I'm sure most of you know by now that I am a very big sports fan. I'll watch just about any sport there is, as long as it's not a complete slaughter fest (unless my team is doing the winning). Thankfully, I don't have cable TV because I would probably be watching ESPN all night long and getting nothing accomplished. Anyway, I am a fan of everything Boston or New England when it comes to sports. I love the Red Sox, enjoy watching the Bruins and now I'll get to watch the Celtics play a season this year! My allegiance to Boston sports, however, ends with football. Don't get me wrong, the Patriots are my second favorite team, but deep down inside I am a cheese head. Yes, I love the Green Bay Packers. You know who else does? Darryl from Young and Free South Carolina does as well! Okay, why am I telling you all this? Well, for the first time since 1997, the Packers have opened up 250,000 shares of stock which the general public can buy. What a great idea!
Okay, here's a back story to the Packers. For those of you who don't know, the Green Bay Packers are the only professional sports team that are owned completely by their town and their fans. The team first offered stock in 1923 and then also offered more in 1935, 1950 and most recently, 1997. This isn't normal stock that goes up and down. It doesn't gain or lose any worth. This is a piece of stock that costs a set amount of money, and allows you to say that you are a partial owner of the team...Wait....what? YES! How amazing is that? For the allotted price of $250 a share, you can own a piece of an actual NFL team. The Packers are the only team to ever do this, and they are the only ones that probably ever will. As a side note...if you want to buy me a piece of stock for Christmas, I'd love you forever. You can do it here :).
So how does this relate to credit unions? Well, I look at it this way. The Packers are like a credit union, and the rest of the NFL teams (and any other professional sports team for that matter) are like big banks. Name a team....go on, do it. Patriots? Bengals? Giants? Eagles? All of them are owned by one or a few people, and they are the ones who largely benefit from the success of the team. Now, let's look at the Packers. They are owned by their fans and the town of Green Bay. If you are the owner of a stock, you have a vote that counts in their yearly meeting! So you aren't just a fan, you're an owner. Sound familiar? In a credit union, if you have an account there, you aren't just a customer. You aren't a customer at all. You're a member! You own part of the credit union. You also get a say in what happens in the credit union because you own part of it. How awesome is that?
If you are interested in reading more about the Packers and their stock offering, Yahoo! Finance has a great article that came out today. And remember, if you join a credit union, you will be doing exactly what the 12-0 Green Bay Packers do each week...Winning!
Isn't it great to be an owner and member?