Marketing and Promotions

John Bateman has been involved with the athletic department at the University of Georgia for over a decade and has seen over 2,000 Bulldog games. He is seen Georgia through its good times and their not so good times. He is now the Director of Marketing and he tells me about the what is it like in marketing and promotions.

Dave McMahon -- How long have you been working for the University of Georgia athletic department?

John Bateman -- I just finished my 12th year here. I was the Director of Promotions the last 2 years, but as of July 1st my new title is Director of Marketing.

DM -- Do you remember the first promotion that you set up for Georgia?

JB -- It was the Kids' Gym USA group. There the ones at the basketball games that do all the flips and they really get the crowd going.

DM -- What do you think was your most successful promotion?

JB -- We've done a great job in getting students more involved. They now all come in groups with their organizations and get recognized.

DM -- Anything new that we can expect from football dealing with promotions?

JB -- We are tweaking all the things on the scoreboard. We constantly want to give updates on out-of-town scores, players stats and other information the fans want.

DM -- How often do you try to get UGA involved?

JB -- Pretty frequently. Obviously he is there on gamedays and picture day, but he also does a lot of special things throughout the year. He is going to be at tomorrow's Countdown to Kickoff at the practice fields.

DM -- How often do you and your staff get together and brainstorm ideas?

JB -- We get together every week. If we need to meet more we do.

DM -- You have been a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs your whole life. Would it seem strange if you worked for another school such as Florida or Georgia Tech and had to promote them?

JB -- It would be weird, but I would have to be professional and do my job. Saying that if I had my choice I would love to spend my whole career here at Georgia.

DM -- When you in school here you were the manager of the men's basketball team, any great memories?

JB -- Being part of the first SEC championship was big and also that win over LSU was pretty incredible as well.

DM -- Any other crazy stories?

JB -- Back in 1987, it was my freshman year... the school had a tradition that in the beginning of every game whenever the first Bulldog scored the fans would throw toilet paper. Well eventually the officials got mad because some of the paper reached the court and it delayed the game. The school eventually started checking people at the door for paper. Then the students would just go in the restrooms and steal the toilet paper. The school caught on and made it so they couldn't take too much toilet paper... So what I did was that I went around the school and I raised money for toilet paper. I actually raised $300 which in 1987 buys a lot of toilet paper. So the next game I hid toilet paper under the students seats. Sure enough that game was against Kentucky on Senior Night and when Chad Kessler scored the first basket out came the paper! Hugh Durham, who had no idea about this, saw me and gave me a smirk and semi thumbs up. We ended up winning the game.

DM -- Do you remember your first Georgia game you intended in any sport?

JB -- It was a football game. Georgia faced Cal in 1976. I was 8 years old.

DM -- How many Georgia games you think you have attened... all sports combined?

JB -- Wow... let's see. I went to about 130 this year if you count everything. So if I multilpy... I would say in my 12 years here I have been to about 1,500 games. Now if you count when I was a student and before I was a student the total is probably over 2,500 games.

DM -- Thank you for your time and I will see at your next 2,500 games.

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