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Episode 18: Lauren Abernethy - Marketing an Experience
Episode 1824th October 2022 • The Backstory on Marketing • Guy Powell
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About This Episode: 

Guy Powell sits down with Lauren Abernethy, Vice President, Marketing of Braves Development Company. They discuss marketing an experience versus marketing a product or brand.

Responsible for the creation and implementation of the strategic marketing direction of The Battery Atlanta, Lauren has excellent insight into property marketing and marketing experiences. What are the benefits of marketing an experience as opposed to a product? What are the challenges?

About Lauren Abernethy:

Lauren Abernethy is the Vice President, Marketing of Braves Development Company with the Atlanta Braves. She is responsible for the creation and implementation of the overall strategic marketing direction of The Battery Atlanta, including development of compelling marketing and special events programming in efforts to increase customer traffic, tenant sales, digital footprint, and create mutually beneficial relationships with asset partners, retailers, advertisers, sponsors, grassroots organizations, and the surrounding business community.

Lauren has over 20 years’ experience in program development, public relations, and strategic marketing for property management across the Southeast with Simon Property Group serving in various positions including: Regional Vice President of Marketing, The Mills; Director of Marketing & Business Development of Lenox Square in Atlanta, Georgia; West Town Mall in Knoxville, TN; St.John’s Town Center in Jacksonville, FL, Melbourne Square in Melbourne, FL; and Biltmore Square in Asheville, NC.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Lauren has lived in Atlanta for 11 years. She is a graduate of Mars Hill University in North Carolina, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Public Relations & Art with a minor in Business Management.

Links:

https://marketingmachine.prorelevant.com/getting-started/

batteryatl.com

@batteryatl

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-abernethy-6b4ab6b/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/giE9DGMjGCk

Sign up for ProRelevant Emails: https://mailchi.mp/prorelevant/newsletter  

Transcripts

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Hi, I'm Guy Powell and welcome to the next episode of the

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backstory on marketing. If you haven't already done so please

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visit pro relevant.com and sign up for all of these episodes and

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podcasts. I am the author of the newly released released book the

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post COVID marketing machine, prepare your team to win. You

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can find more information on this at marketing machine dot

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pro relevant.com. Today we'll be speaking with Lauren Abernathy.

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She is the Vice President of Marketing for the Braves

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Development Corporation for the battery in Atlanta.

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Lauren Abernathy is VP of Marketing for the Braves

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development company and is responsible for the creation and

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implementation of the overall strategic marketing direction of

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the battery Atlanta. She has over 20 years experience in

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program development, public relations and strategic

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marketing for property management across the southeast

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with the Simon Property Group sermon serving in various

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positions, including regional vice president of marketing for

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the mills, director of marketing and business development for

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Lenox square in Atlanta, Georgia, and many, many others.

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Originally, she's from Jacksonville, Florida. But he's

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lived in Atlanta for 11 years. She's a graduate of the Mars

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Hill University in North Carolina, where she received a

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Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and public

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relations and art with a minor in Business Management. Welcome,

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Lauren. Nice to be here. Thank you for having me. Yeah,

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absolutely. Look forward to talking with you. So tell us

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what is your backstory on marketing? How did you get into

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marketing,

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I started really was going to be an art major. And my mother was

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less than thrilled with that path in my life.

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Really wanted me to get a job that didn't involve perhaps her

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supporting me, I think, and ended up in communications and

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marketing and college and really enjoyed it. So I worked for a

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nonprofit organization in the beginning, and then moved along

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to mall marketing. So Property Management, Marketing. And

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really just, that's what I love to do. I just thankfully found

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what I wanted to do very quickly.

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And that's how I got here. Yeah, fantastic. And I don't know, I

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can imagine marketing a mall or marketing a property as is so

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different than any other kind of marketing. So tell us, you're

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now with the marketing the battery of Atlanta. Tell us what

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the battery is. And tell us what marketing is like there? Sure.

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So battery Atlanta is 2.2 5 million square feet of

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basically, we call it live workplace day and cheer. So

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mixed use development.

