Don Mock 0:19
Episode 95 We’re back Rob.
Rob Broadfoot 0:21
Welcome to Sports Talk.
Don Mock 0:23
Yeah, it’s a little hot in the studio today too.
Rob Broadfoot 0:27
Well, it’s hot outside. Yeah. And it’s permeating the walls of our building.
Don Mock 0:32
I think it’s the hottest year ever too isn’t it.
Rob Broadfoot 0:35
It’s easily the hottest year ever
Don Mock 0:37
It’s melting everywhere. So
Rob Broadfoot 0:39
there’s no more snow we’re not going to see snow anymore. Atlanta used to get, we used to get I would say three times a year a good little snow
Don Mock 0:49
3 times a year? Ha okay. I never lived here when we had snow three times a year.
Rob Broadfoot 0:55
Yeah and you’d get a good two. I mean, school be canceled. You would get a good two three inches? I think it was 1980 was snow jam. 1980. And it was like,
Don Mock 0:55
let’s get going it old school.
Rob Broadfoot 1:01
I remember being at school and you got the call. And it was like, I mean, it just started dumping snow and panic in the streets. Yeah, that’s What we do. Yeah. And it was like, we were all stuck at school. And like half the kids didn’t make it home. And that was the 80s
Don Mock 1:21
that that just happened a few years back with our kids. And I think
Rob Broadfoot 1:25
there was the original the OG snow jam. Well, I think was 1980 We’d have to look it up. But yeah, half the kids had to spend the night at school.
Don Mock 1:31
All right. I feel like traffic and weather is up next. Right? We started talking about sports talk and now we’re talking about the weather. That’s hilarious. Alright, so last time, we talked about Atlanta stuff Atlanta Business. And we thought it’d be fun to keep the Atlanta train rollin and chat about sports teams.
Rob Broadfoot 1:47
Atlanta sports teams.
Don Mock 1:48
We love sports. We’ve talked about sports before. Cuyler and I have done a baseball logo thing, just from a design perspective. In the past. We love sports.
Rob Broadfoot 1:49
You did a bunch of NFL logo work.
Don Mock 1:59
Yeah, I’ve done I’ve worked on sports leagues. Sports are inherently challenging for a multitude of different reasons. But, but sports are fun. You know,
Rob Broadfoot 2:01
sports is pain. Also Love and pain, heartbreak and glory and all the things.
Don Mock 2:15
Yeah if you think about brands, you know, it’s hard to find another another business vertical, I guess, than sports that have such emotional attachment to a brand. I mean, you can love a brand like Oh, I love Apple computers. Yeah. Or oh, I love Adidas. We’ve talked about these. I love it. I love Nike. I love everything, Nike. But like I still think that kind of pales in comparison to like, the love and admiration. And the opposite the hatred. Well, there’s
Rob Broadfoot 2:43
a reason for that. People say I’m a diehard Braves fan or I’m a die hard you know.
Don Mock 2:50
And fan of being short for fanatic
Rob Broadfoot 2:51
Steelers fan or whatever it is. I mean, people, the ups and downs, the agony of defeat.
Don Mock 2:56
Yeah and you identify with sport, you know, like, it’s, it’s, it’s it’s intense, man. I mean, so from a branding perspective, it’s kind of interesting, you know, and sports is kind of going through some stuff. Now. I know, we’ve had a lot of stuff with the NFL. He’s mentioned the NFL, you know, I worked on What two or three of the teams I think, you know, in yesteryear, and you know, they’re going through it with the Washington team, right, rebranding and all that stuff like that, you know, there’s a lot of there’s a big push to, you know, get rid of the Native American mascots. Yeah, you know, that type of thing. We’ve got the Braves here.
Rob Broadfoot 3:28
Braves used to have Chief nakoma Yeah, exactly. They had a teepee out in the outfield. Yeah,
Don Mock 3:34
I mean, we can’t have teepees in the outfield. No, that’s not a thing. No.
Rob Broadfoot 3:37
Don Mock 3:38
Yeah, now that is now correct me if I’m wrong. That came from Deion Sanders when he came to the Braves. Right? That was That wasn’t a Braves legacy.
