FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons Owner and CEO Arthur M. Blank today announced an agreement has been reached with retired NFL player Warrick Dunn to take a minority ownership position in the Atlanta Falcons Football Club, LLC. The purchase by Dunn, which was unanimously approved by NFL owners yesterday, is expected to be completed by March 1, 2010.
Terms of the agreement, which are subject to final approval by the National Football League, were not disclosed.
"During his tenure with the Falcons and throughout his NFL career, Warrick represented the highest of NFL standards on and off the field," Blank said. "Warrick has a special affinity for the Falcons, as we do for him, and we are very happy he will be back in the Falcons family representing our club as a limited partner."
Dunn joined the NFL in 1997 as the first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He signed with the Falcons in 2002 after playing five seasons with the Buccaneers. In 2007, Dunn became the 22nd player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career rushing yards and the seventh player in league history to reach the 10,000 rushing yard and 4,000 receiving yard plateau. After six seasons with the Falcons, Dunn played his final NFL season with the Buccaneers in 2008.
"This opportunity fulfills one of my professional goals to expand my knowledge and experience in the area of NFL team management, branding and operations," Dunn said. "I am excited to be back as part of the Falcons team and, in particular, to work with Mr. Blank."
Dunn is also highly regarded for his work in the community. Since 1997, through his Homes for the Holidays program, Dunn has assisted 91 single parents and their children or dependents in achieving first-time home ownership. In 2002, he established the Warrick Dunn Foundation, which expanded upon his dedication to providing opportunities for economically-disadvantaged single parents and children. Dunn is also a co-founder of Athletes for Hope, a non-profit organization that helps professional athletes develop their passion for philanthropy.
Dunn has received numerous honors in recognition of his NFL work on and off the field, including receiving the 2009 Bart Starr Award, and being named the 2004 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and 1997 NFL Rookie of the Year.
Dunn joins the following prestigious limited partners of the Falcons:
Ronald E. Canakaris – Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Montag & Caldwell * Douglas J. Hertz – President and CEO of United Distributors * John P. Imlay, Jr. – Chairman of Imlay Investments, Inc. * Ed Mendel – Co-Founder of the Ned Davis Research Group, and Davis, Mendel & Regenstein, Inc. * Derek V. Smith – Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Global Prescience * John A. Williams – Chief Executive Officer of Williams Realty Advisors, LLC
Blank will continue to hold more than 90 percent of the ownership interest in the team after the admission of Dunn as a limited partner.
Dunn will also be appointed as a member of the Atlanta Falcons Board of Advisors, which is comprised of the other limited partners, as well as Hank Aaron, John E. Aderhold, Steve Bartkowski, Glenda Hatchett, David E. Homrich, Billy Payne, Felker W. Ward, Carl Ware and Ambassador Andrew Young.
The role of the board of advisors is to support Falcons business and player development efforts, and to serve as Falcons ambassadors in the community.