By Rick Horrow
Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins
- Indianapolis is the center of the golf world as the LPGA Indy Women in Tech tournament and educational program unfolds this week. The 2019 IWiT field consists of seven out of the Top 10 LPGA Tour money leaders and 17 Solheim Cup players. There are also numerous activities during IWiT Championship week that focus on women and children in technology: The Indy Women in Tech Summit comprises over 600 tech leaders in the community coming together to discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with a session featuring LPGA Tour Pro Mariah Stackhouse and LPGA Chief Brand and Communications Officer Roberta Bowman. Tournament week will also feature the Eureka! Exchange – a fun and engaging area where kids can interact and have fun with hands on tech activities, curated by industry experts. Finally, Nextech’s Pathways to Tech presented by Saint Joseph’s College of Marian University allows two hundred high school students to learn about the different pathways to tech careers. This is a fun experience at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway pagoda providing an opportunity for the next generation of STEM/Tech leaders to interact with Indy tech companies and professionals.
- IndyCar headed into its season finale Sunday afternoon at WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca with a roughly 10% increase in linear TV viewership and attendance jumps at half of its races this year. This was the first year of NBC Sports’ full-season media-rights pact with IndyCar, which had a new title sponsor in Japanese tech company NTT. According to SportsBusiness Daily, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles believes the series had a good year when looking at key performance indicators, in addition to being a “terrific year on the track.” Miles said, “The two biggest things commercially were NTT as series entitlement partner, and we’re very happy with that…Then NBC – we think they’ve done a great job.” The season finale was held at Laguna Seca this year after the series dropped Sonoma Raceway from its schedule. On Sunday, Josef Newgarden was crowned IndyCar champion as Colton Herta won at Laguna Seca.
- Online lender Social Finance, known as SoFi, will pay more than $30 million annually for the next 20 years to entitle the new NFL stadium under construction in Los Angeles, making it the largest deal in U.S. naming rights history. According to multiple sources, the partnership eclipses the previous NFL high-water mark of $20 million annually at MetLife Stadium, and Chase’s $30 million annual deal with MSG for extensive promotional rights that stop short of entitlement. It may also eclipse Scotiabank’s $40 million deal to rename Air Canada Centre in Toronto in 2017. SoFi’s CEO is Anthony Noto, the NFL’s former CFO. Along with stadium rights, SoFi becomes a sponsor of both tenants, the Chargers and Rams, and will sponsor the adjacent performance venue. SoFi becomes one of Silicon Valley’s biggest sports spenders; it has spent more than $200 million annually on marketing in recent years. It currently claims 800,000 members, with products including student loans, mortgages, personal loans, and wealth management. The company believes the venue will help it become a household financial brand.