(i) on Economic Development: Indy Doubles Down on Sports

Posted: Updated:
Pictured: KSM Location Advisors President Kaite Culp and CEO Tim Cook. Pictured: KSM Location Advisors President Kaite Culp and CEO Tim Cook.

Pre-game festivities for Saturday night's Big Ten Championship football game at Lucas Oil Stadium provide an opportunity to reflect on a more than 40-year-old strategy that continues to be a calling card for Indianapolis. This month's (i) on Economic Development focuses on high-profile sporting events in the state capital. Indianapolis-based KSM Location Advisors Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and President Katie Culp discussed the risks and rewards that come with big ticket games. Though Culp cautions that some events could turn out to be "one-hit wonders," Cook says the city's sports strategy provides a global platform unlike any other.

Marquee games, Cook says, get people talking about Indianapolis "in some parts of the country or even parts of the world that aren't even familiar with us, so I think that part is very valuable." He continued by saying visitor spending downtown is significant, as are the various types of exposure the city will receive. "It really gives us an opportunity to showcase Indianapolis to businesses that we're trying to attract here. It gives us almost an opportunity to talk to people who have come to visit -- 'what do you think about Indianapolis?' It gives us that chance to assess why we're strong and to make the city even more competitive," he added.

For promoters and organizers, big sporting events can pose some risks, but the long track record of success with events including the 1987 Pan American Games to the many NCAA Final Fours and Sweet Sixteens to Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 help bolster the city's case for hosting. "When people are making decisions about where to place these events, they want to eliminate risk -- or at least minimize it -- and we've proven that we can do this and do it without screwing up, so that speaks volumes," Culp said. Indy's reputation, she notes, pairs with assets like available hotel space, engaged volunteers and a willing corporate community to build an attractive option for big events.

Big Ten West Division champion University of Wisconsin will take on East Division winner Ohio State University at 8:17 p.m. Saturday.

  • Perspectives

    • How to Find a New Audience After Hitting a Marketing Plateau

      It may sound like a marketer’s dream scenario: efforts have proven to be so successful it appears a company has completely saturated their target audience. While it may be a good problem to have, it still may be a problem. Hitting a marketing plateau is an opportunity for companies in any industry to reevaluate, re-energize and come to the table with new ideas for better understanding existing customers and engaging new audiences.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Gas City Startup Helping Hemp Farmers

      Last month, it became legal for Hoosier farmers to grow hemp and a Gas City-based startup is being aggressive in being among the first to take advantage of market opportunities. Heartland Harvest Processing is helping farmers connect the new agricultural commodity to consumer products, including CBD. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Moorman says the first hemp harvest under the new law is expected to begin next month. In an interview with Business of Health...

    • (Image courtesy of Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District)

      Michigan City Commits $12M to South Shore Track Project

      The Michigan City Common Council has formally committed to contribute $12 million towards the proposed $416 million Double Track project for the South Shore commuter line. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the council voted unanimously to pay $7 million upfront and finance the remaining $5 million through a 20-year bond issue. 

    • Eleven Fifty is headquartered at Launch Fishers.

      State to Launch 5G Hub in Downtown Indy

      The state of Indiana has announced plans for what it says is a first-of-its-kind 5G hub. Launching in October, the Indiana 5G Zone aims to "attract business, foster innovation and propel research and development in 5G-enabled advanced technologies." The hub will be located inside the new downtown Indianapolis headquarters of the nonprofit Eleven Fifty Academy. The Indiana 5G Zone will include a 3,000-square-foot research lab, which will be used to develop and test...

    • (photo courtesy of Wes Mills)

      Ethanol Plant to Stop Production, POET Blames EPA

      Ethanol production at an Indiana biofuels plant will be stopped and the owner blames Environmental Protection Agency policies and the oil refining industry. South Dakota-based POET Energy announced the plant in Cloverdale will be placed in “idle production” within several weeks, though no date has been set. The ethanol producer says 100’s of local jobs will be impacted, but the news release did not specifically mention “layoffs” at this point.

    • (photo courtesy of Exhibit Columbus)

      Exhibit Columbus Opens

      The second annual Exhibit Columbus will open Friday with a variety of events. Organizers say the two-day opening weekend will showcase architecture, art, and community in celebration of the city's design legacy.