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Canada Goose Outlet If Lambeau Field is hallowed National Football League ground was it this goal line or the far one where Bart Starr sneaked in for the winning touchdown in ’67? then it was only fitting that the NFL clergy gathered there in early September to celebrate the start of a new season. The preceding months had been dominated by bitter negotiations between the league’s 32 owners and the players’ union, which had led to an owners’ lockout and the cancellation of training camp. For a while the regular season itself seemed in jeopardy until the two sides reached a new collective bargaining agreement six weeks before opening Sunday. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose store The season’s first game was a clash between the two most recent Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints, and as the teams warmed up on a clear autumn night, Lambeau had the atmosphere of a homecoming weekend. There was Starr holding a Green Bay Packer flag, NFL Commissioner Roger goose outlet canada Goodell greeting New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, and Bob Costas and Tony Dungy doing the NBC pregame show. canada goose store

Canada Goose online A few feet away stood a man few casual fans would recognize, but who was nonetheless indispensable to making this night possible: Mark H. Murphy, the Packers’ president and chief executive officer. Murphy is the embodiment of that rags to riches fable wherein the boy working on the shop floor can grow up to run the whole factory. He walked along the grass near the canada goose kensington parka uk white chalk sideline, with the shambling, slightly stiff legged shuffle of the ex athlete. As the Packers completed their drills and gathered in a pregame huddle, Murphy said, “That camaraderie with your teammates, it’s impossible to match that outside the game, anywhere else in life. They should savor it, because canada goose outlet the transition from being a player is difficult, really challenging.” Canada Goose online

canadian goose jacket Few players in canada goose outlet usa NFL history have made that transition in quite so remarkable a fashion as Murphy. That he is here on this field, the head of the most successful team in America’s most popular sport, speaks volumes not just about him but also about the peculiar genius of the organization that he runs. canadian goose jacket

The Green Bay Packers canada goose outlet eu are a historical, cultural, and geographical anomaly, a publicly traded corporation in a league that doesn’t allow them, an immensely profitable company whose shareholders are forbidden by canada goose clothing uk the corporate bylaws to receive a penny of that profit, a franchise that has flourished despite being in the smallest market in the NFL with a population of 102,000, it would be small for a Triple A baseball franchise. Green Bay is the only small town team still in existence. The Packers have managed not merely to survive but to become the NFL’s dominant organization, named by ESPN in 2011 as the best franchise in all of sports.

cheap Canada Goose The Packers have sold out 295 consecutive home games, and there are 80,000 names on the waiting list for season tickets. Everywhere you look in Green Bay there is Go Pack signage at the obvious places, like Brett Favre’s Steakhouse just off Holmgren Way, and the less obvious, like canada goose outlet in chicago the Pho 1 Noodle Grill on Oneida Street. Green Bay residents consider it a point of pride to buy their own bodyweight annually in Packers paraphernalia. All that swag, and those endless sellouts, made the Packers the 11th highest revenue team in canada goose outlet canada the NFL in 2011, with total income of more than $280 canada goose outlet 2015 million, despite the fact that it plays in by far the smallest of the league’s 32 cities. (Ironically, this success means that Green Bay pays into the NFL reserve fund set up to redistribute revenue from larger market teams to smaller market teams.) cheap Canada Goose

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Canada canada goose discount uk Goose sale When you talk to Packer management, you start to canada goose sale uk realize that success is a tribute to the careful, constant maintenance of two things: the product on the field and the community’s warm feelings about that product. “It starts with football,” says Murphy. “We structure the organization canada goose outlet store near me in a way that we can be successful on the field. But a big part of it is also remembering that this team has a special place in this community. We’re owned by this community. We can’t be perceived as gouging the fans.” Canada Goose sale

canada goose coats The Packers must constantly walk that fine line between profitability and community. Every other NFL franchise is controlled or entirely owned by one majority shareholder, and NFL rules prohibit otherwise. (The Packers’ ownership structure predates current NFL rules.) Ticket prices, concessions, parking, stadium naming rights all of that is dictated at most NFL stadiums by whatever the owner feels the market will bear, and every additional dollar is profit into the owner’s pockets. canada goose coats

canada goose black friday sale The Packers don’t operate like that. Take ticket prices: Even after a 9 percent bump this Super Bowl championship year, the highest priced ticket is $83, lower than all but two other franchises. In contrast to other NFL venues and their garish, wraparound ad signage, Lambeau is as austere as a high school football stadium. The only ads you see are on the scoreboard; the rest of the stadium has intentionally been maintained so that the vista a fan experiences today is similar to what he would have seen in the ’60s. canada goose black friday sale

“We work as hard as anyone to increase revenue, to decrease costs. But we also judge our success by how we canada goose outlet phone number are regarded in the community,” says Jason Wied, the team’s vice president of administration and general counsel. “We could probably double home game revenue if we charged New England Patriot prices, but we have to think of our blue collar base.”

Wied is typical of those near the top of the Packer organization. As a child growing up in Green Bay, he was one of the kids who brought his bike to practice every day in the hopes a player would ride it back to the locker room, a quirky local tradition that cements the bond between community and team. He stayed in Wisconsin for college canada goose outlet legit and law school before coming to work for the Pack. “Our job,” says Wied, “is to sustain this organization into the next generation. To make sure the Packers stay in Green Bay. From time to time we make decisions that may not be in our best interest but are in the best interests of the community.”

