When thinking of purchasing stock, most people think about making money, return on investment, and profit. With Green Bay fans and supporters, it is a little bit different. They bought stock to support the organization, be a part of something they love, and be a piece of the team they follow all season long.
In December 2011, the Green Bay Packers football team offered the organization’s fifth public stock offering. The shares were priced at $250, with the goal being to raise money for the expansion of Lambeau Field. This $143 million project is expected to be complete for the 2013 season.
The Packers previously had offerings in 1923, 1935, 1950, and 1997. The proceeds from the first 3 offerings went to assist the organization financially, when they were looking at bankruptcy. The fourth offering helped the organization to redevelop Lambeau Field, which was finished in 2003. Fans purchased stock online with a credit card or by mail. The Packers initially offered 250,000 shares, but the stock sale closed with more than 268,000 shares. The organization earned almost half of the money needed for the $143 million dollar project to expand Lambeau Field. Wisconsin fans bought about 50 percent of the shares in this offering.
What do these shares of stock do for the shareholders? Fans should take note that Packers stock is not the same as the traditional investment in shares of stock. It should not be purchased to make a profit, receive a dividend, tax benefit, or any other economic benefits. The value does not go up, and the shares have virtually no resale value.
Some fans have said they bought shares just to show their appreciation to the organization that they follow and love. They say they just want to be able to say they own a piece of the organization. Other fans say it seems too much like a donation, and is not even tax-deductible. They say they would rather spend the $250 to purchase a ticket to a game.
With the amount of money that was raised, I believe this was a good business move by the Packers. It brought the fans closer with the organization by offering them a sense of ownership, and probably will make them more loyal fans. It also accomplished the goal of raising money for the expansion of the stadium. Now the organization has approximately half of the cost paid, which decreases the amount of debt they have to take on for the expansion. It’s a wonder why other teams have not offered stock of their own, yet no other team has ever offered stock to the public.