TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
When I was growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I distinctly remember the fun I had going through school, playing youth sports, being a part of various clubs and organizations, and later playing high school and college football. There was a great kinship amongst the people in all of those institutions with teammates, coaches, teachers, advisors and colleagues that have lasted all of my life. And, of course, the strongest bond of all, and I know you’ll agree, is the bond that is created with your immediate family.
Georgia Tech fans and alumni are a bit like that. We are a family so loyal and so dedicated to this great institution that there is a burning desire to give back, to make this place even better — to help the cause. I know this because I see it every day. I hear from many of you through personal contact, e-mail and phone calls. Right now, I know that all of our family is feeling a great sense of pride in our football program and what Paul Johnson has brought to all of us. It is indeed a great time to be a part of our family.
That’s why today I am calling a family meeting.
It starts this way. A GT fan wrote me this week and asked when we would start a campaign to expand Bobby Dodd Stadium. The e-mail was full of excitement and exuberance over our tremendous football success. The writer expressed all of the optimism and satisfaction that we all must be feeling about now. The 7-1 start, No. 11 national ranking and first-place stronghold on the ACC has us all fired up for Paul Johnson’s Jackets.
This was an understandable offshoot of such passion. One problem faces us, however. We are dedicated, passionate and giving… but our numbers are small. Our enrollment is limited and our alumni are scattered world wide. I have said many times that in branding and marketing there are two things that set any venture apart from the competition. That is: being good and different! Well, Georgia Tech fits this model to a “T.” Clearly, our football team is good, perhaps even great. And things are different here at Tech – from the academic rigors, to our location, to our loyal but smallish fan base.
I told the e-mailer that as I sit here today, I’m still looking at more than 6,000 yet-to-be-sold tickets to our hugely meaningful game with Wake Forest a week from Saturday. My ticket report from that electrifying Homecoming victory over No. 4 Virginia Tech shows we were a couple of thousand fans short of a complete sellout, even on that magical night.
The fact that Bobby Dodd is not sold out to the rafters every time we play is not nearly the source of gloom on which the media loves to pontificate. Neither is this the result of a lack of ability to effectively market as is sometimes implied. If that were the case, we’d have already set an all-time record with 40 years of ineffective marketing. It would be hard to believe that Georgia Tech, in all those years, hasn’t come up with one good marketing idea to fill the stadium for every game. This challenge would have mystified Bill Veeck and maybe even P.T. Barnum. What I’m suggesting is that our family is just as loyal and dedicated as any group of supporters anywhere in America, perhaps even more so. The fact remains that our base is a pretty consistent number. The issue is that, at Georgia Tech, our folks have to work harder to bring others to the dance.
And therein lies the reason for all this talk of family.
I need your help to bring some groups of folks to the game on November 7th. I realize that we will not know what time the Wake Forest game kicks off until this Sunday. Once that’s established, think about your company, your gym, your church, your neighborhood – all great hiding places for groups of people to come watch the Jackets. Paul Johnson and our football team have cooked up the greatest feast we could hope for. As usual, they will love serving it to the Georgia Tech family. This time though, we need to bring some guests. Our players and coaches deserve nothing less for all their hard work.
Here’s a deal to consider: Purchase 10 or more tickets and receive the group rate of $25 per ticket. That’s $25 for a last chance to see this nationally-ranked Georgia Tech team at Bobby Dodd Stadium this year, unless, of course, you have that Tech-UGA ticket for the game in November. Imagine: only $25 to see a must-win game for the Jackets in the chase for the ACC title game and our quest for the Orange Bowl. Just call the ticket office or go online to make the group purchase today. Click here to purchase Wake Forest tickets. The family needs your help on this one. And the cooks deserve a full table.
HALL OF FAME
We are anxiously looking forward to next week’s Georgia Tech Hall of Fame induction. The dinner is always great fun with many of our Hall of Famers through the years attending. This year we will welcome Heisman Trophy runner-up Joe Hamilton and Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor to highlight the 2009 class. The class also includes football All-American Craig Page, baseball All-Americans J.J. Thomas and Kris Wilson, and student trainer Clay Farr.
We are pleased and excited to announce this class joining the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. Joe Hamilton and Craig Page were cornerstones of the revitalization of Tech football in the latter part of the 1990s, while Angelo Taylor has brought great recognition to Tech with his success in the Olympics. J.J. and Kris were instrumental in keeping our baseball program among the best in the nation. And all these student-athletes know how committed and dedicated Clay Farr was to the welfare of all our student-athletes. We’re proud that they will become members of our Hall of Fame. Click here for bios on this year’s inductees.
Tickets are $50 for the induction dinner on Friday night, Nov. 6, at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. If you are interesting in attending, please call Barb Dockweiler at 404-894-6124.
Men’s basketball season tickets are set to be mailed this week. You still have an opportunity to purchase good seats for basketball if you have not done so. There are season tickets available at all price points. Don’t miss this opportunity. Any packaging of games we may consider will be first offered to our current season ticket holders. Don’t wait around in hopes that you might get a partial season ticket of some type. It is not a certainty that these tickets will ever be offered to the general public. There continues to be a benefit for being a Georgia Tech season ticket holder. Also, a record-setting number of women’s basketball season tickets will be mailed next week.
POSTSEASON FOOTBALL ORDER FORMS
These are being prepared and will be mailed next week with a Nov. 23rd completion deadline. You will be able to complete your order on the paper form or online when we make the form available. Clearly, we prefer an online transaction which makes fulfillment more efficient all the way around. Remember, fans that complete their postseason order by the deadline will be able to take advantage of priority seating using you’re A-T credits.