As you might have heard, the currently undefeated NFL’s best and 2010 Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers are now allowing you to own a share of the team. The shares are being sold at $250 a pop (plus a $25 handling fee), and not only do you get the bragging rights that come with partially owning an NFL team, you also get a neat little certificate (logo included) making the official declaration. The Packers get to raise some much needed cash for their huge planned renovation, and you get to hang a certificate of ownership right above your stolen beer mug collection. Win Win.
Maybe not. As a huge Aaron Rodgers fan (mostly because he gets me 20-plus points a week in Fantasy), I decided to look into what would seem like a worthwhile investment with a very old team, very dedicated fans, coming off a Super Bowl victory, and probably on their way to a repeat. Turns out things aren’t as attractive as they might seem.
First off, the “investment” in the team means about as much as your Bachelor’s of Communications. It’s a pretty piece of paper. The ownership stake will yield no dividends, no returns on investment, nothing except said piece of paper, with logo. The Packers’ stock will rise and fall and you will be completely unaffected, one way or the other. The only thing you get is voting rights, the knowledge that you helped support the team as they spent $143 Million to renovate Lambeau Field, and yes, at the end of the day you really do own a piece of the Green Bay Packers, which at least has a chance of getting you laid.
So the investment is meaningless, and they’re even making you pay a $25 for the privilege. I guess it’s not crazy to think that a team who’s fans wear foam cheese hats wouldn’t understand the basics of investor benefits. But you haven’t even heard the worst of it yet. Apparently as share-holder of any NFL franchise, there are what could be accurately called a slew of rules and regulations you need to abide by. 12 pages of rules in fact (via PackersOwner.com). Most are reasonable of course, but others might be an issue.
The one that sticks out to me is that you may not engage in conduct that is detrimental to the NFL, including public criticism. In other words, if I write that I hope Tim Tebow gets crucified on my Facebook wall, the NFL could potentially fine me a maximum of $500,000. Will they? Probably not, but do I really want to give them the ability? Especially for a $250 piece of paper, that wouldn’t even be worth a dime if they built an oil derrick on the 50-yard line. Sorry Packers, we know you need the cash but if I’m going to buy something useless with a Packers logo on it, I’ll buy this.