Indiana mega March Madness bracket is world's largest on side of downtown hotel

INDIANAPOLIS -- Leading up to March Madness, it has been said the eyes of the world will be on the city of Indianapolis, but some argue the world will also take a moment to look at the 47,000-square-foot bracket on the front of the JW Marriott.

"It's something I'm very proud of we do, and something that's garnered attention coast to coast," Frank Hancock told WRTV.

He is the CEO and president of Sport Graphics, the graphic design firm behind the bracket.

"I've still never been to a town that's had the event that has a building like the JW sitting by itself. It's like a billboard," Hancock said.

It's a billboard, he said, that beats the certified world record bracket his company made in 2015. Hancock said this one is bigger thanks to the added tagline at the top.

"That's something that the NCAA wanted, and they wanted to reach back to the city of Indianapolis and wanted to thank what everybody is doing to make this possible," Hancock said.

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The bracket took several weeks to design, 100 hours to print and more than five days to install. Crews were out Tuesday despite the fog, filling in the teams ahead of tip-off.

"We've done the great majority of the NCAA National Championships since 2005, 2006. I mean they're all different," Hancock said.

This year is different for a few reasons.

"Everybody says, 'How was your business last year?' I go, 'The name of the company is 'Sport Graphics,' you tell me how my business was because there was none,'" Hancock said.

The multi-faceted graphic design company employs nearly 100 Hoosiers. Hancock said although business was "significantly down" in 2020, he is grateful work from places like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway could keep him from layoffs.

"After 2020, sleep's overrated. We don't need sleep this year. We had plenty of that last year," Hancock said with a laugh.

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Hancock is a Hoosier through-and-through. He is an Irvington kid, Ball State grad and started his company in Indy in 1986.

"I'm very proud of our hometown," Hancock said.

Before March Madness this year, Sport Graphics was behind the "Back Downtown" sign on the side of the JW.

"I thought it was so symbolic; last week we were installing this one and taking the other one down, and we can kind of make the argument we are back downtown," Hancock said.

The start of the next chapter for downtown Indy will certainly be on full display during the month of March.

"I'm very proud of it. I mean it's something special and everybody talks about it. I kid people and said when my time comes I may not even have my name on my gravestone, just have a picture of the JW, they'll know who's there," Hancock said and then laughed.