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Indianapolis canal walk looking into downtown Indianapolis on December 22, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Source: (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — The NBA All-Star game is not just an opportunity to make money for downtown Indianapolis, but an opportunity to expose Indianapolis to the world.

Taylor Schaffer, President and CEO of Downtown Indy, Inc. tells IndyPolitics the event is the perfect mixture of culture, arts, entertainment and sports, but a significant economic opportunity could be missed if the organization isn’t properly prepared.

While Indianapolis has become known as a conference city, with pop culture events and multi-million-dollars sports games, not every downtown business owner benefits. Some businesses get lost in the shuffle, especially those not in tune with more modern means of promotion.

Schaffer says visibility issues are key to making sure the “hype” doesn’t die off within days.

“Whether that’s through the NBA app, where small businesses were encouraged to sign up to make their location a designated place for people to be able to earn points in NBA giveaway,” Schaffer explains.

Some visibility issues could also be solved with upgrading some of the aesthetics of the city, “there was a real push to ensure downtown businesses had the type of signs and lights and those things that make it feel like that business gets to be a part of that event.”

Schaffer says last year’s NBA All-Star game gave Downtown Indy, Inc. a unique insight on how city leaders and business owners can miss out on the money.

She says many people weren’t on the same page and confused.

“Between businesses understanding of how that weekend would work, of businesses understanding of what the clienteles, probably, consumer preferences would be,” Schaffer continues, “I think those type of lessons learned have really shaped the outreach work that the Pacer’s team has done to get ready for All-Star weekend.”

The NBA All-Star game is set for February 18th.