Rejoice, everyone. The following release just popped into the ITH inbox:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (November 10, 2010) – It’s often been said that history repeats itself. For fans of Hoosiers’ basketball and “Martha” that is a very good thing as Indiana Athletics and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance announced today that after a 20-plus year hiatus, the original commercial spot featuring the beloved mop lady who sings the IU fight song while cleaning Assembly Hall makes a comeback this hoops season.
The irreplaceable, iconic spot will debut on Nov. 16 for the IU-Mississippi Valley State game, to be shown after the National Anthem and right before tip off – spiriting fans as it did in the 1970s through the late 80s.
IU Athletics’ new partner Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance took a tremendous interest in “Martha’s” return and decided to spearhead the effort with IU Athletics’ multimedia rights partner, Indiana University Sports Properties (IUSP).
“ ‘Martha,’ is one of the most iconic advertisements in the 76-year history of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance,” said Thomas J. Faulconer, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. “Not a day goes by we don’t hear questions about the spot and interestingly, people think we still use it. The nostalgic connection with the ad goes far beyond company branding and into the hearts of Hoosiers we serve. We’re eager to bring “Martha” back as our gift to Indiana University.”
“We were all just as thrilled to hear the vintage Martha spot was returning and appreciate Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance for recognizing what a special, unique affiliation she had to our Hoosier fans all those years,” said IU Director of Athletics Fred Glass. “Martha’s obvious passion for IU Basketball was infectious and led to a following that was like none other. No doubt our fans will be excited to know she’s coming back.”
In 1971 Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance became the sole sponsor of the Indiana University and Purdue University basketball games on WTTV-4. During the mid-1970s, the Indiana Legends ads, including the iconic “Martha” campaign was introduced and ran during the basketball games until it eventually was shown only on local networks during newscasts.