Rob Broadfoot 3:47
That was not a Brave’s legacy
Don Mock 3:48
He brought that from Florida State because I was a Florida State thing. Right, I think Right, right. Yeah. Okay. But But But point being point being it’s been 30 years or so. I mean, it’s still happening right. Now, I do know the Braves retired a bunch of their iconography and logos and symbols, but still kept the mascot, the Braves and still have the tomahawk on the front of the jersey. But that’s about it. There’s no other
Rob Broadfoot 3:49
No, they used to have the guy.
Don Mock 4:10
I mean, they used to be the guy with the feathers, feathers and all the thing but that stuff is gone. It’s gone. You know, the Cleveland Indians, you know, rebranded to the Guardians. Right, right. So a lot of the stuff is kind of going away, which is interesting, but but Atlanta we got all the sports teams, man.
Rob Broadfoot 4:28
You know, we got all the sports teams. all the sports ball is played here now.
Don Mock 4:32
Yeah, yeah. And we had a lot of birds that a lot of birds were our mascots, right? We got hawks falcons, when the Thrashers were here, the a lot of people don’t know the Thrashers or the Thrasher is actually the state bird of Georgia.
Rob Broadfoot 4:43
Correct. The brown Thrasher
Don Mock 4:45
brown Thrasher Yeah. So when we had a hockey team, our second hockey team, you know, was the Thrashers Of course. We’ve got United Alright, Atlanta United we’ve talked about them a lot.
Rob Broadfoot 4:56
the dream the Atlanta Dream. WNBA team.
Don Mock 4:59
Yes, absolutely. We’ve also got some of the professional lacrosse I believe the GA swarm. Isn’t the is it lacrosse?
Rob Broadfoot 5:10
Yeah, I think that’s the lacrosse team.
Don Mock 5:11
Yeah. The GA swarm.
Rob Broadfoot 5:12
Admittedly not a not a huge lacrosse man.
Don Mock 5:14
Yeah. I mean, hey, we’re trying to be inclusive and not not stick to just the big four, the big five. But of all the sports brands, I guess, what’s your kind of favorite brand or name or would like Well, forget about performance, and if they won or lost or anything, I just in terms of like, branding what do you think
Rob Broadfoot 5:33
to me, it’s one of the great sports branding success stories. Certainly that I can think of. And I would say that, arguably, it’s it’s, it’s accepted as one of those and I would say it’s, it was the sort of the birth of Atlanta United. In terms of a brand. I mean, you had, you know, obviously we we had nothing. Yeah, I mean, historically, speaking from this, we’re talking about the soccer team Atlanta United if anybody doesn’t know, MLS team. Historically, we had, you know, we had the Atlanta chiefs. Yeah. And we flirted with soccer in the past. But it really wasn’t until Arthur Blank, who owns the Falcons as well came along and decided to bring MLS team to Atlanta and that launched, obviously, a full campaign for the name. They did you know, the crowdsource name, remember that? They crowdsource all the name and the logo and the kits and everything that comes along with it. Yeah. And I think that you had a lot, it was kind of the perfect storm, meaning not only I think, is the design, great and the whole look and the feel of everything great, but I think maybe more importantly, how they rolled it out and how they implemented the brand strategy and the brand launch is What made it so successful. And What I mean by that is the front office from day one, Don and I were both founding members. So as soon as they announced, hey, we got a team we got in line for season tickets. We are all in. And as soon as you did that, just the stream of communications from the front office and everything they did leading up to it, were sending you little prizes in the mail.
Don Mock 5:33
Rob Broadfoot 5:44
It was was amazingly well executed. Yeah. And so I think by the time the first match rolled around, which was an interesting story in and of itself, then of course, of course, we’re building Mercedes Benz Stadium, which is where Atlanta United was gonna play that was delayed because it’s, I don’t know, ginormous.
Don Mock 7:27
Rob Broadfoot 7:28
And has the world’s largest retractable roof.
Don Mock 7:30
There was something with the steel. You remember, all this stuff. Yeah, exactly.
Rob Broadfoot 7:36
So subsequently ended up playing the very first games at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd stadium and everybody, I think at first was like, oh, yeah, this isn’t
Don Mock 7:46
This isn’t what I thought It was gonna be
Rob Broadfoot 7:50
We’ll come to find out that was and I am off on a tangent now.
Don Mock 7:53
Alright. I’m here for it
Rob Broadfoot 7:54
That was probably the best thing that could have happened to because all of a sudden you’re in Atlanta. You’re staring at downtown Atlanta. Yeah, you’ve got amazing tailgates with the supporters, groups involved Everybody’s marching into the Stadium together and despite the fact that you couldn’t really get a beer anywhere the camaraderie everybody stood up the entire time it was jam packed.
