Murphy Takes 5 is a monthly column written by President and CEO Mark Murphy. On the first Saturday of every month, Mark will write about a topic of interest to Packers fans and the organization, and then answer five fan questions. Fans are encouraged to email Mark with their name and hometown at: MurphyTakes5@packers.com
July was an eventful month for the Green Bay Packers. And the season hasn't even started.
We welcomed thousands of new shareholders to Lambeau Field for their first annual meeting, reported to our shareholders that we are in excellent financial shape, and opened training camp to loyal fans from across the country.
It was a pleasure to see so many new shareholders at our meeting on July 24. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet many of them in the Atrium afterward. Shareholders raised many topics, including their excitement on their first visit to Lambeau Field, the excellent new HD video boards, their excitement for the season, how fortunate we are to have Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy leading the team, and their passionate support for players like Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews.
During the meeting, we discussed the franchise's strong financial performance over the past year. We had record revenue of $302 million, record net income of nearly $43 million and, in what we feel is the best measure of our operations, a net operating profit of $43 million, also a new record. Two-thirds of the increase was due to revenue growth, on the heels of our 2010 Super Bowl season and 2011 15-1 campaign, but another third was due to our ability to lower costs.
While these numbers are impressive, what is most important is that we will continue to be in a position to support a winning football team on the field – our main goal as an organization. They also demonstrate that we have utilized the redeveloped Lambeau Field as an asset and will continue to build for the long-term success of the organization. We're investing the profits right back into Lambeau Field.
Lastly, it's been great to see many thousands of fans at training camp. For me, it is a wonderful time for the Packers and our fans. Families of fans come to Green Bay to enjoy a taste of the Packers experience. Walking through the parking lot, I see license plates from states all over the country. Families take in practice and other activities, kids give a player a lift on a bike and get autographs, and then they often visit the Hall of Fame and take a stadium tour. We appreciate fans spending their summer vacation time in Green Bay.
Now, on to your questions:
J.J. from Richmond, IL
I was wondering if the Packers will hold camps for high school players?
Thanks for having an interest in high school football, J.J. The Packers have a variety of programs associated with youth football, including a free High School Player Development (HSPD) camp for incoming high school freshman through seniors. It focuses on character development and specific football skills training by position. This past June, camps were held in Chippewa Falls, Milwaukee and Green Bay. Look for information for next summer's camps in 2013.
The HSPD also had its first Leadership Program this July, with NFL Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent leading a character development session. Watch for such programs in the future.
All our youth football information can be found online at packers.com/community/youth-football.html.
A question from Sean
What is the possibility of having a preseason game at Camp Randall?
The Packers enjoyed 10 games in Madison from 1986-95, with a 7-3 record, and had great support from the fans there. At that time, teams had the ability to play preseason games in areas other than their home cities. The practice now is to play all games at teams' regular stadiums. We don't foresee a game in Madison, but we know we have plenty of fans from south central Wisconsin make their way to Lambeau Field. Also, our home games are very important to the Green Bay economy, so we would be reluctant to move home games away from Green Bay.
Ryan from Delphos, OH
I will be starting college in about a month majoring in physical therapy. My question for you is do the Packers have team physical therapists?
Hi, Ryan. Best of luck as you begin college. The Packers have an excellent medical staff, which includes our physicians and certified athletic trainers. Our head athletic trainer, Pepper Burruss, is also a certified physical therapist.
Chase from Springfield, IL
Since becoming president of the Packers, what has been your favorite moment?
Thanks, Chase. Great question. Without a doubt, my favorite moment was when we won Super Bowl XLV. In my role, I realize how difficult it is to win a Super Bowl championship, and how many people contribute to bring us the championship, so it was a special occasion. Also, I was able to celebrate the victory on the field with my son, Brian. In 1983, after the Redskins won Super Bowl XVII, I celebrated with my father after the game. The celebration in Dallas brought back many great memories for me.
A question from Shamika
What are the Packers doing to engage female Packers fans?
The Packers are fortunate to have one of the most passionate and educated fan bases in all of sports, and that includes our female fans. Our surveys show that our fan base is about 60 percent male and 40 percent female. On packers.com, our split is nearly 50-50. This demonstrates we have a very strong following from female fans, but we also continue to work on ways to engage them.
Our Packers Pro Shop does a terrific job of offering a variety of items specifically for female fans. From clothing to accessories to hats and jewelry, many fun and high quality products are available.
During the season, we work with the NFL during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and have games dedicated to bringing awareness to the disease that affects so many women and their families. You may recall our players and coaches having pink in their uniforms and clothing on those days.
We also have offered engaging programs in the past, such as "Football 101," which brought women together to have fun and learn more about the X's and O's behind the game.
The NFL also engages female fans through national advertising. You may have seen some of the print and television ads. My daughters had the privilege of being part of one of those ads and had a lot of fun with it.