One of the nuggets within the Indianapolis Motor Speedway morning release about 2017 ticket sales is that the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will in 2017 no longer be the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Instead, with Angie’s List two-year contract having expired, the race will be rebranded as the IndyCar Grand Prix with the potential a new title sponsor could emerge if one feels compelled to step up financially. A track spokesperson confirmed the news to NBC Sports, and said this could better position this race locally within the market.
The news isn’t entirely surprising given the Indianapolis-based tech company’s recent financials. Per the Indianapolis Star, the company has missed earning expectations, is losing business and has laid off at least 150 people within the last several months.
Calling the race the IndyCar Grand Prix, in the interim, does provide a better line of clarity as to the IMS road course race for the Verizon IndyCar Series as opposed to the clunky Grand Prix of Indianapolis moniker which held the title for the first three years.
However, the interest in the event has waned from the first year. Crowds declined steadily from 2014 to 2015, before this year had a seemingly more significant drop, owing in large part to brutally cold temperatures.
The event doesn’t necessarily need a title sponsor to succeed, but having one does help both the IMS and INDYCAR bottom lines – which are essentially the same pot under the Hulman Motorsports umbrella of Hulman & Co.
So, it will be interesting to see if another company steps up as a title sponsor of the one IndyCar race at IMS where a title sponsor can be had… since the Indianapolis 500, which is technically the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, has a presenting sponsor only.