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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?


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  1. Scooby

    Packers live by a set a rules that no one else follows – for better or for worse. You can’t knock them for their strong sense of community and their support of the greater good of the team, not just their own personal needs.

    • Jeff Porretto

      Ever since Favre left, I just can’t hate them. I have a healthy respect for just about everything they do. The Vikings on the other hand…. pure hatred.

  2. Leo

    Once I saw there was a blog about the Green Bay Packers, you know I was going to have to write something. Having the shares (I bought 2), proudly displayed with my other Green Bay memorabilia in my house, makes me proud to be a part owner. Marketing genius “YES”. Do the buyers feel any remorse “Not at All”. This amazing franchise has kept a team in small town Green Bay WI, while other small teams like the Rock Island independents located in IL (competed with the then Chicago Cardinals back 1905), are long gone. Rock Island has 4 times the population as Green Bay? So how does this small town do it?? One answer DIE HARD CHEEZE HEADS LIKE ME!!

    • Jeff Porretto

      I think the funniest thing ever is that you bought TWO. I don’t know why, but that just cracks me up.

  3. Doc

    From a marketing aspect, this is absolute GENIUS! From a fan/consumer perspective, it’s pretty cool as well. Even though fans are pretty much purchasing a $250 piece of paper, it’s a neat thing to say you have. With that said, the purchase makes no economic sense to the fan.

    I’d rather see more teams use marketing stunts like this than charge ridiculously overpriced “Personal Seat Licenses” when trying to make stadium upgrades. At least the Packers went about their fund raising in a unique way that makes both the fans and management happy!

    • Jeff Porretto

      I agree, but at least you got something more than a certificate for your exhorbitant “Personal Seat Licenses.” You actually get to go to the games.

      But you can’t knock it if everyone is happy! Even if while I was buying it I was asking myself “What exactly am I spending $250 on right now?”

  4. Alex Brodsky

    Love ’em or hate ’em (go Bears!), the Packers had a stroke of brilliance with this one. I would love to make $70 million for spending a few thousand dollars on paper and ink (shares in Alex Corp. will soon be available for $50 each. It follows the Packers model, but will have a picture of my face, giving the shareholder a giant thumbs up).

    As ridiculous as this idea sounds to a consumer, if the White Sox were to come out tomorrow and offer $250 shares of stock, I would be the first one in line (if for no other reason than I could say “Man, WE played a great game last night” and technically it would be true).

    • Stantz

      Can I give you my deposit for “Alex Corp.” stock? I can’t wait!

    • Amy Swanson

      Alex: Your White Sox idea doesn’t sound crazy or ridiculous to me because I’d be first in line for Cub’s stock. I think this is a great idea to further increase fan loyalty and if it could prevent ticket pricing going up every year, I’d be all for it!

      My vote is for ‘marketing genius’, but I’m a bit biased 😉

      • Jeff Porretto

        I don’t think anything will prevent ticket prices from going up every year =[

        Happy B-Day (again)!

    • Jeff Porretto

      This is so funny. After they lost in the playoffs, I told my wife “YOUR team lost…. literally”

      She was not amused, but I sure was!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      You can count me among the first (and proud) Alex Corp. investors!

  5. Mandy Kilinskis

    While the entire idea of buying a piece of paper for a sports team sounds crazy to me, I can’t deny the brilliant marketing tactics here. For those die-hard sports fans, owning a piece of the team is a dream come true. For teams looking to make a quick buck, it’s an even bigger dream come true. I can understand the pride of being able to say “I helped them renovate Lambeau Field.”

    I can’t say I’d do the same for a sports team, but I definitely would for a concert venue or something similar. Good job, Packers! 🙂

    • Jeff Porretto

      I could see you being the owner of a concert venue. It just makes SO much sense. You should find a way to make that happen =]

  6. Joseph Giorgi

    I guess we can’t really fault Green Bay for their marketing tactics here. Getting away with charging $250 for a sheet of paper is just plain brilliant. Nice post, man! 🙂

  7. Eric

    They’ve essentially made a charity out of themselves. Hmm. If they were smart, they’d mount-up a plaque someplace in their stadium to adknowledge their, er, “donors.” That said?

    Retirement Plan:

    Step 1: Sell stock in oneself.

    Step 2: Take the money.

    Step 3: Run!

  8. Jen

    I think this is a great idea. Fans will buy up the stock no questions asked, I would do the same thing for the Chicago Bulls. It would be super cool to own a piece of your favorite team! Good job Green Bay! Very interesting post Jeff, I had no idea this was a real thing!

  9. Candice J.

    I know nothing about this but i love the idea that it really does in a way promote fan loyalty and it makes the fans feel like part of the team. All in all it seems like a pretty ok idea! Great post Jeff!

  10. Jill Tooley

    This is a cool idea, but I can’t think of a thing in this world that I’d pay $250 for without getting anything but a piece of paper in return. It’s great that GB is getting loads of funding for their new stadium, though! If you think about it, it really is pretty ingenious. Are there ANY other perks that go along with buying a certificate, or just the pride of ownership?

    • Jeff Porretto

      Lets see…. you get to vote on certain issues. You can go to shareholder meetings in Green Bay, and you have exclusive access to shareholder merchandise at the Packers store! Not enough really for my tastes. But if it were the Bears, who knows?

  11. Tom Boltik

    You are missing one fact about the stock (yes, I own 2 shares). a share was $250. A QUALITY player-type Jersey is about the same. nw lets compare things. I have a piece of paper that I can pass down to my son, who can pass it to so on. you have a piece of fabric with smeone’s name on it, who might play next year (or might not…) that will eventually lost, worn out or thrown away. Also, of that $250 for my stock, $250 went to the Packers (to enhance Lambeau) of your $250, a portion went to the makers, and the shippers, and the sellers.. but (Here’s the BEST part) the profits go into a pool that is SHARED among the 32 teams of the NFL..INCLUDING THE PACKERS!! Your Bears Jersey, part of the profits went to my Packers (thank you) Your Redskins one? money for the Cowboys. You think you’re supporting your team and you are sharing profits with your most despised rivals. As an owner, I can say to MY Packers..”GO PACK!”

  12. Kirsten N

    Oh so does it means it’s like you’re only paying for a piece of paper as a souvenir from the Packers? That’s too much for a souvenir. Lol!

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