The response to the 1950 drive was inspiring, with people from all across Wisconsin, as well as former Green Bay residents living in other states, coming forward to buy the $25 shares of stock. Roughly $50,000 was raised in one 11-day period alone. Reportedly, one woman from a farm near Wrightstown, Wis., showed up at the team’s offices with $25 worth of quarters in a match box. A total of about $118,000 was generated through this major stock sale, helping to put the Packers on a sound financial basis once again.
With the NFL supporting the plan, the existing 1,940 shareholders overwhelmingly voted to amend the articles of the corporation on Nov. 13, 1997. The vote authorized the Packers to sell up to one million shares to raise funds for capital improvements, and existing stockholders received a 1,000-to-1 split on their original shares. Fans immediately were able to call a special toll-free number, or tap into the team’s website for information on how to buy the 400,000 shares made available to the public.
In the first 11 days, roughly one-third — or $7.8 million — of the total amount transacted was sold. Orders came in at a rate of 3,500 per day during this early period, generating about $700,000 each day.
Shares of stock were purchased by citizens from all 50 states, in addition to fans in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than half (53.6%) of the shares were bought by Wisconsin residents, followed by inhabitants of Illinois (8.0%), Minnesota (3.6%), California (3.1%), Florida (2.4%), Michigan (2.3%), Texas (2.1%) and Ohio (1.7%).
For the first time, fans in Canada were able to purchase (2,000 did so) and joined fans from 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in supporting the team. Wisconsin residents purchased 28.2% of the shares, followed by those in California (7.7%), Illinois (6.6%), Texas (4.8%) and Minnesota (3.7%). Approximately 99% of the shares were purchased online.
Today, an annual meeting of shareholders is held each July. The event returned to Lambeau Field in 2006 after several thousand people were turned away from the 2005 meeting at the nearby Resch Center. As a means of running the corporation, a board of directors is elected by the shareholders. The board of directors in turn elects a seven-member Executive Committee (officers) of the corporation, consisting of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and three members-at-large. The president is the only officer who receives compensation. The balance of the committee is sitting gratis.
Shares of stock cannot be resold, except back to the team for a fraction of the original price. Limited transfer of shares (i.e., to heirs and relatives) is permissible.
*Information supplied by the 2015 Green Bay Packers Media Guide.