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We've got office, we've got residential, we've got a lot of

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entertainment options and restaurants. And then of course,

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I have truest Park as my anchor. So in the mall world, you have a

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Macy's or Dillards. And I have a ballpark.

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Yeah, that's, that's definitely pretty cool. So we were there

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about a week and a half ago, and it was definitely a lot of fun.

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We ate dinner there and then hung out for a little bit. And

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then of course, went to the game. And and we won. So that

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was that was how could it be any better than that?

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Perfect way to end the day here for sure. Yeah, absolutely. So

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how is it different to market a property versus marketing, let's

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say a product versus potentially even doing some sports

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marketing. So I think that the biggest difference is

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truthfully, at the end of the day, I don't sell anything. I

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you know, as as a landlord, you know, we are marketing the

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property as an experience. So you look at a traditional sort

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of ROI on a marketing program, if you're selling a product and

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it's you know, based on sales and you can track clicks through

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to your website and it really does change everything when

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you're selling sort of this intangible that is an

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experience. So I you know, I talk the property as a whole I

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don't talk about specific entities within the property

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from a marketing perspective. So it really is an emotional

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connection with people and getting them to understand what

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the property is versus selling them you know, a widget Hmm.

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Now, are you marketing to

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people that are going to be tenants or are you marketing to

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people that are going to experience or all of the above

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all of the above so we obviously do the leasing for the place and

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so how we sell ourselves from as a It's a great place to come do

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business. While that is a lot of the experience as well, it's

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also a little more statistical. And, you know, we talk in

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numbers about why you shouldn't lease space here, but then to

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the general public, and that general public is literally the

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entire general public, which is also different from products,

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marketing, because you've got people straight out of college

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and you would market to those guys very differently than you

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market to say empty nesters who would come out and you know,

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enjoy a nice dinner at cls. Yeah, exactly.

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So your audiences just about anybody that is looking for

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entertainment, and then certainly looking for

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entertainment. And then of course, going to the Braves game

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and, and stuff like that. And then potentially even special

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events, whether it's, you know, something that happens around

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the Braves or maybe even something that doesn't happen

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around the Braves. It could be offseason, or whatever.

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Yeah, we, we say, you know, when this baseball season ends is

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when really our our holiday season kicks off, because we do

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a tree lighting, and we do a New Year's Eve event for the

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community. We do farmers markets throughout the year, Monday

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night yoga. So there's always things that are going on that

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aren't just baseball. And I know that the first year people

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really didn't quite understand the property. And I feel you

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know, six years later, I don't feel like that's the case. But

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they just were like, Oh, you're only open when there's a game?

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And it's like, no, that's a terrible business model. That's

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that's not how the restaurants are operating. You actually can

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come out here 365 days a year.

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Yeah, that is. And that I think, is kind of fascinating, because

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then the draw is, is very, very different. So you have to get

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get people there to do you know, to come for the experience and

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the entertainment, but not then the connection with the with the

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Braves.

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Yeah, well, and that's how we look at leasing. So if we're

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actively recruiting a restaurant or a retail place, or service,

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they have to be able to survive 81 days of baseball, and thrive,

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not just survive, and they have to be able to pull their own

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weight when there is no baseball. So the experiences in

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the restaurants, you know, have to be great concepts. I mean,

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everybody wants great concepts. That's certainly not unique to

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us, but the situational of 81 days a year, hopefully 85 or

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more. It does change the dynamic that from a traditional say mall

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lease.

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Yeah, absolutely. And, and I guess then, so you have shopping

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as well as restaurants, or is it primarily restaurants or

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it's primarily restaurants entertainment, which I save just

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a touch of shopping enough to keep it interesting for

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everybody when they're here. Like we have the only Mizuno

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store in the world. And then we have sugar Buddha's does

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housewares dress up has like ladies clothing. But it's you

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know, enough to keep it interesting when you're coming

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for a game. But really, it's that entertainment driven sort

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of project. So we have great restaurants. We've got a movie

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theater, we've got the Roxy with 100, and some shows and events

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per year. So there's a lot going on. It's controlled chaos is

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what we like to call

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it. Yeah, that's for sure. And during the game, and I guess now

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and we're just one game back at the end of the season. It must

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be pretty crazy over there.