Don Mock 8:19
Oh, goosebumps while you’re telling the story right now.
Rob Broadfoot 8:21
And it was and it was incredible.
Don Mock 8:22
Yeah, the vibe was so unreal.
Rob Broadfoot 8:25
It was amazing. So it didn’t even take and I think a lot of that, again, had to do with the marketing strategy and the build up and the launch and the rollout. And how well, it was executed. Now you also had, Atlanta was ripe for it. I mean, soccer has grown just by leaps and bounds in popularity over the past two decades, really, and Atlanta has always had such a strong youth soccer program or just historically that they were coming of age. And it was time to participate. Yeah,
Don Mock 8:55
yeah. Plus, I think what’s interesting to note about United coming into such a booming metropolitan area is that we do have a lot of transplants. You know, myself being i Even I’ve been here 20 some years. You know, there’s a lot of people that came with existing baggage, like you mentioned, I’m a Steeler fan. I’m a fan of this baseball team or that whatever, right? But United is new, there’s no conflicts with anything else. I live here, You know What I mean? Like, I’m into sports, I’m gonna go check it out, you know, and it was an accessible price point, super fun product. You know, well put together messaging strategy brand everything
Rob Broadfoot 9:30
and soccer is such an international sport. We have a great international population in Atlanta too. So everybody could embrace it. There’s no reason not to love for sure. Right.
Don Mock 9:42
Alright, so So United is your favorite.
Rob Broadfoot 9:44
That’s probably my favorite. Okay. And then we had a dominant team and went out to win the cup. We wont to talk about the state of state of affair now
Don Mock 9:52
we’re in the doldrums right now. I mean, it’s cyclical. I do remember turning to my oldest that that went to cup and was like you have got to enjoy this right now because this, although it feels like this is going to happen every year, it doesn’t happen. Yeah. I mean it’s it’s and the love and joy in that building when we did. It was unreal. You were there with your dad was
Rob Broadfoot 10:14
I was with my dad Yeah you were there with your daughter and I was there with my dad.
Don Mock 10:17
Yeah, it was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. So I mean,
Rob Broadfoot 10:20
To go from zero to that
Don Mock 10:23
Yeah, was pretty legit, man. pretty legit. Yeah. All right. Well, I’m gonna I’m gonna throw a wrench in a monkey wrench a monkey wrench in the machine. I don’t even know What I’m saying. But from a brand perspective of Atlanta sports teams, I’m going to kick it to a team that doesn’t even exist anymore. And say Fire hockey right ot the flames excuse me the flames. Yeah, the flames. I know the flames left Atlanta and moved to Calgary. Right. North of the Border
Rob Broadfoot 10:52
I don’t remember when they moved.
Don Mock 10:54
Yeah, I wasn’t here when that happened But I would say of all so like United. It’s a great story. Don’t get me wrong, there was a little bit and I’m a believer, and I’m a season ticket holder. And I love United, you know, there was a little bit of HA, we picked a name that is very prevalent in the soccer community. You know What I mean? Now, that ties into the whole brand story of how Atlanta is international that you mentioned and it is a coming together of all the different things and we are united, that’s What makes it so great, you know, and the fact that they executed against that so well definitely lives up to it. But I think from a brand perspective, the fact that hey, we started off as pot saying it’s hot as can be right. Hockey in the south hockey is obviously a cold, you know, northern ice, you know, like all that good stuff. Right? So I love the fact that you go against. Yeah, you go against, you know, the common convention. Right. And it’s like no, hey, we are the flames You know? And yeah, it’s hot down here. We’re gonna brace it. We got this cool. Yeah. And we got this cool. A logo that’s got the flame and
Rob Broadfoot 11:55
It was a cool logo.
Don Mock 11:56
Yeah, I mean, so even though I wasn’t here to appreciate all that I still love the throwbacks. I love that narrative. You know, I don’t know how successful the team was here when they were when they play.
