Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Indianapolis Colts to Sponsor Indiana High School Football Championships

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

The news that the Indiana High School Football Championships are staying in the Lucas Oil Dome for three more years through the 2011-2012 school year comes as no surprise. However, the fact that the Indianapolis Colts will sponsor the entire state football championship tournament does.

The Colts are believed to be the first professional sports franchise in the country to partner with a high school association for this type of sponsorship.

“We are extremely pleased and appreciative of the Indianapolis Colts involvement in making sure high school football continues at Lucas Oil Stadium,” said Blake Ress, IHSAA Commissioner. “This plan has been more than a year in the making and their financial involvement will help reduce the ever-increasing expenses associated with holding the state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium. This one-of-a-kind type of sponsorship is like no other that I know of in the country. The Indianapolis Colts commitment to the local community and the community at large certainly made this type of sponsorship agreement possible.”

“The Colts organization has a long standing commitment to youth football in Indiana and our new relationship with the IHSAA is an extension of that commitment,” said Tom Zupancic, Colts Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing. “The IHSAA and the Indianapolis Colts have a common goal of developing the core values of young athletes. It is an honor to join forces with such an outstanding organization.”

“The IHSAA would also like to thank Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard for his leadership in making sure we continue to play championship high school football in Lucas Oil Stadium in front of thousands of fans,” said Ress.

Mayor Ballard understands the importance of keeping the football state finals here in Indianapolis. “It is critical that the capital city of our state remain the home of our high school championships and I am thrilled the IHSAA and the Indianapolis Colts worked together to make this happen,” said Mayor Ballard. “I continue to believe that Lucas Oil Stadium is a community gathering place for our entire state and I am pleased that we will continue to call it the home of the IHSAA Football State Finals.”

Last fall’s state championships, which were played in Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time, drew a record crowd of 40,680 to Saturday’s three games (Class 3A, 4A and 5A). Coupled with Friday’s attendance (Class A and 2A), the state finals drew an overall record total of 56,050.

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