Traveling thousands of miles for a shareholder’s meeting can be arduous, inconvenient, and …. downright depressing if shares have had an unfortunate decline. Yet year after year, regardless of results, a longing exists in the owners’ heart of this particular stock.
The closest experience is perhaps those that own Apple or Microsoft shares… the loyalty over the decades increases beyond merit. Purchase stock through a broker or 401k? Ever serve on a Board of Directors? What type of firm can get information out late, provide even fewer details, yet throngs arrive.
Oftentimes, even board of directors have to be cajoled to attend annual meetings by dangling exotic beach destinations, or perks, or … An actual place exists, that the faithful long to visit, without any more incentive than to be in the presence of the “holy land” of Lambeau field, and other faithful. Forbes rated them as the #1 fan in the nation!
As if it’s a holy shrine, many spent hundreds, if not thousands just to be there on July 24th, 2014. The 50,000+ make the pilgrimage, only to find they spend $100’s more on tokens of their affection, or taking official tours of the venue, or walking a “Heritage Trail”. So what produces such devotion? It’s the Green Bay Packers!
It’s not faith, or healing, or the promise of casino winnings that draw them. The smallest market in the league generates absolute unquestioning religious fervor!
1.2 million shares, owned by 364,000 shareholders, and bragging rights to the second largest coliseum in the league seating 88,750 (110,000 people patiently wait on the season ticket list, many dating from the 60’s and 70’s. Ironically enough, only 104,000 people reside in Green Bay, what??? It’s bigger than…). Many of those seats are BLEACHER seats – say what?
Spend $100+ for a bleacher seat… Seem crazy? No more crazy than those supportive fans of Chicago, Dallas, New York, Miami, Cincinnati …. Many a “Man Cave” clearly thrives as a shrine for worship. No doubt football fans (or for the rest of the world football=Soccer fans) can be downright “over the top” enthusiastic for their team. Those who watched the world cup can recall those sobbing spectators, riots, crazy outfits… fan is short for fanatic!
What’s strikingly different in Green Bay is courtesy, politeness, civility, … downright warmth for not only fans, but people in general. It’s refreshing to experience an area where political correctness gives way to genuine care. It’s not just words, actions reflect their intent.
The phrases echo clear Scandinavian and Canadian roots with “You bet ya”, “Don’t ya know”, … (ever watch the movie “Fargo”? close accent facsimile’). Beautiful people that enhance the perfect cool weather and pristine watery surroundings.
Couldn’t help but reflect on details of the meeting: profit & loss statement, future vision, community impact, the draft, acquisitions and trades, …. Professionally done and met with standing ovations. Should our faith venues generate such wonderful reviews and attendance? The full meeting can be connected by the latest online technology, yet this multitude CHOOSES to be there in person, why?
In an era, where church closings seem to be at an all time high, there is still time to generate the faithful. Does the average congregation understand they are the owners? If each individual actually was given a certificate as a shareholder, would that change their perspectives? Would we be more involved with the outcome? The bottom line of results? The faithful aren’t just attenders, we are the owners!!