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It is. And I think, you know, from the retailer's perspective,

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their question is always you know, when are we going to play,

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say postseason games? And the answer is, I don't know. And

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that's the other thing, you know, having having people,

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partnerships with these restaurants and stores where

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they understand what they're getting into. You know, we could

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be playing a West Coast team, or we can be playing, you know, an

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East Coast team, which changes what time we play. And are we

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home or away first. So postseason is exciting, but it's

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also really challenging, especially for our tenants.

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Yeah, I can imagine. And it's that uncertain. Well, it's not

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the uncertainty. I mean, yeah, I guess there is uncertainty, but

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the inability to actually know exactly what day is going to be

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happening, and what is the series of things that are going

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to be happening and then being able to staff up or staff down?

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Depending it's that's got to be really an interesting challenge

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for them.

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Yes, it is. And, you know, thankfully, I think six years

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later that we've all sort of been through this. And we're

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getting better at it, I would say, but it is, you know, it's

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what you know, if you clench early, it makes it easier a

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little bit because at least you kind of know where you're

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starting, but then you're assuming that the other teams

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are already decided as well. So then you get into that home and

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away and yeah,

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yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And so last year, World

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Champions, how did that differ from Pro Are yours?

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Well, I mean, I'll tell you, it was not too shabby. We'll take

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it the first time in 26 years that we'd won the World Series.

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And I really think it was our gift to all of Braves country.

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Because I mean, it was such a celebration after 26 years. And

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I don't think if you didn't ask any of us, we really, you know,

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we were talking about this before you and I were like,

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nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to think too far

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ahead. Nobody wants to jinx the outcome. But it was such an

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unbelievable experience and ride. And I certainly, you know,

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did not start out in the world of sports. I started out, you

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know, in properties. So to be a part of this is, you know,

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unbelievable for me. And just to see the team go through that it

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was it was very exciting.

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Yeah, absolutely. Well, it was a, it was exciting for all of

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us, that's for sure. So, so is the the offseason, does that

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differ very much from what you would do it like the Lenox

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Square Mall or some of the other properties that you manage? So I

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think, you know, traditional retail is, you know, heavy,

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heavy in fourth quarter. And you know, pretty even throughout the

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rest of the year. I think what the retail industry would say

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is, you know, 60% of its fourth quarter. Ours is fairly ours is

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a little different. Because obviously during baseball

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season, we see large crowds 81 days a year, and we are pretty

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even outside of that. But you know, our restaurants and all

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these guys do great business. Now we do two of our largest

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events, the tree lighting and New Year's Eve and fourth

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quarter. We have 15,000 people here for New Year's Eve. So it's

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a great time. And then, you know, as most outdoor centers

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would tell you, January and February weather isn't, you

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know, the best. But sports here are huge in general, outside of

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just baseball, football season is huge. We have we have several

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very large sports bars. And they do. Most of them are sold out,

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especially for the larger games like The Florida Georgia game

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championship games. They do great business.

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Yeah, absolutely. And actually, I hadn't you know, it's funny

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that you bring up the, you know, a different sport like that I

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hadn't even thought about, you know, going to a sports bar

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that's near the Braves stadium to watch football, or soccer or

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something like that. That's definitely different use of the

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of the facilities.

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Well, yeah. And think about you know, we were at that point of

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the year where the Saturdays they're also football Saturdays,

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so they you can reserve tables that live to go watch the

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Georgia game while we're playing baseball. And I mean, people do

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it. If they do great business with football, and I mean, it is

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the south. So that is the the way we do it.

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That is definitely the way we do it. Yeah. That is for sure. It's

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so so what other kinds of special events do you put on

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other than New Year's and Christmas in the tree lighting

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anything else? That's a really big draw.

