The Green Bay Packers, America’s only publicly owned sports franchise, began selling almost completely worthless shares of the team’s stock on Tuesday. All signs point to a lot of people scooping up the $250-a-pop shares, with the Green Bay website even slowing in the early morning because of the heavy activity. In the first 11 minutes of trading, 1,600 shares ($400,000 worth) were sold. This is unsurprising, of course, given that a sucker is born every minute.
It’s been covered ad nauseam that Packers shares are useless, worth approximately 3 cents despite the hefty $250 price tag. Clearly anyone who buys this stuff is doing it for fun, not for any legitimate monetary gain. But the thing that makes the shares truly toxic to unsuspecting consumers, though, is that by buying shares you’re actually opening yourself up to punishment from the NFL for actions largely outside of your control.
Here are three reasons why purchasing Packers stock is a truly awful idea:
- You can get fined for nothing. The fine print that most don’t read en route to scooping up shares like they're candy notes that as soon as you buy the team’s stock, the commissioner can fine you for conduct detrimental to the welfare of the league. "If the Commissioner of the NFL decides that a shareholder of an NFL member club has been guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the NFL then, among other things, the Commissioner has the authority to fine such shareholder in an amount not in excess of $500,000." [CNBC]
- You can get fined for gambling. If you are a shareholder and are found to have wagered on a game, you can be fined $5,000 and forced to sell your stock (earning you the nothing that it’s worth). [Darren Rovell]
- It’s worth nothing. Seriously, people, in a bad economy you’re paying $250 plus transactional fees to get a worthless piece of paper. Get a grip, man (or woman). [Reuters]
If this warning hasn't served as a deterrent, here is a visual of what $250 and your dignity buys you from the defending NFL champs: