is Good for the Brand?
Ryan Vaughn '00
Inside a box was an iPad containing 700 pages of documents and augmented reality about the city of Indianapolis – the city’s bid for the 2021 NBA All-Star game. Other cities shipped their boxes. Indianapolis had Pacers president Larry Bird drive an IndyCar down Fifth Avenue in New York and deliver theirs directly to the league offices. Indianapolis won the bid because Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn and his staff know their city’s brand: sports. “We want to project that we are a vibrant city, an active city, an engaged city. Nashville may use music; we use sports.” Indiana Sports Corp’s mission is to garner economic impact, civic engagement, and opportunities for the city’s youth by hosting sporting events. Beyond handling the bids, they negotiate hotel contracts, secure volunteers for the events, and make sure there are plenty of additional events for fans to enjoy when they’re not inside the arenas. “Graduates used to move to wherever they found a job. Now people are moving to where they want to live. So we have to make sure Indy is that place.” It’s happening fast. Right after Indianapolis hosts the All-Star game, it will host the men’s Final Four, which it’s done more than any other city. Less than a year later, Indy will also host the College Football Playoff national championship game for the first time. That sounds pretty good for the brand.
That’s a Wabash man for you. Seriously.