Charitable Drive

Panthers Sale Leads to $30 Million Gift for Springsteen Foundation

Derick Springsteen Close credits the success of the Carolina Panthers – and his initial investment in the team as a limited partner – to the community. So when he sold his ownership stake, he and his family were committed to supporting local nonprofits serving those in need throughout the Carolinas.


That desire to help is why he contributed $30 million from the sale to the Springsteen Foundation, a donor advised fund held at Foundation For The Carolinas. The money represented a sizeable percentage of the total proceeds that he realized from the sale of the team to David Tepper. Tepper, the founder of global hedge fund Appalooosa Management, bought the NFL franchise for a record $2.275 billion in July 2018. 

Derick Springsteen Close
Derick Springsteen Close

“We will focus our philanthropy on improving lives for those in our community, with an emphasis on human services, health and education,” Close said. “Giving back to the community is very important to me and my family. This gift will allow us to continue the legacy of philanthropy started by my grandfather, Colonel Elliott White Springs, in 1942 and continued by The Springs Close Foundation led by my mother, Anne Springs Close.”

Donor advised funds are common giving vehicles that allow individuals to make charitable gifts using a wide variety of assets. Donors can then make grants to nonprofits they wish to support. Donor advised funds are also being used increasingly to establish philanthropic legacies. It is planned that Derick and his wife Sallie will contribute substantial estate gifts to the Springsteen Foundation at their deaths.

“Derick Close is a generous philanthropist who is making a significant impact on our region through both lifetime and legacy gifts,” said Michael Marsicano, President and CEO of Foundation For The Carolinas. “We are grateful for Derick’s magnanimity; his gift will benefit our community for many years to come. He joins a national movement of select philanthropists in America who are making substantial giving pledges, setting new and higher standards of generosity.”

The Springsteen Foundation will formalize Close’s family philanthropy and include participation by his three children Baxter Petrone, Claude Close and Craddock Close. Grantmaking will be supported by Foundation For The Carolinas, which facilitates philanthropic activity for many families, companies and nonprofits in the Charlotte region.

The Springsteen Foundation’s inaugural grant cycle will begin in early 2019; please contact Foundation For The Carolinas for details.

Close, on behalf of DSC Football LLC, was among an 11-member group of limited partners at the time of the sale. Close was an initial investor when the NFL approved the team’s entry into the league in 1993.

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