It took just 2 days for the Packers to sell 185,000 shares of stock, over 75% of the initial offering that was supposed to last until February. That’s 48 hours, $43 million dollars total or over $1,500 dollars donated every minute.
The media (maybe most notably Bill Johnson of Green and Gold Today) and fans (even some Packers fans it appears), have been taken to ridiculing the idiots who have decided to buy a stock that offers little in terms of power within the Packers organization, does not constitute a stock in the traditional sense of the word (as stated on the website), and can only be resold to the Packers for 2.5 cents, which is a 100 fold loss. Some have called the sale disingenuous (or greedy as Jason Wilde put it) since the Packers aren’t in dire economic troubles.
I think the biggest misconception that people outside of the Packers faithful (and even some Packers faithful) is that this is indeed a stock (which let’s be honest it really isn’t) So I’ve put this list together for all of you to why buying Packers stock isn’t a stupid idea.
- Think of it as a souvenir: Buying stock is really no different than buying a cheesehead at the proshop or any other NFL merchandise for that matter. If you think about it, what are you really doing when you buy a NFL baseball cap? You are paying (at a gross markup) for a product (that will look completely different next year) that in turn the team will use for to maintain its finances. Presumably, the team will use the profit from that baseball cap to pay its coaches, players and administrators, promote the team and fund development/redevelopment of stadiums. Packers stock is no different aside from the fact that all the profit taken from the stock sale will be directed specifically to redevelopment of Lambeau Field. I know tons of Packers fans just want the stock so they can frame it and stick up on a wall somewhere.
- Think of it as a donation: Compared to the recent problems facing the Minnesota Vikings, who are currently squabbling with lawmakers over funding a new stadium, the money used for the redevelopment of Lambeau Field is being solely covered by the team (or if you want to be really technical the Packers own money plus the money derived from the stock sale, which is now also the Packers money). No taxpayer dollars are required. So if you live in Wisconsin and heaven forbid don’t watch football, you don’t have to pay for a “service” that you don’t ever use. On the other hand, this allows people outside of Wisconsin (which is a lot considering how spread out Packers fans are) to pay for a service that they do use. Also keep in mind that donating to the Packers also allows them to indirectly run the Green Bay Packers Foundation indirectly, which provides funding for a “wide variety of activities and programs that benefit education, civic affairs, health services, human services and youth-related programs”
- Think of it as an investment in your own enjoyment: As a Packers fan you want to see a good product on the field, and for the Packers to provide that, they need money to keep the best coaches, administrators, field crews etc. Even if the team isn’t in risk of insolvency like it has been in previous stock sales, the Packers are at a disadvantage in that they are in a small market. In order to keep up with the wealthier teams such as Washington, Dallas or New England, the Packers need to start developing new streams of revenue that aren’t under the profit sharing agreement. New England is apparently building a casino on land near the team and Washington has its own official mattress, but the Packers really only have the Atrium at the moment. To that end, the Packers have recently purchased land around the stadium that they hope to build into “Lambeau town”, which will provide profit sources during the offseason and in between games. To do that they need money and one of the biggest sources of profit for the team is ticket sales, hence the stadium redevelopment. So really, by buying a Packers stock fans are investing in their own enjoyment. The more money the Packers have, the better product they can put out there and the more enjoyment fans will have watching the Packers trounce everyone else. And really, what is investing in regular stocks about? For most people it’s about making more money so they can purchase things that they want (whether that be fancy cars, fast boats or crazy parties) that they enjoy. Buying Packers stock is exactly the same way, fans want to watch good Packers teams and are willing to invest in it.
So really, don’t think of it as a stock, as it’s only a stock in name; don’t think about it in terms of dividends or profit gains or being an owner. Think of it as an investment in enjoyment for Packers fans. I know most Packers fans don’t really consider themselves owners, but it is nice that fans can be part of the Packers in a way that no other fan in any other American professional sports team can match. And really, if your team offered stock sales where you could become a part owner of the team, I bet you’d buy one too.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.