Aaron Popkey: From Pennings to UW-Madison to Packers


Cassi Garrison, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Since graduating from Abbot Pennings in 1989, alumnus Aaron Popkey has hewn a journalistic legacy. 

Popkey is currently serving as the Director of Public Affairs for the Packers, overseeing corporate communications and spearheading community outreach, all of which is no small endeavor.

As the nation’s only community-owned football franchise, the Packers’ affinity for and support of Green Bay is tremendous; with an annual charity impact of over $9 million yearly, the team works to fortify the city economically and socially.

And the relationship is mutually beneficial, says Popkey.

“The support this community gave to the Packers over the team’s first 50 years–when it was repeatedly on its deathbed– was incredible,” he shared. “Now, the team is in a position to support the community.”

After high school, Popkey attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning his BA in journalism. 

“I had a few different thoughts as to what I would pursue,” Popkey shared. “As I explored a few majors, I kept coming back to what I loved about communications: telling a story, explaining an initiative and advocating a position.”

“Having grown up in the Green Bay area, I was quite naturally a Packers fan,” he elaborated. 

Integrating his love of sports and journalism into his career, Popkey wound up an intern for the Packers Public Relations department.

Simultaneously, Popkey pursued his education and wrote for the Wisconsin State Journal.

“I figured that would be a good way to learn the newspaper business,” he explained.

On the advice he would provide a high school student, Popkey emphasized the importance of preparation and seizing opportunities.

“The opportunities to explore potential careers are abundant,” Popkey shared. “Students today should take advantage of them.”