"We've talked about it internally that it appears that the Super Bowl trumps the lockout," Team President and CEO Mark Murphy joked. The team provided its financial figures to several media outlets, including Packer Report, on Tuesday in a sneak preview of what's to come during Thursday's shareholders meeting.
The Packers' Super Bowl championship provided a bonanza at the Packers Pro Shop and Hall of Fame. Those areas were the biggest reason why the Packers' local revenue increased by almost $19 million. Team expenses also increased but player costs dropped by $1.9 million. Murphy called the decrease "artificial." Because of the lockout, the Packers did not offer any contract extensions in March.
"To put it in perspective, a year ago, we signed four guys and were in excess of $20 million spent in the month of March," said Jason Wied, the team's vice president of administration/general counsel. "Typically, there's a lot of money spent in March. We had zero, so when we try to normalize our numbers, player costs would have increased fairly significantly in a typical year."
Here's a year-to-year comparison:
Net income: Fiscal-year 2010 — $5.2 million. 2011 — $17.1 million.
Operating profit: Fiscal-year 2010 — $9.8 million. 2011 — $12.0 million.
Total revenue: Fiscal-year 2010 — $258.0 million. 2011 — $282.6 million.
Total expenses: Fiscal-year 2010 — $248.2 million. 2011 — $270.5 million.
Local revenue: Fiscal-year 2010 — $100.4 million. 2011 — $119.3 million.
National revenue: Fiscal-year 2010 — $157.6 million. 2011 — $163.3 million.
Player costs: Fiscal-year 2010 — $160.8 million. 2011 — $158.9 million.
Franchise Preservation Fund: Remains unchanged for fourth consecutive year at $127.5 million.
The $11.9 million increase in net income came largely due to the rebound of investments back to near where they were when the stock market plunged over the past two years.
While the Super Bowl provided a great shot in the arm, that the team played four road games to win the championship meant increased expenses. Moreover, playoff home games provide a tremendous influx of money. Back in 2007, the Packers said each home playoff game was worth $1 million in terms of the parking, concessions and sponsorships. (The league takes the ticket revenue.)
While the lockout helped contain player costs, Murphy said the team felt the pinch in sponsorships — though he hopes the team can overcome that now that a CBA is in place.
Still, it could be worse, thanks in large part to the Super Bowl and the popularity of the team.
"It's important to recognize that the Packers are in a different position than the rest of the league," Wied said. "Although we didn't see a lot of direct impacts because of the lockout on our financials, that's not the case across the league or for the league as an entity. There were relatively dramatic impacts in pockets around the league and the league as a whole. We're very blessed to be in the type of market we are with the type of demand and the loyal fans that we have. Our performance is unusual."
Meanwhile, with the CBA in place for 10 years, the Packers are back to creating plans on how to expand seating in the south end zone. As part of the CBA, the NFL gets to take 1.5 percent off the top of all revenues, with the money going into a fund for stadium construction and renovation. The NFL contributes 50 percent of what a team contributes.
"That grows the game, and as the game grows, national television revenues increase, so you get the cycle going the right way," Wied said. "We've been going the wrong way the past couple of years."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.