OneAmerica signs 12-year Natatorium sponsorship deal

The IU Natatorium at IUPUI has announced a 12-year sponsorship agreement with Indianapolis-based insurer OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. for the west concourse area of the iconic swimming facility.  

The branding components of the sponsorship include digital messaging, concourse signage and a replica of the popular OneAmerica signboard. A fixture of OneAmerica’s downtown corporate offices since 1958, the signboard has become a local landmark with its pun-laden sayings. 

This is OneAmerica’s first sponsorship deal with the 220,000-square-foot Natatorium. Company officials said the deal was spurred by recent renovations at the 35-year-old aquatics venue at 901 W. New York St.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sports marketers estimated it at a low seven-figure sum over the course of the deal.

Renovations for the Natatorium ran $20 million, according to IUPUI officials. One of the major, new elements is a broad videoboard on one side of the venue. Its displays will include messages from OneAmerica.

OneAmerica CEO and Chairman Scott Davison is no stranger to water. He’s been a competitive swimmer and swimming coach since the late 1970s and was a leading force in helping Indianapolis land the 2004 Short Course World Championships, staged in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Davison also was one of a small handful of community leaders working behind the scenes to raise awareness and money for the recent Natatorium renovation.

The Natatorium continues to be a well-used venue—not only for Olympic trials, NCAA championship competitions and other national and international swimming and diving events, but also for community programming and local swimming events. More than 200,000 swimmers, divers and their families access the facility annually, according to IUPUI.

The Indiana Sports Corp. recently made a push to attract a wider array of events to the facility.

The Natatorium currently is hosting the USA Swimming National Championships and World Championship Trials through this weekend and is anticipating 700 athletes and an estimated 2,000 spectators for the event. Davison, an Indiana Sports Corp. board member, will be presenting medals in the event finals.

The Natatorium also is making waves for its zero-waste initiative. During last June's U.S. Olympic Diving Trials IUPUI and Natatorium officials embarked on an ambitious initiative to assure that at least 90 percent of the waste generated at the newly renovated building is either recycled or composted.

At a press event on Tuesday at the Natatorium, Davison noted that the venue was one of the first to bring national recognition to Indianapolis as a sports town, adding that maintaining the Natatorium as a world-class facility is an important part of continuing the city’s strong national and international sporting reputation.

“We’re proud to support Indianapolis and what makes our city unique,” Davison said. “The IU Natatorium stands as a symbol for outstanding competition, record performances and aspirational goals, and its broad visibility brings valuable exposure and economic impact to our city and state."

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