SBJ/Sept. 9-15, 2013/Game Changers

Game Changers: Kelly Krauskopf

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Photo: FRANK MCGRATH / INDIANA FEVER
A WNBA title for the Fever highlighted Krauskopf’s big 2012.
Team Leaders
Kelly Krauskopf
Indiana Fever | President, General Manager

K
elly Krauskopf has worked for the Indiana Fever since the club’s inception in 1999, but the past year has been a milestone for the accomplished executive.

Krauskopf was named team president following the Fever’s 2012 WNBA championship win last fall, a step up from her role as chief operating officer. She earned the promotion not just with the team winning the championship, though. Also key was the work she did to land a marquee sponsorship for the team with Finish Line. That deal, which put the company’s name on the Fever’s jersey, has been part of a significant financial bump for the franchise. Since last year, Indiana has seen its revenue climb 61 percent, and its season-ticket base for 2013 is up 25 percent compared with 2012.
 
The team announced recently that this season it would be profitable for the first time in the club’s history.

“As a franchise, there were two goals going into last year,” said Krauskopf, who came to Indiana after working as director of basketball operations with the WNBA when it was founded in 1996. “One was to win a championship, and we got that done. From a financial standpoint, I wanted us to secure a marquee partner, and doing that makes us a viable business. It was a huge boost going into [the 2013] season, and all our revenue streams have grown from that.”     

— John Lombardo


  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: In the early days, I would have to say Lynn Hickey (see story). She believed in my ability at a young age to start a marketing and fundraising program for women’s sports at my alma mater, Texas A&M University.
  • Woman in sports business you’d most like to meet: Dawn Aponte. I love the fact that a female is at the top of an NFL team’s football operation. (Aponte is Miami Dolphins executive vice president, football administration.)
  • Best advice you’ve received: Listen to your gut instinct; it never steers you wrong.
  • What would you, at age 18, find surprising about the person you’ve become today?: That the sport of basketball can take a girl from south Texas all over the world — even to the White House.

“As an athlete, businesswoman with the WNBA and others, and for 14 years from start to today with the Indiana Fever, she has exemplified a spirit and dedication that is rarely seen. Kelly’s perseverance in our sport and our community and her undying commitment to young women both in sport and life has been immeasurable.”

— Jim Morris | President | Fever ownership group Pacers Sports & Entertainment

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