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. banasy©

    Straight up, in a word: no.
    KMA, Packers.
    Y'all can afford to buy your own seats.
    I have more fun with the cheesehead anyway.
    Ask Bobble-Boy for some money, since he made the Packers.
    Perhaps he can sell some autographed mms text pictures of himself.

    December 6, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Shermen Anderson

    Pride is why we buy, you would not understand, we love the frozen tunda, if we can help, we will.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wha???

      Wow. Throw your money at the team for no return whatsoever.

      Now, that's blind loyalty.

      You're right. Most of the rest of the nation would NOT understand such foolishness.

      Oh. It's spelled "T-U-N-D-R-A" and there is no tundra in Wisconsin. That would be in Alaska.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueWisconsin

      For no return? The Packers remain in a city of 300,000 people. Cities four times the size of Green Bay have lost their NFL franchise despite dumping millions of tax dollars into stadiums. Heck, Los Angeles, with a population of something like 10 million people, lost their NFL franchise. But not Green Bay. Fans voluntarily support the team and get a unique ownership opportunity in return.

      Further, the Packers drive huge revenues for Green Bay and the State of Wisconsin. Packers-based Tourism provides a good living for many in the area. No return? My dividend comes in the form of Lombardi trophies.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wha???

      You have a Lombardi trophy? Which room in your house is it in?

      December 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueWisconsin

      My Lombardi trophies are on display for all to see when they visit Lambeau Field. And they will remain there. At no point will some Art Modell-like figure decide to up and move them across the country in the middle of the night. As an owner...I know they are secure right where they are, and more are sure to come.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JiminHouston

    I bought my share this morning! I've added "co owner" on my resume.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Henry

    Just to be clear; it cost $275, it doesn't make you eligible for a portion of the profit, it does make you legally liable for a portion of any lawsuit against the team, and it does give you a vote on team decisions (although there are not enough votes combined to override management).

    It's not stock. It is a souvenir that carries legal risk.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      It's actually $250 plus $25 S&H, but they charge you S&H only once per purchase, according to the website. Where did you see the liability thing, Henry? I would love to add that to the post, but I can't find it in the offering document. You have a link?

      December 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan from Wisconsin

      LOL – Garbage man Elliot responds to ask a commentator for information he should have found himself. Its particularly funny that its information that trashes on the stock offering.

      LOL to CNN writers using their comment board to improve their writing.

      Stop the single sided opinionated BS, well – I guess it is giving me something to laugh about and somebody to hate.

      Thanks Elliot for bein trash man of the day.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueWisconsin

      Jordan, relax. It's a fun piece.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • AndyTheGameInventor

      Unless I missed something in the prospectus, stock ownership in the US never carries personal risk to the owner because the corporation is is just that – a corporation. If they lose a $1B lawsuit the corporation may go bankrupt but sharehodlers cannot be held liable.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      That is what I thought, too, Andy. I was hoping Henry might be able to send us some info because I have seen nothing that indicates this stock would make the shareholder liable. Henry, you still out there?

      December 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Guest

    If I had money to throw away Id buy something I could actually own

    December 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ally

    I bought my share this morning. It's about pride in our team. I get well over $250 worth of entertainment out of the Pack every season.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wha???

      Yeah. Everyone else gets it for FREE. It's a new invention, called television.

      You have invested in one of those, too.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      @Wha??? – And I'm happy to not freeload off of the Pack. I was able to help and that money will go toward upkeep of the franchise. It's no different than supporting the team by buying team clothing or buying tickets to a game.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Darryn Cooke

    Making money for free off of idiots. this is simply a donation disguised as a "stock" to make the "fools" feel appeased.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ally

      @ Darryn, everyone knows perfectly well that it's not a real "stock". Noone's being hookwinked. We just love our team and want to support them. The entertainment value of getting to attend a share-holder's meeting and voting, even though I'm well aware that vote means nothing, is well worth it.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerrad

      @Darryn-Did I miss somewhere in the description of the or in this article that this was mandatory for all Wisconsin citizens? Just because you can't appreciate how much Packer fans love our team doesn't you have to bash them. People are not buying these shares thinking they are an investment vehicle, we just want to support our team and this is a great way to do it. It is better than pay extra taxes and not getting anything to show for it.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bahr84

    We buy stock because the Packers are more a part of its community and economy than any other team in National Sports. Green Bay is the smallest market in the NFL, so the well being and growth of the Packers has a profound effect on the citizens of Green Bay and the surrounding areas. Heck, just earning homefield advantage during the playoffs (fingers crossed) will boost our economy dramatically. Dallas wouldn't know anything about pride in their teams success. Even Jason Garrett ices his kicker to ensure a loss.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      Good one, bahr84. You got me there ... I almost decided against mentioning that our five Super Bowl wins outnumber your four :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

      December 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      we may only have 4, but we may have 5 soon ;)

      December 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      Got no retort for that, james. You guys look truly invincible this year. Best of luck and thanks for commenting!