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We do things year round. So we do your free yoga outside on

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Monday nights. And that right? We usually run that from

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February to October. When the team is away on Sundays in the

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summer we do farmers markets. And then we host a ton of

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charity, five K's different events on the weekends. Live,

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which is one of our tenants here does like a brew festival and a

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wine walk. And so we do well over 400 events if you add in

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concerts at the Roxies and baseball games every year. So

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it's a pretty active campus.

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Well, 400 events is more than one a day. That is definitely

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yeah. Well,

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when you think about like we could have a 5k in the morning,

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be playing baseball in the evening and also have a concert

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at the Roxy. I mean, those are three major events, you know, in

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one day and so yeah, it's it's an active campus.

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Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Now, you're also involved in the

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warrior Alliance. Tell us a little more about that.

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So the warrior alliance is an MLB legacy project that we were

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able to bring here in 2021. It's a fantastic organization. You

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know, for us there are a tenant of ours, but they're also

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affiliated and do a lot with MLB. And just for people who

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aren't familiar, it's an umbrella organization that helps

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veterans of every branch, connect with resources that they

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just may not know where it's out there. So there's a lot of

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different veterans resources out there but getting to them and

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having somebody help you facilitate and navigate is a

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difficult process and the warrior Alliance does A

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fantastic job with that they're a great organization. I

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certainly encourage everybody to check them out.

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Yeah. So is that in there? So there's a charity associated

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with that as well? Or are they supported as well by the Braves

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or the MLB or

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so they're, it's a legacy project with MLB. So there is

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certainly some support there for the warrior Alliance, which is a

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nonprofit organization, then the warrior Alliance also does

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fundraising and, you know, gets grants and different things. So

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they can help facilitate all of these things. They continue to

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grow. They do outstanding work. But yeah, so we do a lot with

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them. And in different capacities, whether it's letting

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them use some space to host workshops or wounded warrior

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yoga. You know, there's, there's anything we can do to support

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them, we certainly as an organization are actively doing.

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Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And, and that's a

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it's a definitely a wonderful cause to help out the, you know,

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the warriors. Because they're certainly they certainly

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sacrificed a lot. And I think you're right, I think baseball

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generally has done a lot for, for, you know, the, the fighting

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men and stuff like that. So that makes a lot of sense. So you've

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done marketing now for malls and experiences, which is definitely

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very different than anything else. And then you're also doing

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some marketing for then, for the warrior Alliance, or not,

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no, they are their own organization, we certainly do,

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again, assist and work with them and their relationship with the

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Braves foundation, that there's a lot of, you know,

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compatibility there and things and projects that they work on

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together, but they are their own organization.

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Oh, okay. Okay. And because I can imagine, you know, the, the

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nonprofit marketing would be very, very different. And then

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being a supporter of them at the very, very fascinating. So what

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are you? What are your key metrics? What are the things now

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going back to the battery? What are the key things that you

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tried to achieve? Every day, every week, every month?

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So I, you know, going back to our earlier conversation about I

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don't sell anything, me personally, and us as an

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organization, we're a landlord. So I mean, we look at, you know,

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do we have the spaces leased? You know, are we do we have

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tenants here are we at capacity, and then we turn around, like

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we're getting ready to do and build another building. So we're

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building a 250,000 square foot building that's leased. So we'll

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that'll go up 100% lease which is fantastic. We look at

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traffic, we look at the sales of the tenants, because that is

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obviously a key factor. Like if the tenants are doing well. It's

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like everything. If they're doing well, then we're doing

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well, and everybody's happy. And they and they stay and we want

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them to stay. So all of those are kind of our big things. And

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so it's, for me, for a marketing perspective, it's getting

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eyeballs on our messaging, which is very sort of experiential,

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and look at all the fun things you can do here. And then

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looking at what the traffic looks like, on site, like we've

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steadily increased our traffic over the years as the battery

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continues to grow, and it's going to just keep growing.

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Yeah, I think you're right, I think, you know, and plus, early

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on, it wasn't quite clear what what the battery was, when it

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was first put together with the new stadium. And then then as

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soon as you see it, you go, Oh, you know, now I get it.

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Yeah, I don't think people quite understood. I mean, the whole

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thing was, to better the fan experience is started. That's

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that's the was the most important part of it was a

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better fan experience for Braves country before and after a game.

