Former Carolina Panther running back Jonathan Stewart and his wife, Natalie, have purchased the popular local media platform Charlotte Lately, which started as an Instagram handle in 2015 and has expanded to include networking and community events, and a print publication.
Charlotte Lately was founded by Charlotte resident Courtney Schramm to boost local businesses and non-profits and tell community stories through photos, according to a statement Wednesday from the company. Its Instagram handle now has over 33,000 followers.
Jonathan Stewart was picked by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2008 NFL. He played here for a decade before the Panthers cut him last February. He signed with the New York Giants a month later.
“We just moved back and are here to stay,” Natalie Stewart said of her family in an email.
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The Stewarts remain involved with community outreach initiatives, including Inspire the Fire, Inc., a Charlotte nonprofit that works to provide creative outlets to kids.
Panthers fans may recall that the goal of fostering creativity is personal for Jonathan Stewart, who has been playing the piano since elementary school.
In the statement, Schramm said that the Stewarts will continue using the platform to promote “authenticity, creativity and connection” in the community. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Charlotte has been my home for over a decade, and I’m amazed by its growth,” Jonathan Stewart said in the statement. “Charlotte Lately is one of the first social platforms and print publications that offered a more diverse view of all of the things we have going on in Charlotte right now.”
This piece originally appeared in The Charlotte Observer.