purdue professor of chemical engineering, said in a statement. “Often times, STEM is taught in an abstract way, but we have learned how to deconstruct technology inside a motorsports vehicle to the basic science and math.”

Purdue is no stranger to racing. In addition to holding a well-known student-run go-kart race each spring, the school also has deals with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,IndyCar Series, and Dallara, IndyCar’s Italian chassis maker.

Not only will Purdue work with the NHRA to improve its technology through research and development, but Caruthers said another focus will be to extend the STEM program into middle schools.

One of the main areas of focus on the NHRA side will be the Jr. Drag Racing League. The JDRL offers kids, ages 5-17, the chance to compete in a dragster that is half-scale to the Top Fuel cars. Purdue and the NHRA hope to use the program to explore an electric version of the series.

In case you were wondering …

The Masters is a bucket list item for many sports fans. For lots of hardcore golf junkies, Augusta is the Mecca of golf. But it’s not an event for the cheap at heart.

Because The Masters tees off Thursday, it seems appropriate to roll out some fun facts (provided by Wallet Hub) about the event.

$3,975 – Average price of a four-day pass purchased on the secondary market (down 36 percent from 2015).

$34.75 million – Estimated revenue from 2015 ticket sales.
$250 – Cost of producing each green jacket. (I actually would have thought it would have been more.)
$10,000 – Annual dues for members of Augusta National Golf Club. (That actually kind of a bargain for an exclusive club, though there’s also a stout five-figure initiation fee. I’m sure the club’s members, the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and T. Boone Pickens can afford the hit even in these economic uncertain times.)

90 percent – Of the golf carts used in the world are produced in Georgia.
57,000 – Georgia jobs are supported by the golf industry.


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