The NFL’s Green Bay Packers have reportedly sold more than 125,000 stock shares (worth approx. $38m) since opening sales last week. The team intends to sell 300,000 by the 25th February in order to raise $90m for construction projects at Lambaeu Field, including for new video boards and concourse upgrades.
This is the sixth time in the storied NFL franchise’s history that they have offered shares to the public. The last time was in 2011, with earlier sales happening in 1923, 1935, 1950, and 1997. According to the team, around 5 million of these various iterations of shares are currently held by around 361,300 stockholders.
However, this is not ‘stock’ in the common sense of the term. “Anyone considering the purchase of Packers stock should not purchase the stock in order to make a profit or to receive a dividend or tax deduction or any other economic benefits,” the Packers noted in a press release about the offering.
So, what exactly is it that these fans are buying then? Bragging rights, mainly. Fans want to feel as they have an ownership within a team that is unique in the NFL. The shareholders also get invited to the annual stockholder meeting at Lambeau Field and offers for exclusive merchandise; and receive a certificate for framing.
Our Take: While in this case the Packers haven’t utilised emerging blockchain technologies, this story does provide a strong proof of concept for the future of technologies such as NFTs and fan tokens. The sale of the ‘stock’ displays fan’s appetite to invest in their team (beyond just speculation). Crucially (and this is where NFT projects should take notes) this is driven by the motivation of fans to,
a) be part of a community; and
b) support a cause (i.e., stadium rejuvenation)