Building Packers’ loyalty one fan at a time
When it comes to understanding the NFL, we often ignore that child sitting by listening to our discussion. The child may offer a comment, but it becomes apparent that his football acumen lacks depth. We smile and pat him on the head but dismiss his suggestions.
Heck, if we think about it, many adults don’t understand the NFL with all of its complexities either. Putting a winning team on the field is a complicated package. To the young sports enthusiast living in Green Bay, deep down he knows something the rest of us don’t. Green Bay may only be a community of 100,000, but the conviction runs deep.
Maybe it’s time to listen a little more closely.
Yes, most NFL fans know the Green Bay Packers are the only non-profit team in the NFL. Most football enthusiasts know that Packers are locally owned. Wisconsinites can buy shares in their team at specially designed periods. It’s rare but happens. Nevertheless, how does that translate into 13 league championships (four in the Super Bowl era)?
Plenty, but let’s not lose sight of the sport fan at Lambeau Field whether he’s a child or an adult.
To this day the Packers have never used their position to leverage concessions from community. How could they? That would be like one of the stock owners disagreeing with his own interest. There are 112,015 people who can claim Packer ownership in 4,750,934 shares. A shareholder can own no more than 200,000 shares. None of the shareholders gets free tickets either, nor can these stocks appreciate in value. The only reward is the excitement of a championship team. To a Green Bay ticket holder that is more than rewarding.
Every game at Lambeau Field has been sold out since 1960, The waiting list for season tickets is 30 years. The Packer base is legendary, a fact other team owners try to discount. Although the television audience in Green Bay is small (they’re all at Lambeau cheering on the team), on a national scale the Packers rank as one of the most watched on television. The Green Bay Packers reach out to unknown enthusiasts across the nation, children, women and men alike.
The Packers cement loyalty in their fans at an early age. One popular method is when a player rides a child’s bike to the practice field. To the Green Bay child, it’s a dream come true. This tradition has been in place since the 1950s. Think about it – over the years there have been a lot of practices and a lot of players riding bicycles. The loyalty runs deep.
So, next time you watch the Packers at Lambeau Field and see all those fans, young or old cheering on their team, just remember you’re seeing more than meets the eye. Many of these fans are part owners and many have have a special bicycle stored away.
Daniel Kent is an NFL team writer for TPF and can be contacted at DKent@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com