Rob Broadfoot 12:07
I’m not gonna lie. I think I went to more Thrashers games than I did flames games. Yeah, by that I mean, 2 games. So I don’t remember the All that said, I don’t remember how successful
Don Mock 12:18
Yeah so I was at West when the sharks expanded in the Bay Area. And there was no hockey in the Bay Area. I mean, there were the kings down in LA, always worked because because Gretzky, right, was there for a little blip. And I remember being out there and The Sharks, you know, and everybody thought it was so awesome. It was like, Oh, my God, this is great. So and then cut to I was working at Turner when Ted bought in when Ted Stallone. And he bought into that that franchise into the NHL, and was hey, we’re bringing it back. And I was actually at CNN Center when they announced the name and everything. And Here’s the jerseys and stuff like that was actually really, really cool. And everyone was like, oh, that’s the state bird. Like nobody even knew it was pretty funny. And so I love the Thrashers man, I was like, Oh, I just want like if they can just win just just get in there just win you know like Atlanta is gonna catch pun intended here. Atlanta is gonna catch fire for hockey because it is so much fun it and it translates so terribly to TV.
Rob Broadfoot 12:18
Oh it’s horrible they’ve tried everything they’ve tried to like highlight around Yeah,
Don Mock 12:30
I think there was like a microchip in there or something and then it was What it was about the the tail too was like if you hit it fast if it gets like a little Yeah, Yeah, like Tron or whatever. Right. So I mean, it just doesn’t it doesn’t correlate to television at all,
Rob Broadfoot 13:39
and the South, the south. We just don’t love hockey.
Don Mock 13:43
But there’s so many Northerners here,
Rob Broadfoot 13:45
But the people who love hockey, love hockey. So when you went to a Thrashers game, and you’ve got a funny anecdote to tell on a second about going to a game together, but when you went I mean, you have a die hard community of Thrasher fans. I mean, when you went to the to the game, it was like. They were diehard.
Don Mock 14:04
Yeah, the fact that there’s a there’s a narrative out there that Atlanta didn’t support the Thrashers and
Rob Broadfoot 14:09
I think that’s wrong.
Don Mock 14:09
part of the reason why they moved is total malarkey. Never on the bottom of the League of attendance. There’s a whole nother there’s a whole nother podcast series, honestly, probably about Atlanta spirit group and how they screwed over right, the fans and how they relocated to Winnipeg, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But But yeah, I did love going to Thrashers games. Those were super fun. I used to go with my father in law all the time, and we would get a whole pizza. And he’d keep it on his lap. So it keeps them warm and warm. Yeah, exactly. if you want it, yeah.
Rob Broadfoot 14:11
Tell the tale.
Don Mock 14:40
Oh, my God. So we go. It’s the two of us and our oldest daughters. So it’s the four of us and we say, hey, We’re going to the game. You know, super awesome. And I think they got t shirts. I mean, we’re all in.
Rob Broadfoot 14:53
We’re all in. We’re on the board.
Don Mock 14:56
I mean, yeah, we’re right down there and one of the corners, you know, just a few rows back. Super fun. I don’t remember the team they’re playing. Do you remember What team? I think Rob Blake was I think Rob lake was on the opposing team though, because that dude had a wicked slap shot anyway. So we’re there. And it’s, you know, they got a lot of stuff going on, like there’s fire blowing up in the Thrashers. They have. At the time they had a mascot guy thrash, I think, like, you know, just like how the Hawks have hairy the hawk. They have a guy that’s running around the audience. You know, the crowd is, I mean, they got all sorts of things happening outside of just hockey, right. So there’s a lot to take in. So our little girls, I mean, how old? How old was like six? Yeah, so somewhere in there six, six or seven ish, right? Yeah. So we’re rocking it down there. You got Zamboni is in between, you know, I mean, there’s all sorts of things happening, right? So the actions going on, pucks are flying. And dude, I don’t know What happened. There was the crazy slapshot shot on goal hits a guy right in the face. Yeah. Okay. And we both thought it like you could hear it. We thought that his eyeball exploded. Yeah, right. So he gets boom, hit right in the face immediately drops like a sack of potatoes. And dude, there is blood everywhere. Everywhere. It is gushing out of this guy’s face.
Rob Broadfoot 16:10
Blood everywhere not exaggerated.
Don Mock 16:13
I mean, it was I’ve never seen something like that live in my life. It was unbelievable. And both of us immediately just we reach over put the hands right over. You know, the girls faces and we’re like look at that over there. Look at that over there. And it’s Hey, Dad, what’s going on? Oh, my God, look, it’s time for frozen lemonades. Let’s get on out of here. You know, like, where’s thrash when you need them? You know, like, and then they brought out the, like the ice patrol or the ice lake? Remember that? They’re
Rob Broadfoot 16:44
Immediately immediately in that little corner. The lights went off
Don Mock 16:50
Yeah. Oh, that’s right.
