Week 1: Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech, Monday, September 4, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
Overview: This year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic wraps up with a Labor Day gift to all the hard-working college football fans: a holiday-Monday game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It’s the second game of a weekend-long doubleheader, and marks the return of the two-game format for the first time since 2014. If experience is an advantage, then it’s advantage Tennessee, which is 1-0 in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic games. But it’s also worth noting that, while the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a neutral site, Atlanta isn’t – it’s the nest that the Yellow Jackets call home. Advantage Georgia Tech, which is making its first appearance in the annual series that typically pits teams from the ACC and SEC against each other. This game should be a close one, with an improving Yellow Jacket squad being tagged by some as a dark-horse candidate to win the ACC’s Coastal Division, while Tennessee is predicted to be in the hunt for an SEC East Division title.
Week 1: Florida State vs. Alabama, Saturday, September 2, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
Overview: The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic has been mainly an SEC vs. ACC contest since its inception in 2008. This is Alabama’s fifth appearance in the series with a 4-0 record and the Tide have scored at least 33 points in each of its prior appearances. While it is Florida State’s first appearance, the last time Alabama played an ACC team, the Tide lost. That was last year’s national title game against Clemson. If the preseason rankings are any indication, this is a potential super match. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in most polls, while Florida State also has at least one top spot in the polls. Both teams are primed heading into this year.
Week 1: Michigan vs. Florida, Saturday, September 2 at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Overview: This is the ninth Advocare Classic to be hosted in “The Jerry Dome” and is one of the more intriguing matchups featuring two traditional college football powers in the series. Michigan is replacing 18 starters from last season, and Florida has questions at quarterback. However, both are ranked in almost all of the preseason Top 25 polls with the Wolverines holding a composite edge. That could spell trouble for the Gators since higher ranked team has won the past seven Advocare Classics.
Monetizing and Redefining the 50-Yard-Line Experience
Since collegiate sports clubs began in the United States in 1843 , fans have been as much a part of the team as the players and coaches. They represent family, friends, and encouraging onlookers that all pine for the very best spot to see their favorite player or team: the spot where they can see all of the moves, plays, fouls, and even facial expressions. For many fans--and for a very long time--the best spot was right in the middle as close to the field of play as possible. And, with most sports involving some kind of volley between sides, it makes sense that the best seat would be smack in the middle...right? Well, not exactly. That statement makes some pretty big assumptions about what fans think, want and value; things like:
Taking Minor Sports Mainstream
Summer is slowly winding down around the country and many college sports fans know exactly what that means: cooler weather, pumpkin spiced everything, and volleyball! No? How about cross country or field hockey? Negative. Most college fans attribute fall with one sport, and one sport only: football. However, college football is only one of six NCAA offered sports and the remaining five do not garner the same attention, funding, or attendance. Many college programs are faced with overcoming challenges tied to inconvenient game schedules for fans, an oversupply of tickets, and creating revenue. By engaging with new fans in non-traditional ways, schools can bring more awareness to minor sports, drive attendance, and slowly crawl their way out of the red.