Pacers announce deal making Southwest team’s official airline

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Southwest Airlines and the Indiana Pacers announced a partnership Wednesday that will make Southwest the official airline of the franchise.

“This is an exciting partnership highlighting passion points that make Indianapolis a great place to live, work, and play,” said Katherine Findlay, Southwest’s vice president of internal audit who also is Southwest’s executive ambassador to Indianapolis. “We look forward to joining the Pacers and their fans to showcase our new destinations, low fares, and the customer-friendly policies that make Southwest Airlines a great choice for business and leisure travel.”

“It’s very fitting that as we begin a season-long celebration of 50 years of Pacers basketball and history with Opening Night this evening, we gather today to begin a new era with our friends from Southwest Airlines,” said Rick Fuson, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “This is a remarkable day in so many ways, and we are so proud to associate our organization with this great airline.”

Southwest pledged to bring “exciting events” to Indianapolis and planned to give out 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points to celebrate the Pacers’ 50th season.

As the team’s official airline, Southwest will have a large presence at Bankers Life Fieldhouse that includes in-area advertisements and digital/broadcast feature pieces.

Southwest began service to Indianapolis more than 25 years ago and offers nearly 40 daily nonstop flights to 17 destinations.

To announce the partnership, the Pacers and Southwest showed a video highlighting the airline’s arrival to Bankers Life Fieldhouse that featured Pacers mascot boomer and several Indy-based Southwest employees.

The Pacers tip off their new season Wednesday night at home against the Dallas Mavericks. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.