WNBA Fever To Turn Profit For First Time As Sponsorships, Season-Ticket Sales Improve
WNBA Fever officials on Monday said that the team "would be profitable this season for the first time in its 14-year history," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Fever President & GM Kelly Krauskopf said, "We’re going to be profitable this year and we’re budgeted to be profitable next year." That is "especially good news" to Fever and Pacers Owner Herb Simon, who has "long championed women’s sports, but has stressed that eventually the Fever franchise has to stand on its own financially." Krauskopf said that the team "will make enough money to cover the team’s player payroll (the WNBA salary cap is $913,000) plus front office, travel and other expenses." Team officials said that the "momentum for the Fever" has been building since '09, when the franchise "made it to its first WNBA final and came up just short." Krauskopf said that around that time the team "started gaining traction with several big sponsors." A "major deal" with Kroger was inked in '09, and "a sizable deal with Finish Line, which includes a company logo on players’ jerseys, was signed" in '12. Sponsorship sales "are up 64 percent this season." Merchandise sales are "up 40 percent and rank fifth" in the league. Attendance year-to-date "has grown" 8%, and the "number of new season tickets has grown" 25% (IBJ.com, 7/30).