Calling the response to this year’s initial sale of 250,00 shares of stock “outstanding,” Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy announced that the organization will take advantage of its team’s fans once again by putting 30,000 additional shares up for sale. The original sale of the 250,000 shares, which kicked off on Dec. 6, generated such interest (not to mention cash), it isn’t surprising the Packers were open to going to the well one more time.
Sold for $250 a pop, the original 250,000 shares of stock over $62 million for the team as it attempts to raise funds for a $143 million expansion of Lambeau Field. Tack on the $25 handling fee that goes along with each stock purchase and the Packers are generating funds hand over fist for nothing more than supplying the purchasers with nothing more than a glorified piece of wall art for the rec rooms.
While the Chicago Tribune report mentions that stockholders do get voting rights and are also invited to attend the team’s annual meetings where they can meet with Packers brass and tour the Packers Hall of Fame, let’s be realistic: the voting rights don’t amount to diddly squat. Further, the shares are not tradeable, cannot be sold to anyone but back to the Packers, nor does the team pay dividends on them.
Also, what kind of relevant issues do you think the Packers allow their shareholders to be part of the voting process for? Believe me, while I imagine they might be able to vote on issues such as who the next player to make the Packers Ring of Honor should be, these so-called shareholders do not have any say on the day-to-day, even year-to-year, operation of the team. It’s not like the Packers aren’t ever going to hold a shareholder vote about who the team should draft in the first round or anything like that.
Not that I am condemning the Packers organization for this stroke of genius. If the rubes are willing to put up the cash, by all means, a team should take full advantage of the cash cow. But for a person to believe that owning stock in the Packers really makes them part-owner of the team, well, they are exactly the type of person the Packers are interested in doing business with.