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So you start with that idea. And then you want that experience

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365 days. So I think we've done a good job of curating that and

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building it where it can exist in and out of season. But yeah,

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it's we're gonna continue to grow. You know, I never, it

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would never surprise me for us to build something else or to

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announce something else. Because if it's the right thing for the

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property, then that's what we're gonna do.

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Yeah, absolutely. Well, what other similar types of

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properties exist that are like the battery Atlanta, you know,

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around the country.

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So they're, you know, certainly there's other sports venues

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where that they have great lake, the Bucs district out and then

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Texas live. And there's some great places typically though,

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the team doesn't own them. And for us, it was extremely

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important that we when we did this, owned and manage the

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property, because that way we do control the actual experience.

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It is a Braves day, experience and Mmm. And it was the first of

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its kind where the team actually built the development. Now, that

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is a model that all teams are looking at now. We've toured 150

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different teams through the property, showing them what

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we've built here. And I think there's, there's huge interest,

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because when you see how this can work and how, you know, it

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can benefit the team financially. You know, that's at

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the end of the day, we're here to win, you know, Another World

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Series. And that's how we're funding, you know, our ability

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to do that.

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So it must have been kind of a challenge, though, initially, to

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get retailers and restaurants to sign on, to be able to say,

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well, what am I going to do in the offseason? So you must have

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had a very interesting challenge at that point.

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So I think in the beginning, you had to start with the right

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people, like you had to start with tenants who had an

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understanding of either being near or a part of, like, we

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started with live lives a great example where they already have

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their own districts that are outside of large stadiums. So

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they understood now, our relationship here, is there a

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tenant where they don't own the whole district, so that was new

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for them. But they understood what we were doing. And then

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there was certainly a lot of people who bought in, because

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they love the Braves. And, you know, thankfully, even when

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working some like gardening gun magazine, they only own this

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restaurant here. So garden and Gun Club is their only

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restaurant. But they saw that Braves country was their

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breeder. So yeah, it was certainly Yeah. And, and the

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ballpark was the most important thing. It had to be finished

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first, we got opening day to consider. So I know if anyone's

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like me where I came out opening day, and I had not started here

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yet. And I they didn't have a lot open, because the focus was

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gotta play baseball in April.

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Yeah. That's kind of a hard deadline.

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Yes, that was absolutely necessary. And so for the next,

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you know, year and a half, we really just sort of opened the

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rest of the restaurants here. And so I know the first couple

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years as people came back, it was a different experience every

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time because there was more. So and we are continuing to open

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things, we've got battle and brew and a couple others there

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yet Pollstar, which is Electric Vehicle Company, that are

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getting ready to open that's just, you know, even more

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cultivate food and coffee. So we continue to grow.

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Yeah, yeah. Well, as part of the AMA, so I'm on the board of the

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Atlanta, the American Marketing Association in Atlanta. And we

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actually did an event there as well, which was, which was a lot

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of fun. And it really opened my eyes up as to what could be done

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and how they have the space can be used.

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And I think that that's the really cool thing that that's

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where we are now like, you know, we're, we were babies still as a

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company. But people are starting to look at the property to do

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say, large meetings, where they stay at the Omni or at the Aloft

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Hotel. And then they go over to the ballpark, and they meet in

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one of the spaces in truest Park. And then they do their big

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gala event at the Roxy. So they there's more and more of these

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meeting and event planners that are looking at this as

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everything's here, you never have to you don't need a car.

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And that is very different for Atlanta. And it's a walkable bar

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district. So there's plenty for everybody to do. So we're seeing

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more of that. Like when the team is out of town, we'll have

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larger conferences that come in and rent the spaces. And so

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that's exciting to see as people discover how much they can do

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here and have be accomplished. For especially corporate

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meetings.

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Yeah, yeah. Well, I just want to know how I can get reservations

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for one of those rooms at the Omni overlooking the game.

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That's all I want to know.

