Celebration of Indiana Fever, Pacers Gaming Executive to
Benefit Pacers Foundation, Simon Youth Foundation
Kelly Krauskopf, architect of one of the WNBA’s most successful franchises and one of the most respected female leaders in sports, will be the honoree at the 17th Masquerade on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Masquerade, a premier date on Indianapolis’ fall social scene, is the signature fundraising event of Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation and has raised nearly $12 million for the two organizations since its inception. Both work to ensure youth in need, in Indiana and across the country, are given educational and other opportunities to better their lives. The Masquerade has dazzled attendees over the years with top-tier entertainment and high-profile attendees.
Krauskopf is in her 19th season as the Indiana Fever’s top executive, engineering the franchise from its birth in 1999 and directing the club’s business and basketball interests all the way to three WNBA Finals appearances since 2009 and its first league championship in 2012. The club’s chief operating officer through 16 seasons and general manager for 12 seasons since 2006, she was promoted to President in October 2012. She relinquished her general manager’s role to current coach Pokey Chatman following the 2017 season.
A Senior Vice President for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Krauskopf also is overseeing the launch of Pacers Gaming, PS&E’s new team in the NBA2k league. Pacers Gaming opened its season this month. Krauskopf will provide leadership and guidance to include branding, marketing, operations and financials for the team.
In the WNBA, she is the longest-tenured senior team executive in the league, dating beyond the Fever to her time as the league’s first Director of Basketball Operations in 1996.
With the Fever, Krauskopf has engineered numerous personnel moves that have enabled the franchise to sustain the highest level of consistency of any in the WNBA’s 22-year history. At the top of her decision making was the drafting of Tamika Catchings, who became a league MVP, a four-time Olympian and the cornerstone of the franchise.
Krauskopf also has played a prominent role on USA Basketball’s Women’s Senior National Team Committee, helping select the gold-medal winning rosters for the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.
Krauskopf currently serves on the boards of the Patachou Foundation, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and United Way of Central Indiana. Previous community service includes the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, Citizenship for Sports Alliance, Indiana Sports Corporation President’s Council and the Texas A&M’s Lettermen’s Association. She also played a prominent role in bringing the 2011 and 2016 Women’s Final Fours to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
In 2013, she was named a Sports Business Journal Game-Changer for impact on the industry.
A 1983 graduate of Texas A&M University, she was a three-year letter winner in basketball for the Lady Aggies.
“We are extremely pleased that we can recognize Kelly who is such a pioneer and leader in the growth of women’s sports in general and the Indiana Fever in particular,” said Masquerade Co-Chair Cindy Simon Skjodt. “And we are gratified in knowing that the proceeds of this event will again directly benefit youth both nationally and here in Indiana.”
“I am profoundly grateful for this honor,” said Krauskopf. “Though a native Texan, Indiana has become my home and I am proud to represent the Fever as well as our new enterprise, Pacers Gaming.”
Last year’s Masquerade honorees were local philanthropists John and Sarah Lechleiter. Previous honorees have included Quinn Bucker, Jim Morris, Larry Bird, Deborah J. Simon, Cindy Simon Skjodt, Tamika Catchings, Rick Fuson, Steve Stitle, Frank Hancock, Jeff Smulyan, the Hulman-George Family, Melvin Simon, Herbert Simon, Reggie Miller, Bobby “Slick” Leonard, Clark Kellogg and Donnie Walsh.
The Masquerade evening will begin with a reception, followed by the dinner and tribute. Special guests will include the entire Indiana Pacers team and basketball staff as well as many of the past Masquerade honorees.
The Masquerade is made possible through the generous support of many local and national sponsors. PNC Bank will return as the event’s title sponsor for the 17th year.
For ticket and sponsorship information, please contact Brandi Young at (317) 263-7694 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT SIMON YOUTH FOUNDATION: Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) is a national nonprofit committed to helping students graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary educational opportunities. SYF executes this mission by partnering with local public school districts to build schools called Simon Youth Academies, through which students at risk of dropping out of high school receive the personalized support needed to earn their diplomas, and by providing renewable Simon Youth Scholarships to graduating seniors who live near Simon Malls. Since its inception, SYF has maintained a 90 percent graduation rate at its more than 30 Simon Youth Academies, helping nearly 16,000 students earn their high school diplomas, and awarded nearly $17 million Simon Youth Scholarships. Visit syf.org to learn more.
ABOUT PACERS FOUNDATION: Pacers Foundation, Inc., the public charity founded by Pacers Sports & Entertainment, is dedicated to improving the lives of Indiana’s young people by assisting projects and programming that benefit Indiana’s youth. Since its inception in 1993, Pacers Foundation has awarded more than $7 million in grants, scholarships, donations, and Pacers and Fever tickets to youth-serving organizations. To learn more, go to pacersfoundation.org.