The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) North division. They are also the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, organized and starting play in 1919. It is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games are played at Lambeau Field.
The Packers are the last vestige of “small town teams” common in the NFL during the 1920s and 1930s. Founded in 1919 by Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest. They joined the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the forerunner of today’s NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, its local fan and media base extends 120 miles south into Milwaukee, where it played selected home games between 1933 and 1994. The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine NFL titles before the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowl victories. They won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers head coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two further Super Bowl wins came in 1997 and 2011.
The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions, who together comprise the NFL’s NFC North division. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921. The Green Bay Packers were founded on August 11, 1919 by former high-school football rivals Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $500 ($6,900 today) for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. The Green Bay Packers have played in their original city longer than any other team in the NFL.
On August 27, 1921, the Packers were granted a franchise in the new national pro football league that had been formed the previous year. Financial troubles plagued the team and the franchise was forfeited within the year, before Lambeau found new financial backers and regained the franchise the next year. These backers, known as the “Hungry Five”, formed the Green Bay Football Corporation.
The Green Bay Packers have no mascot. The Packers are one of the few teams in the NFL with no official mascot.