      December 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerrad

      We may only have 4 Super Bowls, but the Packers were winning NFL championships before they were even called Super Bowls. Try 13 total championships to the Cowboy's 5.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      Let's keep it in the modern era, Jerrad. You sound like a Bama fan citing championships from 1920-something. :) I tease. Best of luck this season, and thanks for reading!

      December 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerrad

      Fair enough since the boys were not around til 1960, I guess we'll just have to tie it up at 5 this season :)

      December 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan from Wisconsin

      I cant pass the chance to knock elliot

      I named my turd elliot today. I hope leaving the extra t off your name aggravates you elliot. Why do you even exist anyways?

      AS IF ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE COWBOY'S SUPERBOWL RECORD HAS ANYTHING TO DO ABOUT THE STOCK OFFERING?

      like congratulations for leaving that little tid bit out... you know what is relevant to the story you are writing about, and managed to leave the trash talking to the comments – I guess you almost did your job.

      Please continue to write for CNN and please continue to destroy any hope non-partisan journalism had of survival.

      JER-KOFF

      December 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hotrodder97

    We bought ours this morning. It is a matter of pride and bragging rights, cheap price to pay. If you have never been to Lambeau you can not understand. We are on the season ticket waiting list, if our family is lucky my grade school daughter may get a chance at tickets when she is old.

    @JiminHoustin, that is a good thing to add to your resume, thinking of updating my LinkedIn page!

    December 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Bill

    People know that they are just getting an expensive piece of paper that will get put in a frame somewhere, but that piece of paper will be a cherished heirloom for generations...wouldn't you pay 250 bucks just so you can say you own a professional sports team? (Especially one like the Green Bay Packers)

    December 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason B.

      You don't own a professional sports team. You own 1/5,000,000th of a sports team. Not counting the much larger portion the management owns.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueWisconsin

      Jason, what "larger portion" does management own? What management are you referring to? The by-laws specifically prohibit any individual from owning more than 200,000 shares. Team management, such as Ted Thompson, are not given shares when hired. There are no stock options awarded as compensation. Can you clarify what you're referring to?

      December 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason S

      TrueWisconsin.....That is by laws of 200 shares per individual between the 1997 – 1998 stock sale and this year's stock sale and any going forward I believe. The 200,000 shares (post-split) is the old by law.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bear0402

    A $275 piece of paper. I'm willing to bet some teenager would be able to create an identical piece of paper, and you would be none the wiser.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. BOMBO

    I remember Peter Pocklington tried something similar about 30 years ago with the Edmonton Oilers and didn't get any takers – and he had the gall to get angry about it. Buy a share of the team, there will never be dividends, you can'r re-sell it, you have no control over the team because the majority owner will never put himself below 51%....so, why buy?

    December 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tcr c2

    Im a west coaster and i love the packers! We dont have a team here any more ! But since 8yrs old ive been a greenbay fan , these guys are awesome , superbowl!!!!

    December 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RJC

    At least here the fans have a choice to help pay for stadium improvements, unlike every other city that decides to use taxpayer funds on their own.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeff

      Brown County had a sales tax increase to pay for the most recent upgrade to Lambeau. Even GB doesn't have enough support to pay for their stadium with donations. And no not everyone in Green Bay loves the Packers.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      The citizens of Green Bay and Wisconsin own The Pack and Lambeau Field which is why it will never be "Bank One Field" or "PETCO Field" or any of the other stupid Corporate named fields/parks/complex! For that reason alone I am willing to shell out $250 + S&H.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      @ Jeff, and aren't you glad that the Packers have this unique way to keep Green Bay (Brown County) tax payers from footing every bill? I am.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    As a Packers fan, I think they should really pay some sort of dividend on these things based on a percentage of money that comes in. At least they could justify the 'owner' part.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason B.

      Lets see...and at 1/5,000,000 of the team you own with 1 share (not counting the actual majority owner of course), your dividend counts out to....squat.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueWisconsin

      The "owner" part is justified by the voting on team matters at stockholder meetings. And the organization is setup as a not-for-profit organization. Revenues in excess of operational and capital expenses are put back into the organization or put to the Green Bay Packers Foundation for charitable giving back to the community.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrueWisconsin

      Jason, again...who's this "actual majority owner"?

      December 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
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