I came across this interesting news item the other day Green Bay Packers Sell Shares in NFL Team. I vaguely remember reading years ago that residents of Green Bay own the team.
I’m a New England Patriots fan, but whenever they get eliminated, I gravitate to a team in the NFC. The Patriots haven’t been eliminated often in recent years, but when they have, I found that Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers are the closest matches to the team.
Green Bay is doing its best to lose me as a fair-weather fan. It started with the misinformation of Aaron Rodgers and vaccines, but this stock scam is just piling it on. (In fairness they lose exactly zero winks of sleep caring about whether I’m a fan for a few weeks.)
Let’s break down the Green Bays press release:
The title starts clearly, “Packers stock sale to begin Tuesday, Nov. 16.” Excellent, I’ve always wanted to own a sports team. I’m excited to do this!
There’s a bunch of information on who is eligible to buy shares and how many. Perfect, I’m qualified! Let’s do it!
Green Bay: In contemplation of the offering, interested fans should note:
Green Bay: Stock in the Packers does not constitute an investment in ‘stock’ in the common sense of the term.
Me: Well that’s confusing. Humans have tacitly agreed to use terms that tend to convey the common sense of the meaning.
Green Bay: “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.”
Me: Hmm, those seem to be the main reasons why anyone would buy stock. Let me check with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about “Why do people buy stocks?” Here’s what it says:
- Capital appreciation, which occurs when a stock rises in price
- Dividend payments, which come when the company distributes some of its earnings to stockholders
- Ability to vote shares and influence the company
So without the ability to make a profit (capital appreciation) or receive benefits, I’m left to the third bullet point, “Ability to vote and influence the company.” It’s disappointing to miss out on any economic benefit for my hard-earned money, but I like the idea of playing the small role of general manager of the Packers and voting about what transactions they make.
Green Bay: We didn’t say anything about giving you voting rights
There’s no mention of voting rights in the press release at all.
Me: I should probably not assume that I’ll be able to vote on transactions. They’ve sold “stock” in the past and I haven’t heard of anyone getting voting rights.
Green Bay: The Packers believe offerees and purchasers of Packers stock will not receive the protection of securities laws with respect to any offering or sale of Packers stock.
Me: Hmmm, so the Packers are selling stock, but don’t expect stock security laws to apply to them. Would Musk or Zuckerberg brazenly disregard laws like this? Nope.
Green Bay: “The Packers bylaws and NFL rules severely restrict transfers of Packers stock.”
Me: So it looks like this stock might not be able to be sold or traded to others (it’s unclear what circumstances allow this and there’s no further explanation).
Evaluating the Packers’ Stock Scam
The good news in all this is that Green Bay is being open about scamming people. However, when that’s the “good news” there’s a lot of room for the bad news. Hopefully, buyers are looking at it as something like buying a Brent Favre jersey. Of course, that would seem to be a better purchase as it would have some utility (you can wear the shirt).
I’m kind of the mind to dismiss this as a fun little thing they are doing. Some of you may even be saying, “It’s all in good fun, Lazy Man, don’t be so such a curmudgeon.” That’s fair, except that Green Bay expects to raise $90 million from this offering of stock that isn’t stock.
I understand that there are fans that support their team to no end. I’ve been known to be one of those fans. However, it’s beyond shameless to “raise” $90 million and give nothing of value in return.
This website is often about getting value for your money. Everyone is in charge of their money and the sense of value that they receive from it. I simply can’t understand someone who has $300 burning a hole in their pocket that they’d rather give for this cause than any of a million other better ones.