When the Green Bay Packers announced a few months back that the NFL franchise would launch its fifth stock sale, there was much snickering and giggling in the background. Two-hundred-and-sixty-eight-thousand transactions later, that snickering by the naysayers is all gone and the Packers are taking $67 million to the bank where they will earmark it to be utilized in the $143 million upgrade to Lambeau Field that will add about 7,000 seats to the south side of the iconic stadium, completing enclosing the bowl.
You want to talk home field advantage now? If you thought it was loud at Lambeau before, this will certainly increase the decibels.
Those are all good things for the Packers organization which is not only one of the oldest franchises in the league, but also one of the most business-savvy. What is sort of amazing is the fact that more than 90 percent of the sales were completed via the Internet. So, not only are the Packers banking on their brand recognition as an important part of marketing, but it is also using the power of the Web to promote the team.
Another important factor in the sales was the number of those living outside the area who bought in. While half of the sales came from those living in Wisconsin, 8.5 percent each came from Illinois (hear that, Bears fans?) and California. Texas and Minnesota each accounted for 5 percent of the sales. And in a two-day flurry of sales, 2,000 Canadians also bought in.
Though the Packers brass figured conservatively when estimating the number of sales the stocks would generate, they are also very pleased with the final outcome – a result that will give the team even greater options on this and future projects at the stadium site.
In the meantime, be prepared to enter Lambeau Field that has a whole new look with a fan base that is energized not only by the on-field product they have come to adore, but because hundreds of thousands of them are actual owners of the team.
That unique fact will never be found with any other franchise.
So, stop with the snickering and giggling … the NFL’s franchise situated in the smallest geographic area with the smallest overall population just grew to be the largest in heart and tradition.
Suck on that Jerry Jones.