Business Case Study: Green Bay's Franchise

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Since 1923, the Green Bay Packers have been the only publicly owned, nonprofit professional sports organization in the country (Zirin, 2011). While indeed a unique case, the Packers are the way professional sports should be organized and operated. Every few years, as collective bargaining agreements are negotiated among players and owners, lock outs often occur. Naturally, players and owners both want their piece of the pie. While the collective bargaining negotiation process is often necessary due to the way the sports industry operates, it’s the fans who suffer when stoppage of play occurs. Currently, the Packers franchise has 112,158 shareholders who own a total of 4.7 million shares. However, no one receives dividends, free game tickets…show more content…
Among such scenarios, Stan Kroenke and his St. Louis Rams franchise was recently awarded a move to greener pastures in Los Angeles. This relocation was granted despite a sound stadium plan and voter-approved partial funding of a new stadium which would have been built on the banks of the Mississippi River. Green Bay’s bylaws, however, contain two provisions which prohibit the team from relocating. First, no one individual can own more than 200,000 shares of the team. Second, in the event that the Packers were ever sold, all proceeds would benefit local charities (Hruby, 2011). Several years ago, Packers’ former chairman and CEO, Bob Harlan, added a facility to Lambeau Field benefiting both the team and the community, which included stores, restaurants, a Packers Hall of Fame and a catering facility. Harlan’s addition to Lambeau Field was partially funded by $169 million in public funds. Ultimately, the facility was developed within two years and dramatically increased the team’s revenue, contributed to local economy and became a model for other franchises (Hruby, 2011). Also, each year, the Packers donate 60 percent of concession sale proceeds to local charity groups (Zirin,
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