FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne-based business is getting national attention after sponsoring the winning car of the Indianapolis 500. Ruoff Home Mortgage jumped in less than a week before the race to be the primary sponsor.
CEO Mark Music said the company has been involved with sports marketing initiatives for the last few years but never anything of this magnitude. Music said this was one of the best decisions he ever made.
“I was in winners circle and everybody was screaming and hugging each other,” said Music. “I looked at Michael Andretti and said, ‘how in the world do I ever top this?'”
Takuma Sato became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500. Ruoff Home Mortgage was the primary sponsor of Sato’s car. Andretti and Ruoff made the announcement days before Sunday’s race.
Music said he hoped for a competitive car in the Indy 500; one that at least made it on screen a couple of times, he said. Little did he know, the race would bring much more.
“Here I’m seeing the Ruoff logo passing Helio with six laps to go to take the lead,” he said. “You don’t ever expect when you go into this sort of thing to get that kind of icing.”
Music did not want to disclose how much it cost to become a primary sponsor. However, the last-minute decision is paying off now.
“To have ourselves in victory circle in the crown jewel of all motorsports racing… I still can’t believe this has happened,” he said.
Music said he has been working to expand the company’s footprint. Ruoff Home Mortgage began opened its first Fort Wayne location in 1984. Now there are offices in Ohio and Michigan. Music said getting national recognition could only help their expansion efforts, while putting Fort Wayne on the map.
“We don’t get benefit from maybe exposure in California,” he said. “But there’s probably not another race sponsor that gets the same kind of benefit that we do right in our backyard here in Indiana.”