That's the Spirit
Those calling for a spiritual awakening are marching into enemy territory: the world of business. But what happens when a corporation's soul clashes with its bottom line?
When the Green Bay Packers won the 1997 Super Bowl, it was a triumph of soul. The Packers are deeply rooted in the Wisconsin city where they were founded in 1919. They were named after a local meat processing plant, the Indian Packing Company, which paid for the first uniforms. Starting in the 1920s, the Green Bay Football Corp. made a series of public stock offerings. In 1950, 1,900 local residents each put up $25 a share to buy the team. They and their descendants remain the owners. No one owns more than 200 shares of Packers stock. And it pays no dividends -- every cent goes back to the team in pay or toward the improvement of facilities. The result is a community -- and team -- spirit unmatched in any other National Football League city. That's why Packer players who score touchdowns leap into the stands to embrace spectators. That's why fans at Lambeau Field sing "Amazing Grace" during time-outs. That's why, as Bruce Adams of the San Francisco Examiner wrote last year, "a group of nuns 75 miles away in Fond du Lac prays for the Packers on Sunday morning and then settles down in front of a television set to watch the game."