Photo of Tom Glick provided by the Carolina Panthers.
By Spencer Campbell
New Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has made it clear that winning is important. But he also told reporters at his first press conference since buying the team that the NFL is a business, and he’s seeking “revenue producers” in the form of sponsorships and capital improvements around Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte.
So it isn’t surprising that Tepper tapped Tom Glick as the team’s president in August. A Boston native who graduated from Cornell University, Glick has spent the last two decades rising through the ranks of sports administration, starting in 1996 as general manager of Michigan’s Lansing Lugnuts minor-league baseball team. He later led sales and marketing for the Sacramento RiverCats, another ball club.
“He has an amazing head for revenue and how best to create partnerships that are mutually beneficial for all parties,” says Darrin Gross, an executive with the Sacramento Kings NBA team who worked with Glick at the RiverCats. During Glick’s tenures in Lansing and Sacramento, both teams built new stadiums.
After nearly three years in the NBA, at the league office and with the then-New Jersey Nets, Glick crossed the pond into English Premier League soccer, eventually becoming chief commercial and operating officer of Manchester City Football Club, which Forbes values at nearly $2.5 billion. In Manchester, Glick handled partnership sales, marketing and other business-related tasks. The club also added a state-of-the-art training facility.
Matching that feat will be Glick’s first major task in Charlotte, says Todd McFall, a sports economist at Wake Forest University.
“To me, because of the location of [Bank of America Stadium], it’s a very interesting dilemma Glick faces.” With land scarce and expensive in downtown Charlotte, the only logical spot for Tepper’s desired development is the Panthers’ practice field adjacent to the stadium, he says.
“If we do move the practice field somewhere else besides right next to the stadium, which doesn’t necessarily make so much sense,” Tepper said at the July presser, “you do open up a lot of area for development.”
A structure there would allow the Panthers “to charge $30 for the privilege” of parking close to the game, McFall says, meeting Tepper’s expectations for more revenue. But first, Glick, who didn’t respond to interview requests, must entice Charlotte or a nearby suburb to subsidize construction of a new practice site.
Negotiations for a practice facility could be a preview of a future skirmish with grander implications. “What’s Glick looking at the horizon for?” McFall asks. “A new stadium.” When that happens, the city might be operating from a position of strength: Two NFL franchises recently relocated to Los Angeles, leaving the Panthers without an obvious competitor should Charlotte refuse to pay for a new arena.
Then again, smaller ’burbs such as Huntersville or Fort Mill, S.C., just might be willing to pick up the tab. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be in Charlotte,” McFall says, “to fly the Carolina flag.”
MATTHEWS — Family Dollar will close its local office by fall 2019, eliminating about 200 jobs. Another 700 workers will be given the opportunity to relocate to Chesapeake, Va. The discount retailer was acquired by Virginia-based Dollar Tree in 2015 for $9 billion.
CHARLOTTE — Allen Tate Cos., the state’s largest real-estate agency with 2,100 employees, is merging with Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the third-biggest U.S. home seller.
CHARLOTTE — WestRock will close its local paper plant, laying off 170 workers. The Norcross, Ga.-based company did not provide a reason for the closure.
CLAREMONT — Progressive Furniture, a division of Archbold, Ohio-based Sauder Woodworking, will invest $6.5 million in an expansion that will double the size of its local operation and add as many as 100 jobs over five years to its staff of 75.
CONCORD — Fortius Capital Partners is developing Meadows Corporate Park, a $9.9 million industrial park that will include two multi-tenant buildings. Griffin Industrial Realty Inc. is investing $12.8 million in two speculative industrial buildings nearby.