Colts’ COO to discuss what it’s like to move NFL franchise with 9 hours notice

Pete Ward

[Aug. 26, 2015]

INDIANAPOLIS – Sports will take center stage during the 13th annual Indiana Logistics Summit on Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Indianapolis when three key executives of major sports organizations share stories of their biggest logistics issues. Executives from the Indianapolis Colts, INDYCAR and NCAA will participate in a segment titled, “A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Logistics in Sports,” to discuss how logistics is a critical success factor for sports.

Pete Ward, COO for the Indianapolis Colts, will recount his team’s legendary 1984 night-time move from Baltimore to Indianapolis, and what goes into taking an NFL team on the road week after week.

“When you think of efficient logistics planning, the move from Baltimore to Indianapolis is a really poor example,” said Ward, now in his 35th year with the Colts. “But it is a very interesting story and probably the most famous sports move ever. I didn’t know we were moving until late that day in March 1984 when I was told along with the head coach and the rest of the coaching staff.”

Mark Miles, CEO of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will offer insights about managing logistics for the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500, and preview what’s in store for the 100th Running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2016.

Mark Lewis, executive vice president for the NCAA, will reveal the challenges of organizing 90 national championships per year, as well as coordinating athletic tournaments for nearly a half million student athletes at 1,300 colleges and universities in 164 conferences within three divisions.

“I am especially excited about this year’s Summit because it offers something for everyone,” Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper said. “Logistics is a critical component in every industry and sports are no exception. Getting a chance to hear the back-stories of an NFL team, the Indy 500, and the NCAA tournaments is a unique opportunity that promises to reveal a side of sports we don’t usually think about.”

The daylong Summit opens with a Keynote Breakfast featuring a presentation titled “From Grass to Glass Logistics” by Dr. Michael McCloskey, a founding farmer of Fair Oaks Farms, one of the nation’s largest dairies, and CEO of Select Milk Producers, the fifth largest milk cooperative in the country. The agenda also includes an all-star list of logistics leaders from Google, NASA, Cummins, GE Aviation, U.S. Congress, Moffatt & Nichol, Transportation Weekly, Harvard Business School and more. The forum will provide an inside look at logistics in all types of industries as well as new innovations and challenges that will greatly impact the U.S. economy.

In conjunction with the “Logistics in Sports” segment, an evening reception for summit attendees will take place on Monday, Sept. 21 at The Crane Bay as part of the Colts VIP Tailgate leading up to the Colts’ game against the New York Jets. Tickets to the reception are complimentary with summit registration, and include a Morton Steakhouse buffet, cocktail bars hosted by Jim Beam, visits from Colts cheerleaders and former players, the live broadcast site for the Colts’ pregame show, an NFL memorabilia auction and much more.

Register for the summit online at www.indianalogistics.com or by phone: (866) 515-0023, or email: confreg@purdue.edu. The Indiana Logistics Summit is co-hosted by Purdue University, the Ports of Indiana and Conexus Indiana to promote the logistics industry and showcase the critical role this sector plays in the national economy.

Media Contact: Rich Allen, (317) 232-9204, rallen@portsofindiana.com

About the Speakers:

Pete Ward began his affiliation with the Colts in 1981 as a seasonal intern in the team’s public relations department. Following his graduation from the University of Virginia in 1982, he was hired as the club’s administrative assistant, and then promoted to director of operations shortly after the team’s arrival in Indianapolis in March 1984. Ward was named vice president of administration in 1997 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2010 after serving as the club’s senior executive vice president since 2001. His duties and experience have been wide-ranging, including serving as point-person for the team on the design and construction of Lucas Oil Stadium.

Mark Miles is the chief executive officer of Hulman & Company, a company composed of Clabber Girl, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, IMS Productions, Georgetown Realty and various other business entities. Miles is a veteran business leader and international sports executive. Some of his most notable accomplishments include governing men’s international professional tennis, from a start-up league to an international leader and profitably leading two major sports entertainment events: Pan American Games in 1987 and the Super Bowl in 2012, a 10-day event that attracted more than a million fans and set a new standard for the NFL.

Mark Lewis serves as NCAA’s executive vice president for championships and alliances. In this role, Lewis is a member of the national office’s senior management group and oversees the Association’s 90 championships as well as its business initiatives, including the corporate and media partner programs. Before joining NCAA in 2012, Lewis was president of Jet Set Sports, a leading hospitality and event company that has highly successful partnerships with various local and national Olympic organizing committees.