The Packers were established in 1921. They had been an independent team for 2 years under Curly Lambeau in 1919 and 1920 when they were invited to join the NFL. Their roots may even pre-date 1919 as they had successful semi-professional teams dating back to the late 1890’s. Many believe this is why the Packers have such rabid followings. They have always been about football in that area of the country.
When Lambeau established the Packers in 1919 the name came from the Indian Packing Company where Lambeau worked. His company provided the money for their uniforms and the name Green Bay Packers was born. They are the oldest franchise in professional football with a continuous name. Lambeau sought more financial backing to keep the team above water and he found four other investors who collectively were called “The Hungry Five.” Including Lambeau these investors would become the backbone of the Green Bay Football Corporation. The nickname “Hungry Five” was allegedly given to these men because they always had their hand out for donations to keep their team alive.
The Green Bay Football Corporation, a non profit entity when formed, survived the Great Depression and other hardships by having stock sales in the team. For this reason the Packers remain the only NFL team that does not have a sole owner, but rather is a publicly owned company with an appointed board of directors. When the original documents of the corporation were put into place, the bylaws included a provision that if the team were ever sold the money would go to the American Legion to build a proper memorial for war veterans.
The “Hungry Five” are inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. Curly Lambeau is the only one of the five who ever made any money from the corporation, his salary as coach. The team is now run by a Board of Directors (who were effectively created as they exist now in 1986) who oversee several community interests as well as team interests. The Chairman of the Board is Mark Murphy, the General Manager is Ted Thompson.