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You too. I mean, I'm telling you, those are their killer

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rooms. They're absolutely wonderful. But yeah, that view

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comes at a premium I am sure

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Yeah, well it plus you know, you can stand out there on the

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balcony and have a drink or whatever and watch the game and

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it just looks like a lot of fun. So, yeah, so what do you see

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then as big trends otherwise, in in marketing and then for

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marketing of the venue over the last couple years?

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For property marketing. I think the interesting thing is how

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cyclical it's become where as a as an industry, they are back to

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focusing on interaction with guests, where you know more

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walls when they first built, you know, were pretty inside, they

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had fountains, and then they slowly took all of those things

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out to put it in a kiosk and make more money. And now it's

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kind of come full circle where everybody understands that it is

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the experiential sort of guest, like entertainment, that people

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remember. And like, I think the Braves do a fantastic job in the

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ballpark of like entertaining their fans, their their fan, and

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it's outside the ballpark before the game. And that's something

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cool we get to do here. But I think that those trends of all

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of that stuff coming back where it's making it a really cool

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experience for our guests, whether it's, you know, a

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surprise and delight kind of thing, or they stumble across a

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farmers market. But it's a little bit like the world is,

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you know, we go in circles, but I think it's a little full

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circle back to where what marketing in a public place used

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to be.

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Yeah, I've been, I am so impressed with with the The in

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game experience. And then the pregame experience in the

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battery that it just kind of so easily flows. All together, you

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get kind of the, you know, the psych of the, you know, they're

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getting ready for the game and having a good time. And there's

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people all around and there's noise and, you know, and

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different interesting things going on. And then, you know,

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obviously then with the goal to get to the game and and I hadn't

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really thought about it as a as an offseason venue. So I'm going

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to have to definitely check that out. That's going to be on my

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list here. Yeah, I

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mean, it's, I think that we try to keep things going all the

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time that people can come and enjoy. I mean, I look at it as

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like a farmers market for me, I want you to stay a little

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longer. Because if you stay a little longer, you're probably

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gonna eat lunch, or maybe go to dinner, or maybe grab a cocktail

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and walk around and stores. So you know, we look at our type of

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marketing as extending this day, like, how do I get you to stay

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just a little bit longer. So I don't need like a well known

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group, but I could do a nice little cover band out there. And

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so it is it's a different type of marketing, and it's a

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different way to look at it than traditional, like, even even on

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the other side of my own business, you know, they're

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trying to put your butt in a seat, you know, they need to

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sell tickets. And that's, that's a measurable thing, where I just

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need you to buy another cocktail and maybe stay for 90 minutes

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instead of 60 minutes.

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So how do you track that? Do you actually go out and track how

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long people are staying and whether that's going up or down?

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And we use a artificial intelligence program called

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place or AI? And so we we've been doing that for the last

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couple of years, because it is an outdoor environment,

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especially in this particular environment? How do you track

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pedestrian plus Uber plus, plus parking. And, you know, we're

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connected by all these bridges. And there's no great way to do

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that, where, you know, in the brick and mortar world, you can

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put a tracker at a door. And whether it's you know, the light

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beam or whether it's you know, looking down from above, you can

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actually count people. So that has worked out we love we love

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working with them. Like I'm a data nerd. I think most

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marketing people are Yep. And being able to dig down into that

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and understand like that our average day is about 245

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minutes, which is enormous. But the very cool part of that is it

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is the same out of season. So you would expect it to be like

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that for a game day. But I think what was surprising to us was

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that it's the same outside of a game day.

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Yeah, that is amazing. Well in place or AI, they have such a

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good that that product is awesome for an AI as soon as you

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said it, I said you know, of course it's what you would do.

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It's amazing.

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Yeah, they really are. And what's funny is I think I did

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what all marketers do, and I was hand tracking and I was using,

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you know industry standard, you know, for USD t for the number

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of people in a car, all that stuff. And when I first was

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talking to them and we ran the numbers it validated A that I

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knew how to do standard count but also but I was that

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impressed me because I'm like we knew we were we knew we were

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close but being able to see it and understand it and then

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understand how they get the data and that they do self validation

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and things like that was was very cool. So we use it I mean

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you know when we look at our competitors, we look at a gauge

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ourselves against, you know, other top shopping centers or

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Top districts out there. And definitely that that stay time

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for us was eye opening.

