Unless you've been living under a rock, or don't really care about U.S. sports, you probably know that the Green Bay Packers are the champs of Super Bowl XLV. What you may not know is that despite hailing from a town of a little over 100,000 people, the Green Bay Packers are one of the most popular teams in the National Football League. So popular, in fact, that the current waiting list for season tickets informs new registrants that they might receive their tickets by 2074.
The Green Bay Packers have remained a successful franchise for multiple reasons,
including excellent coaching and several high caliber quarterbacks. Yet it's pretty easy to argue that the reason underlying much of the team's success comes from the stability provided by management and ownership style.
The Packers are the only team in the league that is owned by the community at large. Instead of one small controlling group, or one individual owner, Green Bay and the surrounding community have bought shares in the organization. Every member receives voting rights and no member can have a controlling interest. Furthermore, they operate under non-profit status while releasing their balance sheet to the greater public. This has kept the fan base from feeling shut out--at a time when many teams have gone by the wayside or moved across country at the whim of spiteful owners.
The behavior of the Packers organization echoes many of the essential values that most open source projects adhere to. We know that these values can do good things when implemented properly. Considering that Green Bay has survived longer than most NFL clubs, and has won more championships than any team in professional American Football history, it's pretty easy to see how the Packers are a shining example of what a community can do when it gets behind something they believe in.
So congratulations to the Packers and their community of fans! The Packers could not have had such success this year without the community underneath promoting and supporting the efforts.
What are your thoughts on the Packers' success and use of the community to build something great? Heard any good stories or soundbites about the hometown Packer pride? Sound off in the comments below!