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Gutsche sells Stamps to Feterik

by Calgary Press Release
October 8, 2001 - Canadian Football League (CFL)

Gutsche sells Stampeders to Feterik

Calgary Press Release

(Calgary) - California businessman Michael Feterik today entered into an agreement with Sig Gutsche to become the owner of the Calgary Stampeders. The agreement must be approved by the CFL Board of Governors to complete the transaction. It is anticipated that ownership will transfer next month.

Feterik becomes only the third private owner in 58 years of Stampeder history. The Calgary Stampeders were born out of World War II in 1945. The birth of the Canadian Football League Calgary Stampeders as we know them today took place on September 29th, 1945. The first ever game was played on October 22 versus the Regina Roughriders, the Stamps won the game 12-0 in front of 4,000 fans in Calgary at Mewata Stadium.

"I am proud to soon be the owner of the Stamps. The Stamps have the best fans in sports and I will hold the club in trust for them. I and the rest of the front office will endeavor to field a winning team on the field in 2002 and every year thereafter. I also pledge that the Calgary Stampeders will contribute to the community off the field as well." Stated Michael Feterik

In 1991, the club took a drastic change from always being community owned to being privately owned for the first time in their 47 year old history as Calgary businessman Larry Ryckman saved the Club in October as the franchise was on he verge of financial extinction. Ryckman owned the team until the spring of 1996. The CFL stepped in and kept the football side of the business afloat until a new owner was found.

That new owner would be Mr. Sig Gutsche, Gutsche a local businessman who found prominence in the oil and gas industry in Calgary gained broader awareness with the citizens of Calgary with the opening of Calgary's Hard Rock Café in 1995.

Almost one year later to the day on April 3, 1996, he achieved one of his proudest moments in his business career as he acquired the successful bid to purchase the Calgary Stampeder Football Club.

Under the leadership of Mr. Gutsche the Stampeders would become the model CFL franchise on and off the field. Winning the Grey Cup in 1998 on a exciting last minute field goal by Mark McLoughlin, to leading the entire CFL in attendance in 2000, by smashing all club attendance records including 45,010 fans for the Stampeders last regular season home game that year. As well hosting the most successful Grey Cup Festival Week ever in CFL history last November.

" It was a most difficult business decision to buy the team in 1996 and far tougher decision to sell this team almost six years, the Stampeders have become part of me, I have done a great deal of sole searching while receiving input from all people involved. I have reluctently decided to sell the Stampeders for the best interest of the team, community and Sig Gutsche" stated Mr. Gutsche

Michael Feterik is an entrepreneur and life-long sports enthusiast. The ownership of the Calgary Stampeder professional football franchise (a member of the Canadian Football League) will give Michael the opportunity to combine his vocation with his avocation.

Michael, his younger brother and two younger sisters, were born and raised in McKeesport, a small steel mill town in western Pennsylvania. While growing up, Michael learned early on that opportunity for success, once presented, still had to be earned through a combination of risk and hard work. He attributes his strong work ethic to his father, Michael, who was a railroad worker and to his mother Julia, who also worked and managed the household.

Michael became an avid sports fan and participant in sports at an early age. Of the many sports in which he participated during adolescence, he especially liked, and excelled at, the game of basketball. While attending McKeesport High School, he earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno. Michael attended UNR and then transferred to the University of California, Long Beach, where he completed his undergraduate studies and earned a Bachelor of Arts. The experience, training, and skills gained while playing Division One basketball at UNR prepared Michael for the opportunity to fulfill his boyhood dream of playing professional basketball. However, while trying out for the Detroit Pistons, and after having endured a series of injuries in college, Michael sustained a career-ending injury.

Michael then obtained a position at Saint Anthony High School in Long Beach teaching U.S. History and Government. He was also the Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach. After one year, Michael married Terri Gene Roberts. The two ventured to Michigan where Michael, wanting to continue his education. Attended Eastern Michigan University. While working for his graduate degree, Michael earned an M.A. in Industrial Counseling, he and Terri returned to Southern, where Michael took the position of Plant Manager at a small corrugated box sheet plant.

Michael and Terri began raising a family with the birth of their son Kevin in 1977. Kimberli was born in 1980. Even though Michael was busy building his career in the corrugated box industry, he always managed to find work to devote to his children. He was able to pass on his passion and work ethic for sports to Kevin. Virtually every day, before going to work, Michael would spend an hour or more training and working out with Kevin, who eventually gained skill and proficiency in baseball, basketball, and football, and eventually earned a scholarship to Brigham Young University in football.

As Michael's family matured, so did his career and business sense. In 1981, risking what little he had, Michael acquired a couple of machines, a modest location, and four employees and started his first corrugated box company. Orange County Container Corporation (OCC) opened its doors in February and began producing simple corrugated brown boxes and furniture cartons. Utilizing a business approach that envisioned and facilitated expansion, Michael contained a modest lifestyle for himself and his family while he reinvested profits and acquired more debt in order to acquire more machinery and larger space. Within the span of 15 years, OCC grew at an exponential rate, requiring four locations of ever-increasing size and a continuously growing and skillful workforce, and acquiring an expanding customer base with a need for more elaborate and sophisticated product. OCC has grown from a simple brown box manufacturer to a designer and producer of multi-coloured print and laminated containers of all sizes, elaborate "point of purchase" displays, and technically designed and constructed theatrical displays.

OCC's continuing growth allowed Michael to acquire other corrugated box plants in other areas of Southern California in order to fill the niche of customers that require special products, such as, the produce industry, which required special cascaded boxes, and the computer industry, which required foam packaging and inserts. In addition, during the 80's, Michael saw a need that could be filled South of the Border. Again, facing additional risk, yet creating another opportunity for himself, Michael initiated a business venture that became the first of its kind in the corrugated industry to venture into Mexico to produce and supply product to customers both above and below the border. Today, OCC and its subsidiaries have plants in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and in Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico. They have an aggregate workforce of approximately 1,000 and generate combined annual sales in excess of $120MM. Michael currently holds various positions with national and international organizations related to the corrugated industry.

Michael has never regretted the loss of his opportunity to play professional sports. Instead, he has channeled his love and energy for sports into his business career. At the same time, he has continued to be active in sports, both as a diehard fan and enthusiastic recreational participant. Michael and his family have grown in and around sports. With purchase of the Calgary Stampeders the opportunity to participate in professional sports has once again materialized for Michael. This time Michael is prepared to seize the opportunity as both an experienced athlete and a perspective businessperson. The combination of these qualities will be beneficial for the team, its personnel, and the community. Michael's business approach, which encompasses a view toward improvement and expansion, will help to create a positive future for the team and the CFL.

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