Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 24

Speaking of money, sales grew greener in Augusta
after their bug got meaner.
The GreenJackets usher in the season with a fresh
identity: new stadium, new colors and a grittier bug
logo.
The GreenJackets' rebranding has "really been a
good help for us," General Manager Brandon Greene
says. Luxury suites sold out months before the season
began, and the season ticket base increased-by
400 percent.
Fan intensity remains rock solid. The Diamond Club,
about 80 fans strong, includes baseball purists who keep
stats and attend every game to support players.
"We definitely have a nice group of those guys in
Augusta," Greene says.
Fans also include people who just like singing to the
music and enjoying fireworks. And should they want to
wed at the home stadium, the new SRP Park-just across
the river in North Augusta, S.C.-will host ceremonies in
addition to postseason concerts and trade shows.
The GreenJackets mascot even visits schools, where
young fans read books to earn game tickets.
"We're a part of the [Augusta's River Region] community," Greene says. "I think we have an impact in so
many different ways."

Macon Bacon, Coastal Plain League

MACON BACON

In Macon, the sizzle started long before the season.
"People love the Bacon," team President Todd
Pund says.
He estimates that about 400 people attended the
new team's naming reveal last September, and the nation heard the rhyming nomenclature soon after.
"We were on
[ESPN's] 'SportsCenter'
five hours later," says
Pund, who told a local Rotary Club, "We
got Middle Georgia
on national news."
The Coastal Plain
League team fills a
gap left by teams that
stayed in the Macon
area for only a short
time-"fly-by-night"
teams, Pund calls
them-and the MaMacon Mayor Robert Reichert shows con Braves, which left
his team spirit. The Macon Bacon be- for Rome in 2003. A
gin play this year in the Coastal Plain
$2.5 million renovaLeague. The first home game at Luther tion to Luther WilWilliams Field is June 1 against the
liams Field that began
Lexington County (S.C.) Blowfish.
late last year adds
24

GREENJACKETS

Augusta GreenJackets, Class A affiliate of
the San Francisco Giants

Children line up to greet Augusta GreenJackets players as they
come onto the field before the game.

perks such as VIP and group seating.
Besides good seats, team leaders give fans a say.
Locals chose the name, the best Bacon logo for a
collared shirt and ingredients for a Macon Bacon pizza.
And forget $8 hot dogs. Fans can buy $15 all-youcan-eat tickets, which includes the game.
Pund praises the entertainment mentality in "The
Ultimate Toolkit," a guidebook to sports and event marketing by Jon Spoelstra and Steve DeLay. At the game's
end, it's not about the score.
"It's got to be about entertainment," Pund says.

Rome Braves, Class A affiliate of the
Atlanta Braves
Bobblehead giveaways aside, Class A baseball in
Rome is serious.
The Atlanta Braves' star first
baseman, Freddie Freeman, played
in Rome, as did pitcher Julio Teheran and infielder Ozzie Albies.
"We have a rich history of
players who have moved on to
the highest level of the game
and done very well," says Jim
Jones, assistant general manager.
Athletes develop at each level
in the minor league system; Rome
is one step toward improvement
and allows many to play their first
full season of 140 games.
Rome fandom helps, and fan
support often extends past players' time there. Locals still follow
Brian McCann, a former Rome
Brave who is now a catcher for the
The Savannah Bananas players honor
a "Banana Baby"-"Lion King"-style-
before every game.

More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

GEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 11
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 12
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 13
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 14
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 15
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 16
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 17
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 18
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 19
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Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 24
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Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - 26
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Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - April 2018 - Cover4
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