Green Bay Packers, Inc.
DonHutsonCenter2007.jpg
FormationAugust 18, 1923; 98 years ago (1923-08-18)
Legal statuspublicly held nonprofit corporation
HeadquartersLambeau Field
1265 Lombardi Ave
Green Bay, WI 54304-3927
Mark Murphy
AffiliationsGreen Bay Packers Foundation

Green Bay Packers, Inc. is the official name of the publicly held nonprofit corporation that owns the National Football League (NFL)'s Green Bay Packers football franchise, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Packers are the only publicly owned franchise in the NFL.[1] Rather than being the property of an individual, partnership, or corporate entity, they are held as of 2022 by 537,460 stockholders.[2] No one is allowed to hold more than 200,000 shares,[3] which represents approximately four percent of the 5,011,558 shares currently outstanding.[4] It is this broad-based community support and non-profit structure[5] which has kept the team in Green Bay for over a century in spite of being the smallest market in all of North American major professional sports.[a]

Green Bay is the only team with this public form of ownership structure in the NFL, grandfathered when the NFL's current ownership policy stipulating a maximum of 32 owners per team, with one holding a minimum 30% stake, was established in the 1980s.[6] As a publicly held nonprofit, the Packers are also the only North American major league sports franchise to release its financial balance sheet every year.[a]

Board of directors

The Green Bay Packers Board of Directors is the organization that serves as the owner of record for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL).

The Packers have been a publicly owned, non-profit corporation since August 18, 1923. The corporation currently has approximately 361,300 stockholders, who collectively own 5,011,558 shares of stock following the fifth stock sale in 2011. There have been six stock sales, in 1923, 1935, 1950, 1997, 2011, and 2021.[3] Shares in 1923 sold for $5 apiece (approximately $75 in 2020 dollars), while in 1997 they were sold at $200 each, $250 each in 2011, and $300 each in 2021.[4][5]

The NFL does not allow corporate ownership of clubs, requiring every club to be wholly owned by either a single owner or a small group of owners, one of whom must hold a one-third stake in the team. The Packers are granted an exemption to this rule, as they have been a publicly owned corporation since before the rule was in place.[7]

The corporation is governed by a seven-member executive committee, elected from among the board of directors. The committee directs corporate management, approves major capital expenditures, establishes board policy, and monitors performance of management in conducting the business and affairs of the corporation.[1]

The elected president, currently Mark H. Murphy, represents the corporation at NFL owners meetings and other league functions. The president is the only officer who receives compensation. The balance of the committee sits gratis.[4]

At the time of his death, Green Bay Press-Gazette publisher Michael Gage was said to be the largest shareholder of the team.[8]

Shareholder rights

Even though it is referred to as "common stock" in corporate offering documents, a share of Packers stock does not share the same rights traditionally associated with common or preferred stock. It does not include an equity interest, does not pay dividends, cannot be traded, and has no protection under securities law. It also confers no season-ticket purchasing privileges. Shareholders receive nothing more than voting rights, an invitation to the corporation's annual meeting, and an opportunity to purchase exclusive shareholder-only merchandise.[5]

Shares cannot be resold, except back to the team for a fraction of the original price. While new shares can be given as gifts, transfers are technically allowed only between immediate family members once ownership has been established.[4]

Stock sales

A 1923 Green Bay Packers stock certificate, as displayed at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame
A 1923 Green Bay Packers stock certificate, as displayed at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame

There have been six stock issues over the history of the Packers organization:

In addition to being publicly held, the Packers organization also enjoys substantial support directly from its community. In 1956, voters of the city of Green Bay approved funding to construct a new municipally owned stadium. Like its predecessor, it was called City Stadium. On September 11, 1965, it was renamed Lambeau Field.

Green Bay Packers Foundation

Main article: Green Bay Packers Foundation

The team created the Green Bay Packers Foundation in December 1986. It assists in a wide variety of activities and programs benefiting education, civic affairs, health services, human services and youth-related programs.

At the team's 1997 annual stockholders meeting, the foundation was designated, in place of a Sullivan-Wallen Post soldiers memorial, as recipient of any residual assets upon the team's sale or dissolution.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b "Executive Committee And Board of Directors". Packers.com. Green Bay Packers, Inc. Retrieved November 10, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Shareholders Retrieved June 8, 2022
  3. ^ a b c "Shareholders". Packers.com. Green Bay Packers, Inc. Retrieved November 10, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Shareholder History & Financial History" (PDF). Green Bay Packers. January 22, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 28, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Saunders, Laura (13 January 2012). "Are the Green Bay Packers the Worst Stock in America?". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ Kaplan, Daniel (October 26, 2009). "NFL pares ownership rule". SportsBusiness Daily. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Jess Bolluyt (September 9, 2018). "Who Owns the Green Bay Packers? Why the Team Is Unique in the NFL". Sportscasting.com.
  8. ^ "Green Bay Packers: Michael Gage, team's largest private shareholder, dies at 75". Twin Cities Pioneer Press. February 17, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Packers plan fifth stock sale". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  10. ^ "Green Bay Packers 2011 Common Stock Offering Document" (PDF).
  11. ^ Michael McIntee (2011-08-12), Super Bowl Champs Packers At White House, retrieved 2017-12-27
  12. ^ "Packers stock sale to begin Tuesday, Nov. 16" (Press release). Green Bay Packers. November 15, 2021.
  13. ^ Demovsky, Rob (November 15, 2021). "Green Bay Packers offer 'ownership' shares for first time in 10 years". ESPN.
  14. ^ Bissada, Mason (November 15, 2021). "Packers Set To Sell Shares Of Team Stock For Sixth Time In History". Forbes.
  15. ^ a b Ryman, Richard (November 17, 2021). "Green Bay Packers stock sale tops $36 million, 110,000 shares sold in first two days". Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  16. ^ "Packers stock offering now available in Canada" (Press release). Green Bay Packers. November 19, 2021.
  17. ^ Conley, Chris (February 27, 2022). "Sale of Packers stock ends". WSAU.
  18. ^ "Packers add 176,160 new shareholders, net approximately $65.8M with sixth-ever stock offering". NFL.com. March 10, 2022.
  19. ^ Langrehr, Jaymes (November 16, 2021). "AJ Dillon among Packers players to buy stock, declares himself 'self-employed'". Channel3000.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b If expanded definition of major league is used to include the Canadian Football League, then the Packers become one of four teams to release their financials (alongside the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and the Edmonton Elks) and second-smallest by metro area population (ahead of the Roughriders).