Football brings people together.
On game day, thousands of fans come together at Lucas Oil Stadium to cheer on the Colts.
But there's another side of the Colts organization that you don't necessarily see. They're the people out in the community working behind the scenes to make things happen every day.
And that's the side the Colts want you to get to know – while they get to know you.
"We're hoping to gather emerging leaders within the Indianapolis community – Colts fans, non-Colts fans, people who have moved here from out of town, people who have lived here their whole life," said Colts Event Coordinator Chelsea Durham. "Basically, it's an opportunity to connect people and give them a behind the scenes look at the Colts organization and how it relates to them day in and day out."
On October 4th at St. Elmo's 1933 Lounge, the Colts held their first networking event with the goal of doing just that.
On October 4, the Colts hosted a networking event featuring Marlin Jackson with a focus on Colts in the Community.
It was a chance for people to gather over food and drinks, get to know new each other, and hear about the many ways the Colts give back in the community.
"It's more than just a game," said Stephanie Cassel, Director of Community Relations. "Watching our players in the community really hone in on what their passion is – you see the rookies come in, we have eager players come to every Community Tuesday and as they evolve into a veteran player who's matured a little bit and tap into what their passion is, they really grow into what they want to be and how they want to serve."
One of those players, former cornerback Marlin Jackson, was there to talk about his Fight For Life Foundation.
"Being a part of the Colts organization early on gave me an outlet to not only invest my time with the things that are near and dear to my heart, but to get out into the community and explore and find other avenues to invest my time as far as giving back," he said.
One of several cheerleaders in attendance, Ayda spends a lot of her time giving back in the community as well. She came to the networking event as a representative of her other job, as a global project leader for Cummins.
"You already have a lot of people from different industries here. You can talk about business, you can talk about your common passion for football and the Colts, it's a great way to blend all of those things and really network and get to know other professionals in the area and how everything connects with the Colts organization as well."
Joel McGinsie is a senior in sports management at IUPUI. He came to the Colts networking event on the advice of his professor.
"A nice, relaxed atmosphere. You really couldn't ask for better – good food, good drinks, and good people," he said.
The Colts will hold two more networking events this season where they'll highlight different parts of the organization.
"Our next event will be held on November 8th at Speedway Indoor Karting, Sarah Fisher's indoor go-karting course in Speedway. We'll have food, beverage, free go-karting for everyone as long as they register for the event," Durham said. "And that event will feature our Senior Vice President of Business Development discussing the Colts' business strategies and developing and maintaining partnerships with businesses within the Indianapolis community."
And the third event will be a pregame happy hour at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"Our last networking event of the season will wrap up with a game day tailgate in the Blue Room for our Thursday night December 14th color rush game against the Broncos. We're really looking forward to that event and recapping the season and getting people excited for the big Thursday night game. It's the first regular season Thursday night game we've hosted in a really long time."
The Colts are known for the team they put on the field. Now, they're building a team off the field – and they're calling on young professionals to be a part of it.
"These are the future movers and shakers, if not the current movers and shakers of the Indianapolis community," said Durham. "So, we really want to connect with them and engage with them to help push the Colts to do even better things within the city."
And who knows what doors it could open.
"People always say it's all about who you know," Durham said. "I think these are great opportunities, not just to advance your career, but to get to know other people and see what else is out there in your city and what you're missing out on."
Don't miss out! For more information and to register, click on the links below.
Gary Brackett, Sarah Fisher & Colts Corporate Partnerships Team
Wednesday, November 8 | 5:30-7:30 PM
Speedway Indoor Karting, 1067 W. Main Street, Speedway, IN
*www.colts.com/bizconnect to register*
Dec. 14 - Thursday Night Football | Pre-Game Party in the Crown Royal Blue Room
Registration fee includes game ticket!