Photo: Carolina Panthers' Josh Norman says he plans to auction cleats (pictured) that NFL fined him for over printed words 'proud' and 'brave' on shoes' top edge; money to go to North and South Carolina troops - @josephperson
The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member team of the National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The club is owned by Jerry Richardson, who also founded it. The team is worth approximately USD $1 billion, according to Forbes, and is controlled by Richardson and his family, who have a 48 percent stake. The remainder of the team is held by a group of 14 limited partners. The head coach is Ron Rivera. The team president is Danny Morrison.
The Panthers first competed in 1995. The team played its home games at Memorial Stadium, located on the campus of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, during the 1995 season while awaiting the completion of their home stadium in Charlotte. The Panthers played well in their first two years, finishing 7–9 in 1995 (an all-time best for an NFL expansion team's first season). They lost their first game to the Atlanta Falcons 23–20. They did not have another winning season until 2003, when the team won the NFC Championship Game and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots. After recording playoff appearances in 2005 and 2008, the team failed to record another playoff appearance until 2013, when they finished with a 12–4 record and won the NFC South. The Panthers have made the playoffs six times, reaching the NFC Championship Game in three of them. They have won five division titles, one of them in the NFC West and four of them in the NFC South.
The Carolina Panthers are legally registered as Panther Football, LLC. The team is headquartered in Bank of America Stadium, located in uptown Charlotte; the stadium also serves as the team's home field. The Panthers are one of the few teams in the NFL to own the stadium they play in, which is legally registered as Panthers Stadium, LLC. The Panthers are supported throughout the Carolinas; although the team has played their home games in Charlotte since the completion of their stadium in 1996, they played home games in Clemson, South Carolina, during their first season, and they host their annual training camp in Spartanburg, South Carolina. At home games, the atmosphere has been described as comparable to that of other NFL teams, with some games playing host to a large number of fans of the opposing team; this has been attributed to several factors, such as the city's relatively recent entry into the NFL, the popularity of basketball in the Charlotte region, and the large number of Charlotte residents who are originally from other cities with NFL teams. The Panthers' uniforms consist of black, white, and blue jerseys paired with white and silver pants, a pattern which has only seen minor changes since the team's inception.