TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
Buckle your chin straps, Jacket fans, it’s finally here! The excitement is at a fever pitch for our season opener Saturday at 1 p.m. inside the new-look Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. I hope you’re all planning on coming out to welcome the 2009 edition of Paul Johnson’s nationally-ranked Yellow Jackets. Let’s be lined up on Yellow Jacket Alley at 10:45 a.m. when the team makes it first walk of the new season. Then, let the tailgating begin!
I would urge all of you coming to the game to check out our “Game Day Central” at www.rambinwreck.com for all of the latest information on traffic, parking, tickets and other pertinent facts about Saturday’s game against Jacksonville State. While it has taken a long time for the season to arrive, it won’t take long to count off the first three games. In a span of only 12 days, our Jackets will face Jacksonville State, Clemson and Miami. As I’m sure by now you are aware those two ACC battles fall on consecutive Thursday nights and will be played before national TV audiences on ESPN.
This has been a very eventful week around the Georgia Tech campus. Throughout the day today, I have had the opportunity to participate in the Investiture activities for our President, Dr. Bud Peterson. One can’t help but get caught up in the vision and enthusiasm of Dr. Peterson, who has been charging forward since the day he arrived on our campus. Today was a great opportunity for the entire campus community to come together not only to officially welcome Bud and Val to Atlanta, but to join in their resolve to make Georgia Tech an even greater Institution than it is today. I know the Petersons are excited about finishing off this great week with their first experience at Yellow Jacket football.
We all had a chance to get fired up for the season at last Friday’s First Annual Can’t Wait ‘Til Kickoff Luncheon. More than 450 people attended the gala event at the Cobb Galleria. My thanks to our team chaplain Derrick Moore, Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing Jim Fetig, ABC Sports’ Brad Nessler and Georgia Tech graduate and part-owner of the Atlanta Falcons John Imlay for their sterling contributions to a wonderful afternoon. Coach Paul Johnson and six of our Tech football players rounded out the program. If you missed this one, you don’t want to let it slip by next year. It’s a “must-do” for all Jacket fans.
I hope you have a little time to digest a few things I’ll be throwing at you in today’s edition of the Good Word. There are a number of really exciting initiatives that I want to bring to the table – some of which will be accompanied by links that I’d urge you to check out.
As we begin this editorial journey, let me start by citing a personal story from last weekend. After cheering on our women’s volleyball team last Friday night to an exciting victory over Georgia in new coach Tonya Johnson’s first game at Tech, I was ecstatic. However, the next morning I was dismayed that the story of the victory did not appear in the print edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Seeing this omission, our sports information folks reached out to the newspaper to not only express our displeasure, but to see if there were ways to better communicate these types of results. The conversation was productive, and as a result, a lengthy second-day article appeared on Sunday morning recapping the entire weekend volleyball tournament, including a description of the opening-night win over UGA.
I tell you this story not to rattle the cage of the AJC, but to encourage you to learn, as I did, where to go for full and complete coverage of Yellow Jacket sports. As daily newspapers continue to have fewer resources and personnel, and as the number of pages dedicated to sports coverage dwindles, our reliance on them as our primary news source should be diminishing. That is why we, at Georgia Tech, have put a lot of thought, time and energy into the make-up of our own website at www.rambinwreck.com. Within an hour of the completion of that Friday night volleyball match, our own web site provided complete match coverage and statistics as well as video highlights and postgame interviews with the game’s star, Monique Mead, and with Coach Tonya Johnson… an utterly thorough recap. While having those few lines in the AJC the next morning would have been nice as well, my quest for Georgia Tech game coverage could have been… should have been, satisfied on our own site.
In the coming weeks and months our daily coverage will continue to get more timely and thorough. We realize that in these changing times for newspapers, our fans need a reliable source for breaking news, timely features and behind the scenes video. Make a habit of visiting RamblinWreck.com often.
And along this same line of thinking, get ready for our next Georgia Tech information venture, a new daily GT sports report delivered directly to your inbox. Beginning in the next few days, those of you who subscribe to Thursday’s edition of The Sting will begin to receive a daily e-mail from us we call Sting EXTRA. We have engaged a new staff of writers and editors who will produce this daily piece that will be chock-full of Yellow Jacket news, features and information. In the early hours of the morning – six days a week – you will receive this online publication with three to five fresh stories about the goings-on here on the Flats. Best of all, this service is free! And, you can choose to opt out if you’d prefer not to receive the daily service. Our regular Thursday afternoon Sting delivery will continue unchanged. To access a letter I have drafted explaining this new and exciting venture click here.