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canada goose coats on sale More often than not, those interests are the same. Although the Packers were founded in 1919 by local high school football star canada goose outlet vip Curly Lambeau, it was the team’s articles of incorporation from 1923, based on a now defunct Wisconsin nonprofit tax status, that instituted the basic structure. It includes a provision that if the team were sold or moved, the proceeds should go to a local American Legion post. The 112,158 Green Bay Packers Inc. shareholders are entitled to no profits or dividends and cannot sell, assign or transfer a share to a third party. In other words, Packers shares are permanently worthless. “If you’re a Green Bay person, well, you just see this as a way of supporting the team,” says Bea Froelich, canada goose premium outlet 72, who owns two shares, one of which is framed on her stairwell. canada goose coats on sale

canada goose clearance Owning a share entitles you to show up once a year to approve a slate of directors. Prospective candidates for the board are invited by existing board members, with the nods usually given to prominent local businessmen and community notables. “It’s such an honor when they ask you to join the board,” canada goose coats uk says Peter M. Platten III, a former vice president of the Packers and CEO of Valley Bancorporation. “We all grew up here with this team, so when they ask, you feel like you’ve been recognized.” canada goose clearance

Canada Goose Jackets The board in turn elects the executive committee, which makes the important business decisions about running the organization. The biggest is who should be CEO of the Packers the role that for every other franchise is played by its owner. In 2007 the previous CEO, local businessman Bob Harlan, had hit the mandatory retirement age of 70, and the man scheduled to succeed him, longtime Packers employee John canada goose outlet store montreal Jones, was forced to step down because of health reasons. For the first time in decades the Packers had no strong internal candidate for CEO. The Packers did what any major corporation would do: They hired an executive search firm, who came up with a candidate most of the team’s directors were unfamiliar with. He was a non Green Bay resident. Most worryingly, from the standpoint of Packers’ management, their new CEO was a former player who had made his name fighting against the very system he would now be paid to defend. Canada Goose Jackets

canada goose deals As a boy, Mark Murphy recalls riding with his father, Hugh “Big Murph” Murphy, in a Chevy Impala on the two lane roads of upstate New York, driving from steel mill to steel mill to speak with shop foremen and floor managers canada goose uk site and line chiefs. Big Murph was head of labor relations for Roblin Steel, and spent much of Murphy’s youth going in and out of collective bargaining negotiations with some of the toughest unions in America. canada goose deals

buy canada goose jacket Murphy recalls his father dispensing pearls of wisdom to him during those long afternoon drives, stressing, for example, the importance of maintaining good personal relations with whoever is across the table from you in those meetings, so that in the heat of the talks you never forget that this is a man, with a family to support. That’s why Big Murph put in all those road miles, making it a point to visit the workers in the good times as well as the bad. “I grew up in labor relations,” says Murphy. He played baseball and football at Colgate University, where he graduated with an economics degree. He received professional offers to play baseball from the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets, but his first canada goose outlet store uk love was football. And yet he went unclaimed in the 1977 NFL draft, which provided his first experience negotiating with management. George Allen, then head coach of the Washington Redskins, was famous for trading away draft choices for aging veterans. To stock up on younger players, he would “hide” players during the draft so that he could sign them as free agents after it was over. In the era before modern scouting and talent evaluation, it was common for teams to keep lesser known prospects under wraps until after the draft. Allen called Murphy canada goose outlet near me the first day of the draft, which back then had 12 rounds, and said he liked Murphy and wanted him to fly down for a press conference when the Skins drafted him. buy canada goose jacket

“They had no intention of drafting me,” Murphy says. “They put me in a hotel room and told the hotel to tell anyone who called that there was no Mark Murphy staying there. My girlfriend couldn’t even reach me. It turns out five other teams were interested in signing me that day. They couldn’t find me.”

George Allen called him in, handed him a contract, and told him to sign, then shouted to his assistant in the next room, “If he doesn’t sign, then let’s get that safety from Oklahoma.”

buy canada goose jacket cheap Murphy signed a two year contract for $21,000 a year. “That was my ‘Welcome canada goose shop uk to the NFL’ moment.” buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose clearance sale Murphy would become a standout on the dominant Washington defenses of that era, but it was an off the field role as the Redskins’ player representative to the National Football League Players Assn. that would shape his future career. At that time, being a player rep was considered an invitation to an early retirement. “There was always this undercurrent that if you were an active member of the NFLPA, then somehow the owners were gonna get you,” says Peter Cronan, a linebacker on those Redskin teams. Still, Murphy, the son of a labor relations man, couldn’t resist. “Over my first three years in the league, I just saw so many examples of players who weren’t being treated fairly,” he says. “Players had no leverage, no free agency.” Murphy, who already had two young sons with his wife, college sweetheart Laurie Young, also believed the pension plan had to be improved, and that longtime retired players, the so called Pre 59ers, deserved pensions as well canada goose clearance sale.

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