Fever "on the cusp" of profitability

June 5, 2009
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fever The news that the Indiana Fever is seeking a corporate sponsor to put its logos on players’ jerseys might give fans the idea that the WNBA franchise is drowning in debt.

Not true, said team chief operating officer Kelly Krauskopf. While the Fever operation is not flush with cash, it is inching ever closer to profitability heading into its 10th season.

“We’re just trying to move over the hump,” Krauskopf said. “We’re right on the cusp.”

Despite the worst economic times since the Great Depression, Krauskopf said sponsorship sales are up 10 percent compared to where the franchise was a year ago.

“We got more aggressive and got out earlier this year with our marketing plan and our sponsorship sales,” Krauskopf said. “We just got this asset out in front of people early and were able to get strong renewals and bring in a couple of new sponsors.”

Season ticket sales (around 2,500) are roughly flat, but Krauskopf is hopeful that mini-season and single-game ticket sales will be up a bit this year. Krauskopf is hopeful a strong run by the Fever at a WNBA championships will help. She is confident she has built a team to compete for the title this year. The team’s attendance was 7,702 per game last year, up 7.2 percent over 2007.

The good news is coming at an opportune time. Team co-owner Herb Simon (who also owns the Indiana Pacers) has said this is a critical year in evaluating the WNBA franchise and its long-term future here. Simon and Pacers President Jim Morris have been unabashed Fever supporters.

Krauskopf is undaunted by the make-or-break talk.

“Every season is make or break,” Krauskopf said. “Every year we have to show progress. We’re trying to build a business for Mr. Simon, that’s the bottom line.”

For a more in-depth profile of Krauskopf and her efforts to build the Fever franchise, see the June 8 IBJ.
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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

  2. When the Indiana GOP was going around the State selling the Voucher bill they were promising people that the vouchers would only be for public charter schools. They lied. As usual.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

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