Lucas Oil Won the Super Bowl!

The New York Giants won the Super Bowl on Sunday and certainly enhanced the NFL brand and the Eli Manning brand. But the real marketing coup goes to Forrest Lucas, who owns the privately held Lucas Oil Products Inc., the name on the stadium where the game was held. The stadium also hosted the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Finals.

In an advertising contest where huge companies spend tens of millions of dollars, a shrewd guy with a relatively small company – around $150 million in sales – got enormous name recognition by piggybacking on America’s high holiday of football – the Super Bowl. In 2006, Lucas bought the naming rights to Indianapolis’s covered stadium, paying $120 million for 20 years. At that point the city did not have the 2012 game contract, but he knew it was making a bid so he ponied up an additional $1 million to help the city make the pitch to the NFL. It was a smart bet because Indianapolis has a superb reputation as a sporting event host, and he knew the stadium would host the NCAA Final Four in 2010.

Lucas started a business in the 1960s, renting out his 14 moving vans. He learned how to be a truck mechanic in order to keep his trucks running and tinkered with additives to extend their usable lives. He began the oil business in 1989 with his wife Charlotte in Corona, California.

The firm has only two plants, one in Corona and the other in Indianapolis. He employs 400 people. I know machining job shops bigger than Lucas Oil. Forrest Lucas showed us Sunday how smarts can give you leverage. Hyundai, Anheuser-Busch, GM, Coke and Pepsi spent mega-millions on advertising, but little Lucas Oil that makes transmission fluids got amazing name recognition for pennies.

Question: There were more than 10,000 tweets per second during Sunday’s Super Bowl. Has your business benefited at all from Twitter?



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2 thoughts on “Lucas Oil Won the Super Bowl!

  1. Jim

    No, but we should, tomorrows buyers, are different then yesterday’s purchasers. The sooner we realize that facebooks 800 million pages and Twitters 250 million followers communicate differently then the ancient booming outers, the better! Interesting to realize that Lucus Oil also has a television station and there main product push is to the racing community, Sprint Cars, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Dragster’s, Cycles-dirt and asphalt and ice, snowmobiles, FourWheelers, Monster Trucks and Go Karts, to mention a few! Hopefully if some of you get a chance check out some races this year! If you want to take a look at some high speed and fast action, check out for sprint car action in Minnesota and Wisconsin, for sprint car action around the country, or if you get a chance to the World of Outlaws, or the Pennsylvannia Possie, you’ll be glad you did! Go Lucas OIL!!!

  2. Mike Magan

    As a digital marketing specialist for a marketing agency that represents a number of manufacturers, I am seeing the power of social media grow.

    S-L-O-W-L-Y. And as it should.

    In the B2B realm, and Manufacturing “subgroup” this growth moves at a deliberate pace not because the industry is slow to adapt, rather, manufacturers and job shops are actually building relationships instead of broadcasting a signal. And that takes time.

    It’s not often that someone tweets – “I think I’ll buy a $500K machine tool today!” (OK that never happens). But questions about those behemoths do get posed. And guys who love their Mazaks or swear buy a carbide insert Seco makes, are passionate about those products if they get to make cool stuff. They change their profile pics to a new machine wrapped in plastic, or show off a holiday ornament they made for an OMAX Facebook contest.

    These guys may not be signing a check for $500,000, but their bosses are listening. On line and off.


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