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Well, you said 240 minutes, that's, that's four hours. And

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that, does that include the game? Or does that just,

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it is the same on a game day as it is on the non game day.

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That is crazy, isn't

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it? I mean that I think that was something we weren't expecting.

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Yeah. Because I get in there and crunched all the numbers and

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really pull it all out and look at it. And so we started

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tracking the, you know, in season versus out of season and

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the stay time, the variances, maybe three minutes.

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That is incredible. Yeah.

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So. And, you know, I think that there's just a lot to do here.

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So maybe you go to a movie, and then if you're in a concert, and

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you know, there's a lot going on here that probably feeds into

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that and keeps it a little longer than most.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. That is, that's really very impressive.

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So what is one other big important thing that you'd like

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to see or haven't seen yet, or that would relate to improving

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your overall marketing activities over there?

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Um, you know, I think the thing that the reason I keep doing

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this job is because it's ever evolving and ever changing. And,

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you know, as soon as you figure out something, you know, like,

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how to do you know, your Google ad campaign, they change

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everything, and you have to kind of start over, but to me, I like

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that. And I think for me, the constant, figuring out how to

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market to everyone and do things effectively, that reach those

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audiences. is, you know, I don't know that they'll ever be a

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great answer for that. But I certainly accept the challenge.

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Yeah, anything in in virtual reality, or augmented reality?

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You think it about or

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so? truest Park has done that? So they launched that earlier

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this year. And we've talked about how does the battery do

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that. But then you that goes back to sort of coordinating

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chaos where for that to be really cool. What I would love

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it to do is if you were to walk into a restaurant and you

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ordered it, then Uber Eats would take it to you. And then we face

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some challenges, 81 days a year about getting every driver in

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and out of here. But I think that there's some really cool

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things out there, how that plays out for us. Because for us, I

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look at it like how would that benefit my stores and

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restaurants like and what would be cool there. But that's, you

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know, 50 some odd different people trying to make decisions.

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And that certainly isn't an easy task. But yeah, hopefully,

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hopefully, we'll be able to do that at some point.

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Yeah, absolutely. Well, if you can get him from 245 minutes to

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200. And whatever that would be, it's just such an enormous

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amount of time. It's very impressive.

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It really is. And, you know, we even looked at it before we had

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the movie theater, and you know, maybe look at just the concert

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days, but I think it's just once you get here, you hang out, and

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you know, walk around and people come, you know, with their

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friends and watch different games. So it's certainly, we're

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proud of that. And we watch it very closely. Because at first I

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was like, well, maybe it was just that year. And I'm like,

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No, that's that's our average. That's what we do. Which just

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means that people love the property. And so and that's what

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we tried to build here was something that people wanted to

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be at.

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Yeah, that's interesting, I wonder, because it is an

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experience. And you know, you look at, you know, you look at

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Disney World, or some of the other kind of, you know, kind

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of, I don't know, what do you call them, like a pure

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entertainment, certainly a theme park. And yet you're almost you

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are an entertainment venue? And, you know, you wonder how

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different or how similar the marketing and everything else

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is, between them and what you're doing

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that well, you know, that's a big animal right there. When you

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start talking about the Walt Disney Company and what they do

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to market. I mean, like, that's a crazy thing. Where I feel like

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we're more traditional, but I certainly watch I would say,

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other developers and how they market their entertainment

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districts. We are unique. And so it is a little different for us.

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But I mean, like we keep an eye on sort of the rest of the

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industry and how they're doing it. And it is interesting to see

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where the entertainment districts are doing that, you

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know, true entertainment sort of thing where they're bringing in

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other stuff. And then I think that the mall industry has had

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to look at that and say, oh, we need to, we need to do more.

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They spent years just cutting it out. You know, because those

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things cost money with no actual return and visible return in

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some cases. And I think that that's where the community

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aspect of what we do got lost in some Yeah, some parts of our

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stream.

