Entertaining Fans with Jesse Cole, Founder of The Savannah Bananas (#88)

Using Story to Entertain Baseball Fans

Jesse Cole is the founder of Fans First Entertainment and owner of the summer league baseball team the Savannah Bananas. The Savannah Bananas currently have sold out every game for 3 straight seasons and have a waiting list in the thousands for tickets.

Jesse is an in-demand speaker and released his first book “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out” in 2018. He's been featured on MSNBC and as a keynote speaker all over the country, promoting his motto "If it's normal, do the exact opposite."

“Contagious caring creates a ripple effect. All of us need to care more. You can talk about caring til you’re blue in the face. But how do you show it?” - Jess Cole on sharing your wins

The Purpose of a Story

When you focus on story, you dig into what moves people. Jesse talks about Darren Ross, CEO of The Magic Castle Hotel. Darren focuses on story so much, that hotel employees are looking for the stories on why guests are there in Hollywood, what their family story may be, and more. Those stories fuel over the top customer service, which leads to raving fans. They also fuel incentives to employees.

Incentivize story, not sales.

One tactic Jesse has implemented at The Savannah Bananas is a Friday email that highlight stories. Each employee is supposed to send an email with something they did that was fans first, and something they saw someone else do that highlights the fans first mantra. These stories are critical to the culture.

”If we create a culture like that, the stories will build the sales. The national media is covering us. They’re stalking about the stories, not ticket sales.” - Jesse Cole on creating a culture of story

Baseball as an Entertaining Story

For Jesse and The Savannah Bananas, it’s more than baseball. Sure, the game is important. But when you bring people together to experience a positive experience beyond the sport, you’re going to win fans over even if you’re not winning every game.

Whether it’s hiring a person to run around the stadium giving high fives, or bring banana boat ride on land to the game, Jesse is always thinking about these things that create moments and stories. Those stories are what drive people to commit to season tickets. They’re the things that get people to visit a summer league baseball team from across the country.

“Every day I’m thinking about these things that can create moments and create stories.” - Jesse Cole on the power of stories

Connect with Jesse:

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