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At a time when many professional sports teams and properties are seeing their revenue drop in the wake of a rocky economy, the Indianapolis Indians this year have seen a nearly 18 percent increase in its sponsorship income.
The Indians, a AAA farm team of Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates, have signed new or expanded deals this year with Cardinal Fitness, Coors Brewing Co., Ivy Tech Community College, Pepsi, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Toyota and Vincennes University among others.
The Indians have brought in $1.62 million in sponsorship sales this year, up from $1.37 million last year. Team officials said this year’s sponsorship revenue could go slightly higher.
Cal Burleson, Indians vice president and general manager, said the cost of team sponsorship for the Indians relative to other professional teams during this soft economy could be one reason why sponsorship revenue is growing.
“Our attendance is up 1 percent from this same time a year ago, and last year was a very good year in terms of attendance,” Burleson said. “We are becoming more professional in the way we approach sponsors, and we feel we’ve created a framework for sponsors to succeed.”