As is usual this time of year the Green Bay Packers hold their annual shareholders meeting, but unlike most business meetings this one is open to 112,000 shareholders and usually attracts 10-15,000 or so of them to Lambeau Field. Along with them they bring the snickers of fans of other teams who like to say the shareholders own nothing so they shouldn’t be acting like they do. I beg to differ.
My one share of Green Bay Packers’ stock entitles me to a piece of history of the greatest franchise in pro sports. Without the shareholders contributions in the 20s, 30s, 50s, and lastly in 1997, the Packers simply would not be celebrating their 13th NFL Championship this year. The first three stock sales kept the team afloat and the last one helped renovate Lambeau Field, simply the finest football experience in the world.
And while the stock does not pay dividends the shareholders do have a say in who is elected to the board of directors, who hires the president, who hires the general manager, who hires the coach. We also have Lambeau Field to ourselves once a year to do with as we see fit. One year we might tour the locker room, the next the press box and club seats, maybe the Hall of Fame the next. We are treated like kings for a day.
Other fans laugh at us and that is fine, their team is highly unlikely to ever catch the Packers in NFL championships and winning breeds jealousy. They would laugh even harder if their team came to them asking for a cash contribution to help them through rough times. But that is exactly what the Packers’ shareholders did, stepped up and kept the small town team alive in a big town league.
When you look at the situation in Minnesota where the Vikings can’t even get a new stadium built you have to laugh. But they’ll say they are the greatest fans in the world? Yeah right! Just don’t ask them to prove it with their wallets, I guess. The Packers’ fans do just that, and not just the shareholders either. The Packers were number one in merchandise sales last year and that is without the Super Bowl boost they are sure to get this year.
The future of my stock in Green Bay Packers, Inc. is bright, both on and off the field – thanks to the fans who support them through thick and thin and put their money where their mouth is when called upon. The Packers are back on top of the football world and it’s because we are all in this together, coaches, players, executives and fans. One!
There is plenty of room on the bandwagon, so when you haters get tired of losing, jump on.