The Packers Collectible Document Debate

The Green Bay Packers have one of the larger fan bases in the NFL and have certainly been around long enough to build up that base.  With such a long history, the team has accumulated many collectible items throughout the years and another was just added to that list.  Last week, it was announced that fans who own shares of stock in the team can purchase a personalized document that confirms their ownership of said stock.  Here is the offering:

"For existing Shareholders looking for another way to demonstrate their Packers pride, the Packers announced that a new collector’s item has been added to the exclusive Shareholder merchandise: a validated, personalized document that confirms stock ownership. Each year, a new edition of the collectible will be available, with a different image of a significant Packers moment. It has no value and does not double as a stock certificate, but it is official documentation that confirms stock ownership.

The offer, which adds to the already-popular Shareholder merchandise, is available only to current Packers Shareholders. Shareholders and fans should note that this collector’s item is not part of a new stock offering and there is no anticipated offering in the foreseeable future. These personalized, high-quality collectible documents, exclusive to Shareholders, are printed on heavyweight cover stock and will be redesigned each year. The collectible document is priced at $39.95, plus shipping and handling. Because the documents are validated and personalized, Shareholders are asked to allow at least 2-3 weeks for delivery. There is no limit on the amount of documents that a shareholder may purchase."

As soon as this offering hit the presses, there was no shortage of reaction and discussion.  Chris Kristofco of Titletown Sound Off posted his take, from the perspective of a stockholder.  One of the arguments that he makes is that the team could be doing more that is dedicated to stockholders.  Currently the annual meeting is really the only such event.  This, to many, is another money grab and puts a damper on the reputation that the Packers are a team that is owned by and built for the community around them.  In 2016, however, we know that the NFL machine is bigger than ever and if there is a way to make a buck, they'll find it.

Regardless of your opinion on this matter, one thing remains a fact: no one has to buy this document.  It's not a mandate, it's a choice.  This is almost the epitome of capitalism.  A product is offered and those who want to purchase one, can.  Those who are against it, don't have to.  In fact, the best way to send a message of support or dislike is by voting with your wallet (or by keeping it closed).  It's OK to express your opinion on the matter, but respect that of others as well.  If someone wants to buy three or four of these documents to post in every room of their house or office, so be it.  There are a lot of products that are out there for sale today and border on the ridiculous and nonsensical.  This offering by the Packers is hardly that.  Prior to this offering becoming available, there were probably a bevy of items on EBay or online that one could buy for far more than $40 plus shipping & handling that are nothing more than a piece of paper or small remnant that has a tie to the Packers.

One of the biggest arguments is that something of this nature can easily be replicated and produced at home if you have the right equipment.  The team could put some sort of watermark in the document that authenticates it or they may not.  Again, those who feel strongly about the true value of owning such a document can pass and go on about their day.  This idea doesn't appear to be merely a test by the team.  Part of the description above refers to the team changing the image on the document each year, indicating that they intend to keep this offering this for at least a few years.  Maybe their hope is that if you aren't compelled by this year's image, next year's might pull you in.  Emotions are a big part of a buying experience and the Packers and football certainly invoke emotion to most of their fans.  Imagine a sleekly-designed document that has the image of a game-winning moment from a game you attended?  That's the kind of thing that can move some fans from indifferent to placing their order for multiple copies.

So, this is where you take over.  What's your take on the documentation of stock ownership and the fact that the Packers want more of your money in order for you to have one?

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (19)

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DTowleJr's picture

May 16, 2016 at 05:32 am

I'm curious as to what makes this document so unique? What makes this document worth $40? What safeguards are there on/to the document that make it superior to copies of the same document? Other than a description, I see nothing that rises to the level of me parting with my hard earned money!

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Hematite's picture

May 16, 2016 at 07:29 am

I don't have a problem with this, but I hope each one has a stamp of authentication.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 16, 2016 at 06:41 am

This part of the article is perfect. 'Regardless of your opinion on this matter, one thing remains a fact: no one has to buy this document. It's not a mandate, it's a choice. '

It is a choice. No one is forcing anyone to buy something. It is something that the Packers are offering. If you don't want it or like it, think its to expensive, or whatever the reason may be that you don't want it, then don't buy it. If you like it, feel its worth the money, then buy it.

Its as simple as that. Its the individuals choice to determine if they want to purchase something or not.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

May 16, 2016 at 06:54 am

it's cool as hell and would display like the piece of gold it actually is.

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Spock's picture

May 16, 2016 at 08:16 am

It's not for me; I'd just photocopy my current stock certificate and put that in another room (if my place was big enough), but if you love the pictures/concept, I say go for it. At least it is money that will go more to the team than the NFL. A question: is your avatar supposed to be upside down??

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Amanofthenorth's picture

May 17, 2016 at 08:16 pm

Spock, you are the first to notice. Supposed to be? I don't know about that. It is though.

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topgbpackfan's picture

May 16, 2016 at 07:05 am

While it is true you don't have to buy one the price is absurd. The max price should be 15.00 or less.

