SBD/July 11, 2012/Franchises

The Big Cheese: Packers Set Franchise Record For Earnings, Revenue In Last Fiscal Year

Packers can now afford to renovate more than the $134M they previously announced
The Packers shattered earnings and revenue records in the year ended March 31, 2012. The team reported that revenue hit a record high of $302M, a $19.4M increase, while net income hit $42.7M, up from $17.1M. "To me the fact we had guaranteed labor peace and a 10-year agreement probably was as meaningful as anything,” said Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy. “At a local level, we have seen since the new CBA has been finalized, [the team] entering into long term agreements with sponsors, and a new preseason TV package that would have not have been possible without the labor deal.” Sales also surged at the team’s Pro Shop, reflecting the club’s on-field success. The team has previously announced a $134M renovation to its stadium bowl, and now with the financial success, the club is also considering renovating the Atrium, the stadium’s interior web of shops and restaurants. Overall expenses fell from $270.5M to $259M, reflecting lower player costs and belt tightening that occurred during last year’s lockout. Players costs fell $3.5M to $155.4M. Of that figure, $142.4M reflected salary cap and benefits. The remainder was workers compensation claims, player travel costs and payroll taxes. The $42.7M of net income steamrolled the old record of $25.4M reached in ‘05. The 12-month period covered the first season under the new 10-year CBA, which gave NFL teams at least four to five percentage points more of revenue than the old labor pact. The earnings also reflect the benefit of the Packers winning Super Bowl XLIV during the previous financial period (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).

PACKERS FINANCIALS
CATEGORY
2012*
(in millions)
2011*
(in millions)
Total revenue
$302.0
$282.6
Local revenue
$130.4
$119.3
National revenue
$171.6
$163.3
Expenses
$259.0
$270.5
Net income
$42.7
$17.1
Profit from operations
$43.0
$12.0
Player costs^
$155.4
$158.9

NOTES: * Years ended March 31. ^ Includes salaries, benefits, workers-compensation payouts, payroll taxes and player travel costs.

ADDITIONAL REVENUE DETAILS: In Green Bay, Richard Ryman in a front-page piece reports most of the revenue increase "was in local income.” Packers VP/Finance Paul Baniel indicated the majority of that was from Packers Pro Shop sales, which increased about $11M last year. Murphy: “A big focus for us has been driving more and more people to our website (for online merchandise sales).” He added that online sales are now more than half of Pro Shop sales. Profit from operations -- total operating income minus total operating expenses -- increased from $12M to $43M. Ryman notes the team “considers profits from operations to be the key statistic for gauging financial success.” Money raised from the team’s stock sale over the winter and the cost of its renovation project at Lambeau are not included in the financial report (Green Bay PRESS GAZETTE, 7/11). National revenue totaled $171.6M, up from $163.3M. National TV revenue, a part of national revenue, went from $96.5M to $102.5M. A new national TV deal will go into effect in the ‘14 season, increasing that revenue. For the FY ending March 31, “a record” 156,000 people visited the Packers HOF. Another franchise record of 137,000 people took the Lambeau Field tour. In Milwaukee, Don Walker reported that a year ago, the Packers moved up from 13th to 10th in the 32-team league in terms of team revenue. Given the franchise's profits “this past fiscal year, the team likely will move up the ladder” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/10).

NEXT STEPS: The JOURNAL SENTINEL's Walker noted the team's Packers Preservation Fund, “created years ago as a sort of rainy-day fund,” remains at $127.5M. Murphy said that while that the fund “remains important to the Packers' long term needs, the franchise is now looking to real estate development on land it controls west of the stadium.” Next week, groundbreaking will be held for a 100,000-square foot Cabela's store on Lombardi Ave. The chain “is regarded as the first phase of the Packers' Titletown Development between the highway and Lambeau Field” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/10).
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