Marketing & Branding

Green Bay Packers Stock: Marketing Genius or Dirty Trick?

What exactly is a share of “stock?” Obviously, if you own share of stock in a company that means you own a little part of said company. People typically own stock in an effort to (of course) make money. Stockholders can buy, sell, and trade their shares and maybe hit it big and walk away with some extra cash.

Now, contrast that scenario with what the Green Bay Packers have just done. They, as the only publicly-owned major sports franchise, have just held only their second stock sale since the 1950s. But this isn’t the same stock that you’ll find on Wall Street. It’s an entirely different animal. Here’s how Green Bay describes it:

  • Stock in the Packers does not constitute an investment in “stock” in the common sense of the term.
  • Anyone considering the purchase of Packers stock should not purchase the stock to make a profit or to receive a dividend or tax deduction or any other economic benefits.

In essence, if you did purchase one or more of the $250 shares of Packers stock, you essentially have a very expensive piece of paper in the form of a certificate. You cannot sell it or trade it, nor will it make you any money. And you know what? It is pure marketing genius on the Packers’ part.

If you disagree with me, then take a look at the response this stock has gotten. They have sold 280,000 shares for a gross of a cool $70 million that will go toward some stadium renovations. Plus, they don’t owe the purchasers anything! The Packers could fold as an organization tomorrow (yes please, go Bears!) or triple in value, and the recently-purchased shares have the exact same retail value – $0.

The Packers have essentially been able to sell their brand, and the desire to be a part of it, for ridiculous amount of money. You ARE technically now an owner if you bought the stock. You DO have certain (minor) voting rights. And there IS an undeniable “coolness” factor about the whole thing. I cannot think of a single consumer experience that compares to this. Is there any other brand that could sell 280,000 shares of dividend-less stock in no time flat? And that despite knowing that, the owners most likely couldn’t be happier with their purchase? I seriously doubt it.

And yes, I bought my wife a share for Christmas. She will be displaying the certificate proudly!

This will make me rich one day! Okay, maybe not….

What do you think of the Green Bay Packers “stock”? Would you spend $250 to support your favorite team even if the share wasn’t worth what you paid for it? Is this an effective marketing ploy?