IU: Martha The Mop Lady is back

For IU fans, heartwarming news From Indiana sports information. Now, just got clarification here. The spot will play only at Assembly Hall on the scoreboard, and there will not be an on-court presentation as there was for Hoosier Hysteria last year with Shelia Stephen as Martha. But still the original spot is back.


IU and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance bring memorable TV spot back

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.

Established in 1934 by Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc., Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, is currently the largest writer of farm insurance and the second largest writer of auto and home insurance in Indiana. Through the years, it’s expanded to include insurance products for auto, home, life, business and farm through its network of nearly 500 agents and 1200 employees living and working throughout the Hoosier state.

IUSP is a property of Learfield Sports, which manages the multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations including the Big Ten Conference, as well as other league member schools Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.  The company also provides exclusive sports programming to more than 1,000 radio stations nationwide and titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup in conjunction with NADA and USA Today. Learfield Sports is an operating unit of Jefferson City, Missouri-based Learfield Communications, Inc., which entered the world of sports marketing in 1975. For more information, visit learfieldsports.com.


  1. For us infrequent visitors to the Hall, we’ll have to “home simulcast” Martha from the video on youtube at the appropriate moment. Now, how to simulate the under-8 FLAGS at home?

  2. Wow, this is like a time capsule. I loved that spot as a youngster. Look at me, saying youngster!

    If we’re in the business of recapturing glory, this is a good thing, as it certainly brings back memories of the dreaded good ol’ days!

  3. This is great news. That attempt to wheel Sheila Stephen out there and ‘re-create’ it were an embarassment. This is MUCH better.

  4. I too remember the “Martha the Mop Lady” commercials when I was a teenager. Those were the days. Her little chuckle at the end is what I remember best.

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