Casey Katofsky is the Executive Director of Operations at Future Legends. Prior to this role, Casey worked at Under Armour and Georgetown University, as well as held numerous marketing and social media positions throughout the years. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University with degrees in Strategic Communications and Business, received a Masters in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University, and holds a graduate certificate in Sport Industry Essentials from Columbia University.
Q: Which sport has had the biggest impact on your life and why?
A: The sport that has had the biggest impact on my life is baseball by far. I grew up in a baseball family. My family originally comes from Pittsburgh, where baseball and football are a huge part of the culture. I grew up playing baseball very seriously. When I was moving toward a collegiate baseball career, I tore the UCL in my elbow. I figured that if I couldn’t play anymore, then I’d might as well still be in the business. Baseball has still been a huge factor in my life and I watch as much as I can. Obviously right now it is a little difficult to do that, but I am very excited for baseball season to come back. It is not the only sport that has had an impact – football, basketball, hockey – all of them have led to my interest in providing an experience for everyone that shares the same passion that we do.
Q: Tell us about your most “legendary sports moment” when you were playing sports.
A: My most legendary moment as an athlete myself (at least the one that people would say when they think about my athletic career – as short as it was), is from when I was in high school. I pitched pretty seriously before my injury, but I wasn’t that great of a hitter. I didn’t strike out very much, but I could barely hit the ball out of the infield. In a very serious game, I went to Brentwood High School a little while ago, we were playing Pacifica Christian and the 3rd baseman on our team got injured. We needed a pinch hitter and the game was tied in the last inning. I was the only person left on the bench that had to hit. I went up there and had a 10 pitch at-bat and had a single to left field and we won the game on the walk-off hit. I got carried by my teammates and smacked around and it was really cool that as a pitcher for 12 years that the moment people remember me by is a base hit. It is kind of ironic. That’s the go-to moment that people like to bring up. I still feel the bruises from getting punched after that, but it felt pretty good.
Q: Do you have recordings of that or anything? Is there video footage?
A: I don’t, but I WISH. Someone has it on their phone but this was a decade ago, so phones were flip phones and razors.
As you mentioned in your first answer, you kind of have pivoted in sports from being an athlete to more development. Tell me about how that has changed your career and how you’ve navigated that change from athlete to now developer?
What has helped me with the transition from being an athlete to being in the front office of sports organizations is the competitive edge that you develop as an athlete that makes you want to win and get better. Also, being around your teammates is something that is very similar to how the business world works, especially in sports. Most of my career I have been a part of a team or corporations that have a competitive edge and want to win, but also want to create a product that is the best. I worked with Under Armour in the past and with multiple college athletic programs. Working for a project like this has allowed me to want to be the best and make sure we do everything right, and still create an experience that people want to be a part of and be a part of a team that can work together.
Q: We’ve mentioned the facility a little bit. Can you give me a 10-second rundown of what Future Legends is?
A: The complex itself of Future Legends, in a very quick way, is a 118-acre complex that is all-encompassing to all different types of sports, not limited to any kids’ abilities in what they want to do. We want to provide something to them that really makes them feel like they can be a professional or a legend in the future. Hence the name. With all the facilities that we’re offering – multiple baseball fields, multiple multi-purpose fields, and professional stadium, an indoor bubble stadium with multiple different courts and other types of fields – there really isn’t a sport that we don’t offer. We want to be able to offer everything that these kids want to do or participate in.
Q: What makes Future Legends different from most facilities?
A: I would say the main thing that differentiates us between other things that are offered in the country – and there are some great ones for sure – is that we have the ability to attract a huge audience no matter what sport that you play. Regardless of background, status, or anything else, if you want to play sports and be a part of our complex, you can. We think that is really cool.
There are a lot of complexes out there that specialize in one sport or cater to a specific region. We are a nationwide complex and anyone around the country can access our facilities and tournaments. In addition, the thing that definitely differentiates us is the 64-team dormitory. People that come on our complex to play in a tournament or league can stay with their team on the complex directly. We’ll have multiple hotels and a professional stadium for guests to visit with teams that play here. With all that combined, there really isn’t anything that competes with what we’re offering. We’re really excited to offer that experience to anyone that is excited about what we’re doing.
Q: What excites you most about building the Future Legends facility?
A: What excites me the most is that I have such amazing memories from growing up an athlete and being in tournaments with my friends. Being able to offer those memories in return to kids nowadays who just love playing sports and being a part of the team, especially on a national level, is an absolute dream come true. I know that it is a dream come true for everyone involved including our partners, the ownership group, investors, and the city of Windsor. Just to be able to offer what we are is extremely exciting, and we have so many unique factors. Having amenities such as the dormitory as I mentioned, professional teams playing on our complex, and restaurants and hotels right on the complex, is incredible and something that really hasn’t been matched. It’s really exciting and motivates me to produce the best experience so that we can be around for decades and decades to come.
Q: Who is your sports hero and why?
A: I love answering this question. My sports hero BY FAR is Roberto Clemente. For people who are not familiar, he was a very famous baseball player from the 1960s and 70s. Primarily he was known for his skill, but even more so as a humanitarian. He is my father’s favorite athlete as well. As I mentioned before, my family originally comes from Pittsburgh and Clemente is about as big of a deal as you can get there. Many people don’t know that he spent his last moments on Earth helping a community that just got hit by an earthquake. He was flying to bring them supplies and unfortunately died in a plane crash on the way, but his legacy obviously still lives on. As a player and as a person, there really isn’t anybody that motivates and inspires me more than him. There are other people that are close, but he is a no brainer answer and to this day he is somebody that we try and bring that motivation and his inspiration to whatever we do.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to add that you don’t think we’ve covered?
A: What I would love to add is that we are excited to offer as many amenities and tournaments as we possibly can for every type of sport. We hope to provide as much as we can for people who want to be a part of youth sports. The whole point of Future Legends is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter your skillset, but if you’re willing to learn and willing to put in the work, anybody can be a future legend. That’s the message we want to put out there.
It is very important for us to provide opportunities to all kids out there that want to be part of it. Not only will we offer tournaments for lower-income families, but we also have fields that are dedicated to special needs kids. They’ll be able to play just as everybody else does. We appreciate your interest and would love to have you be a part of our team one day!
Written By: Ashley Kavanagh