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June 3, 2014

Angie Hicks

Mark Miles

MARK MILES:  It seems like in some respects a few weeks ago that we completed May, with the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500, yet the lift from an incredibly successful month continues.
Last night some of you would have seen Ryan Hunter‑Reay on the Dave Letterman show.  The coverage that was the sensation in May, this May, continues.
It is with that in mind that we're here to make a really important announcement about the fact that Angie's List has decided to step forward and become the title sponsor of the Grand Prix for the next few years.  It is now the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.  We couldn't be more delighted about that.
A few words of context.  Presumably there's a really good looking logo on those boards.
I think Indianapolis people know the approach we were trying to take to the 500 and to May this year.  The idea was to bring a new event, IndyCars, road course racing, in the form of the Grand Prix, to jump‑start May, to get people really excited about the fact that the track is open and we're on our way to the culminating event, the Indianapolis 500 race.
That strategy was new this year, not universally understood at the beginning.  But I think looking back on it, it was a remarkable success.
We exceeded our own goals for the number of people that were out here on that weekend.  The television ratings for the event on a national broadcaster, as it will be again next year, were very strong for us.
You talk to the people here who sell food and beverage and merchandise, they loved the crowd.  And most importantly, they had the chance to talk to people who were here as race fans, they just loved the atmosphere.
It's a different kind of event, maybe even more family‑oriented than the 500.  It started off exactly in the way we had in mind for May.
We had changes in qualifying, which built the momentum.  Jason Aldean and brought 40,000 other people that might not have been out here.  And the race itself was a beautiful day, spectacular crowd, great racing.
That was the strategy.  We felt very fortunate that it all played out very well for us.  All the metrics were very positive.  Even if we're still celebrating that, it's time to look forward.
For Angie's List to step up, and I think Angie Hicks will explain a little bit of their rationale, how they will bring not just their name and promotion, but people to it in larger numbers, is really exciting for us.
With that bit of background, I'm happy to turn it over to a friend and an important Indianapolis business person.  Angie Hicks.
ANGIE HICKS:  Angie's List couldn't be more excited to announce this partnership with the Grand Prix.  This is going to be an opportunity for us to bring together an event we're hoping to host in conjunction with the race.  There's no better time to be in Indianapolis than during the month of May.
We're going to be kicking off our Festival of Service.  We'll be inviting about 5,000 top‑notch service companies from around the country to Indianapolis to work hand‑in‑hand on elevating the local service experience.
Angie's List has been around for 19 years focused on helping consumers find the best local service providers.  Now we're taking it a step further.  We're looking to elevate that local service experience and really improve the quality of the transactions.
We look forward to this event as an opportunity for us to really make a big splash with these service companies, be able to show off Indianapolis, and what better way with the kickoff of May.
MARK MILES:  We'd be able to take any questions.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ANGIE HICKS:  For us, it's an opportunity to bring these service companies to Indianapolis, to showcase what Indianapolis is about.  The racing event will be a great draw for the service companies as far as an entertainment factor and a chance for us to get them in town and be able to work with them on all of the new rules and tools that we're rolling out to help service companies up their game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ANGIE HICKS:  Sure, it is.  We're going to bring companies in from across the country.  We're targeting about 5,000 companies for the event.
You're exactly right, it's going to be the top performers, the who's who of companies.  We'll be bringing them into town.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ANGIE HICKS:  Sure.  We'll be bringing folks in.  Angie's List is a national company.  We'll be bringing in service companies.  We'll make a weekend of it, be able to go to the Grand Prix and have workshops where we spend time working on what our goals are for service companies, how we can work hand‑in‑hand to improve the local service experience.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ANGIE HICKS:  The focus here is really on the cream of the crop, the top companies on the list, how we can help them provide even better local service.
This is really focusing on that top tier.

Q.  (No microphone.)
MARK MILES:  I'm able, but I won't, because we don't generally do that (laughter).
I think it's competitive with these kind of entitlement sponsorships around the IndyCar Series.  I think we're both convinced it will provide great value for both parties.
In addition to the rights fee, we particularly love the vision behind it.  Angie's List, in my exposure to the company, is a great operating company.  It's also a fun culture.  For them to bring their approach and culture to the track, which is younger, vibrant and fun, and in these numbers, 5,000 or so people, it's going to be a great lift for the event itself.

Q.  (No microphone.)
MARK MILES:  I think it's a lot more of what you've seen.  It was important I think to the national exposure of the event that we had three consecutive weekends, four telecasts on ABC.  We've met with ABC, and the intention is to continue that next year.  I think that's really big.
We are still thinking about plans for the 100th running of the 500 in '16.  I think as we finalize those thoughts, that will form what you'll see in May of '15.
Mostly we see the Grand Prix as a great way to jump‑start the month of May, that IndyCar is on, and it's on here in Indianapolis.
We love the mounds out there, symbolic of the event.  If you had the chance to walk among the people who carpeted the mounds during the practice, the race itself, they were just having a ball.  There were kids out there.  It was a picnic.  It's just the kind of festival and kind of magnet to families that we think this place should be about.
More of the same, but maybe at a higher level.
Thank you.
ANGIE HICKS:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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