What's In A Name? The New Phoenix Theatre Needs One

What's In A Name? The New Phoenix Theatre Needs OnePhilanthropists and corporate sponsors have embraced the growing national trend of entering into naming rights agreements - from stadiums to office towers.

If you've ever dreamed of having your name in lights, there's a new and rare chance in Indianapolis - the first stand-alone theater built in more than 100 years presents that opportunity.

The Phoenix Theatre, founded 35 years ago has a unique naming opportunity as it moves to its new home. Now under construction, the theater is located at the corner of Walnut and Illinois streets in downtown Indianapolis, fronting on the Glick Peace Trail portion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

"We think this puts us in the good company of nearby neighbors - Lucas Oil Stadium is a little more than a mile away, and while we proudly cheer for the Colts, our growing arts economy is also a boost to our city," said Frank Basile, Phoenix Theatre Board President.

If the $121.5 million price tag for naming Lucas Oil has you thinking naming rights are out of your price range, that's not the case.

"Phoenix Theatre naming rights are $2 million, with the ability to have payments spread over four years," said Bill Simmons, Phoenix Theatre Capital Campaign Manager and noted actor/director. "The visibility of this new building along a major downtown artery is invaluable."

For prospective corporate sponsors, the data shows the impact and value of this $2 million naming rights investment:

  • 17,500 cars a day pass the new Phoenix Theatre at Walnut and Illinois Streets.

  • This naming opportunity will be visible to pedestrians and traffic on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and from Illinois, Walnut and Meridian Streets.

  • Audiences at Phoenix shows have grown 78% in the last 7 years.

  • Arts and culture are a growing sector of our community and enhance our local quality of life, attract visitors and create jobs.

  • Indianapolis non-profit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences spent $440M here in 2015.

When Forest Lucas was asked about the cost of naming rights in a 2015 interview, he said: "I'd say I've got nearly all that back already. We're definitely getting more out of it than what we paid. It's been a real good deal for us."

Naming rights opportunities for cultural institutions aren't frequent. The Phoenix Theatre's new building will have a name. The only remaining question is whose?

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