My 537,000 closest friends and I own the Green Bay Packers. I am a proud owner of one of the 5 million shares of stock in the non-profit corporation that runs the Packers. The NFL officially bans corporate ownership of teams. The Packers are the only publicly owned NFL Team and have been since before joining the league, which makes them an exception to the rule.
For Christmas in 2021, I was gifted a share of The Packers in my name from my father, a lifelong Lions fan. His willingness to give money to a different team made the gift more meaningful. My share came alongside a diploma that I display next to my desk. There is no greater honor for a Cheesehead than becoming a Packers owner, especially because of the infrequent opportunity to buy shares.
Stocks have gone up for sale six times, the first being at the club’s inception in 1923. There is no consistent schedule for the sale. Instead, shares are sold when needed to support the team. Packers stock went on sale in the following years: 1923, 1935, 1950, 1997, 2011, and 2021. The price for one share has increased proportionally to inflation over the years, going from $250 per share in 2011 to $300 per share in 2021.
Stockholders don’t receive the benefits of traditional stocks. I will never get a dividend check from Green Bay, nor can I sell my share. I am fine with that. However, I am saddened that my owner status will not help me get the much-coveted season tickets. The main privileges of owning a share of stock are voting rights and an invitation to the annual corporate meeting.
Someday, I hope to attend the annual meeting decked out in owner-exclusive merchandise to meet some of the other Cheeseheads who together make our franchise run. Until then, I’ll stick to filling out my voting sheet once a year and bringing up that I am an owner of the Green Bay Packers anytime someone (Alli) brings up the Packers or the Vikings.