The Green Bay Packers represent one of the most recognizable teams in all of the NFL. With its rich history and championship pedigree, the franchise and its fans have had a lot to be excited about over the years.
While the team has been able to stay steady as they navigate year-to-year challenges on the field, the front office and the ownership group have been crucial in keeping the Packers competitive and relevant since the team’s inception. However, the structure at the top of the franchise is unlike anything else we see in the NFL.
Let’s take a closer look at who runs and operates the Packers.
Who Owns the Green Bay Packers?
The Packers have been a publicly owned, non-profit corporation since August 18, 1923. The corporation currently has around 537,460 stockholders who collectively own an estimated 5.2 million shares of stock following the sixth stock sale in franchise history that took place in 2021.
There have been six stock sales in the Packers’ lifetime — the first being in 1923, followed by 1935, 1950, 1997, 2011, and the latest in 2021. Shares in 1923 sold for $5 apiece, while in 1997, they were sold at $200 each, $250 in 2011, and $300 each in 2021.
This is truly unique and is actually not allowed by the NFL governing bodies, with the Packers being the only exception. The NFL does not allow corporate ownership of clubs, requiring every club to be owned by either a single owner or a small group of owners — at least one of whom must hold a 1/3 stake in the team.
The Packers’ exemption to the rule comes from the fact they have been a publicly owned corporation since before the rule was in place. While there are stocks and shares to be had, the Packers are run by a board of directors that serve as the “owner of record” for the franchise in the eyes of the NFL.
What Does Owning Shares Get You?
Owning stock in a company gives you a real sense of ownership in most cases, but with the Packers, the entity isn’t quite set up in a traditional manner. Shares don’t include any equity interest, don’t pay holders dividends for their stock, cannot be traded, and have no protection under securities laws.
Shares also don’t give any season-ticket purchasing privileges. The only rights shareholders receive are voting rights, an invitation to the corporation’s annual meeting, and an opportunity to purchase exclusive shareholder-only merchandise every year.