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dobber's picture

May 16, 2016 at 07:35 am

This is from a Wall Street Journal article/blog entitled " Are the Green Bay Packers the Worst Stock in America?"

http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2012/01/13/are-the-green-bay-packers-th...

"It costs $250 a share, pays no dividends, benefits from no earnings, isn’t tradeable and has no securities-law protection."

I'm not sure why ownership of such would require any particular proof. Stock itself qualifies as not much more than a collectible, and I can imagine that on the collectibles market this might help. But who buys and sells Packers stock like baseball cards?

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lucky953's picture

May 16, 2016 at 08:09 am

It's cool looking, like a pretty cheap art print. I have many friends who've never been to Lambeau (living in Bear country) and I suppose this would be one more way of showing them that not only is our team better, but our stadium is way more attractive than theirs.

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TommyG's picture

May 16, 2016 at 08:39 am

I don't have a problem with the organization selling this item. I will admit I think it is pretty tacky and in poor taste, but as it has been said: no one is making a person buy this. What surprises me is that an item of this style is only available to shareholders; people whom already have a unique document. Many of the other NFL teams have serialized and authenticated "official fan" stuff. It's the same as this thing, just available to everyone. Now that I think about the marketing not department really screwed this up. They should've offered an official fan certificate. That would put shareholders still in their own special group while enabling everyone else to "officially" declare their fandom.

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dobber's picture

May 16, 2016 at 09:13 am

"What surprises me is that an item of this style is only available to shareholders;"

...but it's a document that authenticates one as a shareholder...?

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TommyG's picture

May 16, 2016 at 03:51 pm

Perhaps I didn't make my point properly, dobber. My point is that share holders already have an authentic document: the share itself. Where the marketing department missed was that they could've offered an official document to non-share holders which allowed them to become "authentic" fans.

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dpjossart's picture

May 16, 2016 at 09:24 am

Dumbest argument ever. It boggles my mind that there are people who have a problem with a business selling a product to make money. What about all day breakfast? Now that is just wrong. Breakfast is the morning meal, not an all day meal. Shame on McDonalds! Nothing more than a money grab.

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Tarynfor12's picture

May 16, 2016 at 10:07 am

What is there to discuss....people spend their money on things they believe to have value or use. However, I would not be wrong to assume some will lose sleep over why some do or don't purchase it. Plus, though not as often as a phone, it does offer a new version each year to justify another purchase whether warranted or not from those market targets.

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Since'61's picture

May 16, 2016 at 10:09 am

Speaking for myself I would think that the stock certificates authenticate the fact that we are shareholders. I have no problem with the Packers trying to sell additional memorabilia but this seems a little redundant if we already have the actual stock certificates. In any case for those who choose to buy I say go for it, it's only money after all. Thanks, Since '61

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Curry Rambeau's picture

May 16, 2016 at 01:27 pm

This is OUTRAgEOUS!

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WinUSA's picture

May 16, 2016 at 04:58 pm

You know it was hard to suck it up and let the "Cheesehead" people make a zillion dollars on a foam rubber head garb. (Yeah I just loved to be called a Cheesehead...it was such a moniker of pride).

Then there was the issue of NON voting, NO dividend, NO reselling in other words...a useless pieced of paper..... called STOCK?????

Shhhh. .... don't tell anyone if Wall Street hears about this.... there might be a run on 3rd tiers mortgages.

Yeah I know the selling of the stock at the time generated revenue for a cash strapped team which was a testament again to the love of this team by it fan base... that indeed is something to be proud of.....fans can say that they are NFL owners..... but I bet they will never get a seat at a dinner table with the Jones, the McCaskeys, or the Maras......

The Packers NET book value is over $125,000,000.

They do not need to generate more money from the loyal fans of the green and gold.

This is just plane greedy. As a Packer fan for over 60 years I do take pride in this team...anyone who knows me knows I haven't missed a game in all those years...weddings, birth of my children, funerals (I did tape every game to do so in the case of funerals) :+) , or Christmas Eve games...

But one thing I DON"T want is the populace of this country to think that Titletown is filled with a bunch of rubes who will throw their hard earned money on this useless print.

The Packers organization in their infinite wisdom missed the boat in this case.... what they should have done is given the darn pictures away to their stockholders.... the non book value of zero,which can hang on the wall with the stock, the picture, and a toilet paper tissue for the world to see.

I know that I will get a record "dislikes" for this post...but as a fan... I want the world to know that all Green Bay Packer fans are not susceptible to some guy in a board room who can fly an idea like this up the flagpole to see who will salute...

And as Gump would say: " That's all I got to say about that!!!!!!"""""

GO PACK the greatest football team in all of the NFL!

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4thand1's picture

May 16, 2016 at 07:14 pm

$40 bucks is a little steep. If we own stock already, we should be rewarded for bailing out the team. After all it's making tons of money now.

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gr7070's picture

May 16, 2016 at 07:35 pm

I take it the most recent stocks non-voting?

And, no, I'm not talking about this new $40 certificate sale.

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