Where is ESPN360?
Saturday’s football game is being carried on an internet-only service called ESPN360.com. Before a whole bunch of you begin to ask about this medium, here’s what I can tell you. ESPN360.com is an internet-delivered network for live sports programming. ESPN360.com broadcasts thousands of live games and events online each year. A majority of the events are exclusive to ESPN360.com, while others are broadband-enhanced versions of games from one of ESPN’s TV networks.
Click here to find an Internet Service Provider that carries ESPN360.com in your area.
Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ESPN360.com.
Institute Brand Identity Survey
Here is where I’d like to ask you all for a little help. During the past 18 months, a team of Georgia Tech community members, including myself, has been working to define our institution’s “brand identity.” The outcome of this work is a brand platform of institutional values, attributes, and unique characteristics (differentiators) that we believe will serve as the best foundation for Georgia Tech’s future communications with our constituents. Your feedback as a supporter of Georgia Tech will not only effectively inform further development of Georgia Tech’s brand identity, but will also provide very important input for our institution’s ongoing strategic planning. I would like to invite you to go to the link below to share your feedback for this purpose. The questionnaire takes less than 15 minutes to complete. It is fully confidential, with results to be reported only in aggregate form. Your response by September 10th would be very much appreciated. If you have already received and responded to this survey from another source, there is no need to complete it again.
Click here to participate in the survey
Our Man With The Claret Jug!
One individual that has done wonders for the Georgia Tech brand in recent weeks is our own British Open Champion Stewart Cink. We are so proud of Stewart and what he means to our program, and how well he represents Georgia Tech in every way. We are anxiously awaiting the Tour Championship right here in Atlanta at famed East Lake Golf Club later this month. Recently, Stewart reached out to all of our Georgia Tech alumni and friends with an appeal to support not only this prestigious PGA TOUR event, but with an opportunity to have all of the proceeds from your ticket purchase go to support a charity near Stewart’s heart, the East Lake Foundation. Click here to read a personal letter from Stewart Cink.
If you would like to purchase tickets to THE TOUR Championship to be played Sept. 24-27 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to a charity Stewart Cink supports, the East Lake Foundation, click here. Once into the ticket order form, select “Tickets FORE Charity” and enter the code “ELF” (East Lake Foundation). It’s a fantastic way to say thanks to a truly great Yellow Jacket.
Go Jackets! Go Green!
Athletics is once again partnering with Georgia Tech Recycling Services in our Game Day Recycling program. Many of you will recall the blue plastic bags distributed to tailgaters and the boxes outside the stadium for collecting glass, aluminum and plastic containers. I’m pleased to report this effort yielded nearly 12 tons of recyclable material last season. This year, we hope to collect 20 tons, but we need your help for us to reach this goal. For more information, visit www.recycle.gatech.edu.
As many of you know, our Georgia Tech students are working extremely hard toward what we believe will be a highly successful White Out for the Clemson game next Thursday night. More than 9,000 T-shirts will be distributed to the students and 12,000 white shakers will be handed out on game night courtesy of The Saxon Group and Costco. White Out T-shirts will be available at many of our game day retailers like Barnes and Noble and Tailgaters Alley. You can also purchase an official GT student White Out shirt through Georgia Tech’s Reck Club. Just visit their web site at http://www.reckclub.org/whiteout. If all else fails… just WEAR WHITE!
It’s time again for me to roll out our latest Annual Report. The staff does a wonderful job of providing a recap of our sports year and sharing our financials with you about this time every year. We have pretty much restricted the report to an on-line publication so I’m providing the link for you to check it out. The report has been posted on ramblinwreck.com and it will reside there for awhile. Take a few minutes to review the information as you would like and remember, none of our success would be possible without you great fans and supporters.
The undefeated (3-0) volleyball team is on the road in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Friday and Saturday to play Middle Tennessee, Ohio and Northern Illinois… freshman volleyball standout Monique Mead was named the ACC Player of the Week for her performance last week… the men’s and women’s cross country teams will be in Athens tomorrow to run against rival Georgia in a dual meet to open the 2009 season… former Yellow Jacket football standout Eddie Lee Ivery will represent Tech as our Legend at the ACC Championship Game in December… Georgia Tech’s golf team, which included two seniors who were named All-America Scholars by the Golf Coaches Association of America, is one of 11 teams given special recognition by the organization’s president for having a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.5 or better for the 2008-09 academic year… Coach Bruce Heppler’s golf team opens its fall campaign Sept. 11-13 in the Carpet Capital Collegiate, just up I-75 in Duluth.