Summary from Just and Lasting Change by Associate Professor, Noam Schimmel
When you think about football, chances are you don’t think about community development, shared resources, a commitment to a non-profit ethos, and a cooperative approach to owning and managing a sports team.
But there is an open secret about one American football team that, while famous for the quality of its players and the passion of its supporters, should also be famous for its communitarian spirit, structure, and values.
As the Green Bay Packers By-Laws state, ‘The association shall be a community project intended to promote community welfare and that its purposes shall be exclusively charitable.”
This challenges the dominant paradigm of what drives sports in America and around the world: profit making. Sports are big business and they are, for the most part, run as big business.
But there are exceptions.
And it turns out that while the Green Bay Packers do make money what they do with that money and how they reinvest it in their community is what is so unique and notable, beyond their sporting excellence.
As Paz Magat, the author of this chapter in Just & Lasting Change, writes,
“The Green Bay Packers are one of the most iconic teams in American football, a team that has won thirteen championships – more than any other American professional football team – and a team that comes from the smallest city of any professional football team. So how is this team a charity? How does it promote community welfare? The answer is that instead of making money, the purpose of the team is winning for the community.”