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So when how, how did things go? Coming out of COVID and COVID? I

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guess you were mostly closed down and then probably opened up

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before the the Braves started playing again and then and then

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now you're back, I guess at full capacity or full, whatever it

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is.

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We really, we were only close if you if you say that. I mean,

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like, as far as the property itself, there was a there about

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two weeks there were there was the mandatory sort of, and then

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all of our restaurants figured it out. And I think it was one

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of the most impressive things I've ever seen. Because no

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restaurant on this property had ever done DoorDash Uber Eats

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none of it because of baseball. So they figured it out. I mean,

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at one point and Tico, you could buy three pizzas delivered to

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you on dry ice. You know, which so I mean, they figured it out.

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And it was a really impressive thing to watch with all of these

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groups, like, how do you make people feel safe, and get the

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restaurants open and keep your staff working. And like places

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like the escape game, they were like, Hey, we've always

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sanitized after everybody went into a room. So the different

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types of marketing and how they, you know, move forward. And

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they're, you know, there were hiccups, like the the movie

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theater was supposed to open in 2020. And while there's no

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movies to release, so we delayed that, until 2021. But as an

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outdoor venue, I think it was a huge benefit to us, because

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people would go and just grab a pizza and then sit out on the

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plaza green, and have a picnic and so on. On a really nice day.

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It was fairly busy outside here.

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Yeah. Well, kudos to you. And kudos to the venue or not the

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venue, but the restaurant owners Yeah. And in their ability to

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pivot and respond to the challenge.

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And I think everyone that was in the same boat, everybody's

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navigating unfamiliar waters, but I do believe Outdoor centers

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had some advantages. Right, you know, just because people felt

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safe to come out with their family, because they could sit a

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little further away. So we, you know, and having relationships

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with all the tenants, and when we talk to people, and they come

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in here, it's it's a long term, this is a partnership, because

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we were looking for the right people, and they gotta love what

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we do as much as we love what they do. So knowing everybody

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well with as a landlord, very helpful as well.

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Yeah, absolutely. Well, before we close, is there anything else

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you'd like to mention?

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Well, I would just love for everybody to come out and

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experience the battery like you did. Like, I feel like we have a

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great time, game day every day. But you know, there's, there's

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so much to do here. And we just love it when I love it when I'm

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walking through the property behind somebody who's showing it

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to someone else that has never been here. Because they just get

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excited about as excited about it as we do. So, we look forward

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to seeing everybody come out and obviously supporting the Atlanta

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Braves as we hopefully get all the way to the worlds right

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knock on wood, we gotta get to the World Series again. I'm

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ready. We'll be out there in a couple of weeks. We've got

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tickets to some of the playoff games. So we're very excited

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about that. So that's wonderful. Yeah, absolutely. Well, Lauren,

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thank you so much. I really appreciate it. It's It's It's

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fascinating to learn about marketing for I don't know if

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you'd call it non traditional but different different things

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so marketing and experience as opposed to marketing Dove soap

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or or something like that very, very fascinating and really

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appreciate it. So is there anywhere that that you would

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want people to go to find out more about the battery?

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Sure they can go to battery atl.com And that's our handle on

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all social media as well battery ATL. And just sort of check out

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what's going on here are the events that are happening. Learn

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more about us learn more about like there's an event planner

Speaker:

page that's you know, shows people what they can do here if

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they're looking to plan an event. But yeah, check us out.

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Fantastic well, so thank you so much and otherwise for the

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audience. Please stay tuned for many other videos in this series

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of the backstory on marketing and make sure you visit battery

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Atlanta or battery atl.com battery@aol.com To learn

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more We're about the battery and what Lauren is doing in terms of

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really promoting the Braves. And then, of course, the battery and

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here in Atlanta. And otherwise, for my book more information on

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that, please go to marketing machine dot pro relevant.com.

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And you can download the first chapter of the book and many

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other valuable excerpts. And don't forget to sign up for more

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episodes. And in any case, rate this rate this episode with five

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stars and we're going to be very much appreciated. Lauren, thank

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you so much.

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Thank you for having me.