The Green Bay Packers: The Publicly Owned American Sports Franchise

In the United Stated (and Canada) there are 4 major sports leagues: the NHL, NBA, MLB and the Goliath of the NFL. These multi-billion dollars leagues consist of a total of 122 teams, but only one of them is publicly owned; the Green Bay Packers. Now coming form a San Francisco 49er fan, it pains me to speak in admiration of the “Cheese-heads” but what they have been able to accomplish in the smallest media market in North America. The city of Green Bay consists of only 104,000+ people, and the Packer’s television market is lucky to be over 600,000 individuals (2010 consensus). 

So how does the incredibly small market team proceed to exist and succeed? Well, they have 364,122 shareholders representing 5,014,545 shares.(Packers) Unlike the other publicly held sports teams in the world; (Manchester United, Juventus F.C., A.S. Roma, and a handful of others) the Packers do not have a ticker, their shares are also not currently available for sale. In fact, shares have only been available 5 times in their almost 81 year existence (1923, 1935, 1950, 1997 and 2011). More than 269,000 shares were sold during the offering that began Dec. 6, 2011 and ended Feb. 29, 2012.(Packers) With this most recent offering going for $250 per share (TSLA traded for around $30 at this point in time); over $67 million were raised BY THE FANS.

Don’t think about turning a profit off of these stocks though, the document even states “should not purchase common stock with the purpose of making a profit.” This stock is purely for the fan; there’s no dividend, no spike in price from an earnings report, you can even purchase share certificates from the 1997 offering for $65 on eBay (that offering cost $200 a share). Don’t get your hopes up for becoming a majority owner, no shareholder can own more that 200,000 shares.

To an outsider 49er fan, this stock is a novelty, but it is definitely admirable. For 81 years the Green Bay Packers have been a part of American football history, and at no point in time have they had just one owner. Every couple years (for decades) you hear about a professional American sports team being sold or relocated by their billionaire owner, this entire time the Packers have been a staple in the small city of Green Bay, WI, thanks to the die-hard “cheese-head” fan base across the country.

Best regards,

Rosenberg (OTC Daily)

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