Green Bay Packers offer team stock, sort of, to Cheesehead nation
Something tells us these ladies and gentlemen might be interested in $250 shares of Packers stock.
December 6th, 2011
11:34 AM ET

Green Bay Packers offer team stock, sort of, to Cheesehead nation

Congratulations, Packers fans! Those of you who've had your fill of Brett Favre bobbleheads and foam hats resembling Swiss cheese can now shell out $250 for something about as worthless.

The front office is billing it as a chance to become a team owner, an opportunity to be part of history, your chance to show you believe in "the great American story." The Green Bay Press-Gazette, on the other hand, is reporting that the team needs $143 million to add 7,000 seats plus a new sound system, scoreboards, entrances and elevators to storied Lambeau Field.

The good news is the Packers are making sure there is a way to receive the certificates by Christmas Eve, but Packers fans may think they're ordering anvils when they see the $25 shipping-and-handling fee. Seriously, what do these things weigh?

I guess if you think about it, the 20th-most valuable sports franchise in the world (at $1.02 billion, according to Forbes) asking average Joes to shell out $250 per stock certificate to help expand a stadium isn't much of a departure from the great American story. What does Occupy Green Bay think of all this?

OK, maybe that was a harsh assessment of the team's first stock offering in almost 15 years, but reading the conditions outlining what you do not get with your purchase makes one wonder, What the heck do you get?

Let's glance at the myriad ways this stock is nothing like a stock: Only individuals can buy it, the Pack has no obligation to pay you back, no one can buy more than 200 shares, you receive no protection from securities laws, the team and NFL "severely restrict" any stock transfer and you should not expect any profit, dividend, tax deduction or economic benefit in general.

There's also this nugget: "Stock in the Packers does not constitute an investment in 'stock' in the common sense of the term." Funny word, that stock.

Oh, and you have to live in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands to buy the, um, stock. I know the Chamorros are running for their checkbooks as we speak.

There are a few fringe benefits, though, even if I giggled when my close friend, a hardcore Cheesehead, instant messaged me this morning to say, "I am now an owner of the green bay packers! i voted to keep rodgers as starting quarterback next week!"

The Press-Gazette reports that those buying the initial allotment of 250,000 shares will be allowed "to vote on team business, including directors, and attend annual meetings. Shareholders do get such perks as exclusive locker room tours."

This is the fifth time in 92 years the defending Super Bowl champs and only publicly owned NFL franchise has asked fans to "come to the team's financial rescue," according to the team website. The Packers doled out more than 4.75 million stock shares with offerings in 1923, 1935, 1950 and 1997.

Kevin Quinn, an economist at St. Norbert College, told the Press-Gazette the 12-by-8-inch certificates were essentially memorabilia and defended those Packers faithful who would shell out a quarter-grand for one.

"It's not the worst thing you could spend your money on. You'd spend the same amount of money on a team jacket and you can't pass that on to the kids," he told the paper, without explaining why you can't pass on a jacket to your children.

So, best of luck, Packers fans. Estimates on how fast they will sell out range from "within minutes" to "never." Green Bay's front office says sales will run through February 29.

(Disclaimer: The author of this post is a Dallas fan who, despite an overtime choke versus the Cards on Sunday, would buy Cowboys stock if Jerry Jones could ever find it in his heart to give up a modicum of control.)

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Filed under: Brett Favre • Economy • Football • Pro football • Sports • U.S. • Wisconsin
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. gung hoe

    As a lions fan I know why these fans buy this stock that makes them kegally responsible but pays nodda.Its because they are braindead they are frozen from the tundra heck the packers is the only thhng they have well them plus ice fishing and you can only fish so much yep they are brain dead

    December 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    And a friend and i was talking the other day about team names, you know we have the bears,lions,bucs,eagles,jets,and then you have the packers what a stupid name packer what butt packer what to heck is a PACKER?

    December 7, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • OhYAA!

      Packer as in meat packer... Green Bay is known for big beef "production" thus the name packer...

      December 7, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      gung hoe – Thank you for the intellectually stimulating soundoff about why Packer fans have decdied to purchase stock. If you visit Green Bay I'll be happy to direct you to one of the local elementary schools. Learn how to write clown.

      December 7, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. larry5

    See, PT Barnum was correct. Only thing is this is such an outrageous scheme the even Barnum wouldn't have the starch to try a stunt like this.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Derek

    I don't care what team or city you are from–this is a good deal compared to other cities with pro franchises in any league. First, the Packers are self-financed–they have never asked Wisconsin or Green Bay to pay sales-tax surcharges for lavish stadiums, like the Vikings are trying to do, so everyone, whether they are a fan or not, rich or poor, must pay for "their" team. If you want to spend money for the Packers, it is VOLUNTARY. Second, the Packers can never threaten to move. While you don't have voting rights per say, and "stock" is not the proper term, all the shareholders do in fact own the team, and that is why the Packers are in the smallest market in America with a football team–because people have voluntarily invested in them for a century. In addition, the Packers are the only pro team in the U.S. that publicly releases its balance book every year–something none of the NBA franchises that are claiming losses do, meaning we have to take them at our word without getting a closer look at their finances.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Packer fans like myself understand that by buying this stock we have no chance to make or even recoup what we paid. That is what makes this team so special and unlike any other franchise in sports, we support our team because we can. Sure you can go buy a cowboy jersey and say hey look at me, I'm a cowboy supporter and fan. Or you can buy this common stock and help the Green Bay Packer organization improve their facilities without relying on billionaire owners threatening to move if they don't get the new state of the art stadium. I can see how non Packer fans can't understand this stock sell, and that's okay, they aren't Packer fans, they find there own ways to support there teams.

    December 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Packer Backer

    Buying Packer stock, like I did this past week, is in my mind a pro sports form of civil disobedience. It's like Occupy the NFL. When teams are owned by private individuals, they have no loyalty to the fan base. They are loyal to their own bottom lines. What's different about Green Bay, and their system of team ownership, is that the fans ensure the loyalty of the franchise is to them. And at the same time, it's difficult to argue with the results. Can anyone honestly say that there is absolutely NO relationship between the two most important facts about the Green Bay Packers: 1) They are publicly owned by the fans, and 2) they are the defending Super Bowl Champions.

    I have been a Packer fan for as long as I remember and I am happy to now be part owner. For fans of other teams, you can't begin to understand what that means because you are essentially following a privatized and commercialized franchise. Packers fans purchase this so-called "worthless" stock because for them it has value beyond any monetary terms. Other pro sports fans don't understand this concept of non-monetary value. Public ownership in the midst of all that is like camping out in a park across from Wall St. Packers fans are camping out in the NFL but unlike the Occupy protesters, we can't be brushed aside by the powers that be. We, the Packer fans, we are the 100% and refuse to allow bottom-line financial accounting determine the direction of the franchise. Other fans might want to argue and scoff at my assessment but the results speak for themselves.

    December 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
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    April 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
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