Rob Broadfoot 16:51
They turn off all the lights. Yeah, yeah. And then when the lights went on, and the other end? Yeah. And here come the dancers.
Don Mock 16:58
Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. And it’s everybody. Look over there.
Rob Broadfoot 17:01
They bring out the dancers and they bust into a routine and you know, people are sweeping up blood. I mean, walking over here in the darkness
Don Mock 17:07
It was insane. So I mean, the next day, I remember like, we got to look up What happened to that guy. And yeah, to your point. It was it was his orbital. He fractured, like fractured his whole face. Yeah. Like, you know, and this was still I mean, I don’t know if he had a visor or went under his I mean,
Rob Broadfoot 17:22
I don’t remember but it was nasty.
Don Mock 17:23
It was the gnarly, but, but hey, it’s the reason why people watch NASCAR. Hockey’s incredible man. I used to think that football players were hands down the toughest until I started going to hockey because those guys are skating backwards? Faster than anyone can run forwards and they are getting smashed into walls?
Rob Broadfoot 17:47
Like, yeah, they’re flying. Yeah, You’ve got a crazy Russian who wants to kill you
Don Mock 17:52
have Gani such and such guys coming after you. Yeah. So. So yeah, I mean, I always just loved I always just love the flames. You know, I just thought that I thought that brand was cool. I thought it really worked for the marketplace. You know, like if we want to keep the hockey theme going. I know we’re talking about Atlanta right now. But I would say Seattle coming in with a new team and branding that the Kraken. Right is another great like no, What like, What I love about the flames is that it’s unique to hear because the heat right like you can’t have the Kraken in Oklahoma right you need the body of water on or you need the whole you know,
Rob Broadfoot 18:26
well Seattle’s great sports town branding wise I mean they I remember going out to see it before before flipping it back to soccer going out there so a friend of mine lived out there and going out there to see the Sounders play, and and I remember we went out there’s like, let’s catch a sounders games. That’s great. So you go out there and everybody meets down by the bars and same thing they have a walk and here goes the march and we’re all marching and that the and their merch looks awesome. And I remember that experience and just being like, Whoa, this is they have done this, right. This thing is packed.
Don Mock 18:59
They still pack them in.
Rob Broadfoot 19:00
And we learned a lot from them. And we got to find out we studied. Oh, yeah, they were the they were the blueprint. Now we’re the blueprint
Don Mock 19:07
and we just beated them to
So yeah, I mean, Atlanta sports. I mean,
Rob Broadfoot 19:17
we haven’t talked about the Falcons.
Don Mock 19:18
I was gonna say we haven’t even really talked about the Falcons. I mean, I don’t What can you say I think great. Brand in general great, great logo and stuff. Like I mean, they dressed it up, man that Yeah, I mean, they’re throwbacks honestly look better than their current unis. I think you know, the old red helmets. I mean, the Falcons I don’t have any great commentary.
Rob Broadfoot 19:42
Unfortunately, their team and the performance and specifically one epic meltdown Kind of overshadowed Yeah,
Don Mock 19:47
Yeah 28 to 3. It’s just that’s unfortunately What they are right now. They gotta break that they gotta break
Rob Broadfoot 19:53
they gotta break that somehow. but the Braves. The Braves have been great. Just sort of a crazy story. I mean, are they the Atlanta Braves anymore? Because they’ve moved because they moved out of the city and they moved around, you know, so much to so many places in and out of the city that there’s been a lot a little bit of controversy, right. Yeah, but a great team. I mean, you look at the Braves back in the 80s when you had like, I think about growing up with like, Cordell Washington and Bob Warner and Dale Murphy and Dale Murphy and all those guys
Don Mock 20:21
the Braves are classic. Yeah, no, no rubber no issues with the Braves. I mean, it’s not you know, it’s not uncommon now for sports teams to not live in the epicenter. I mean, well, yeah. I mean, you had the picture. like the New York teams play in New Jersey, you know Reiners play in Santa Clara. I mean, it’s it’s you know, I don’t hold that against the Atlanta Braves you know?
Rob Broadfoot 20:46
No, and it’s a great park out there
Don Mock 20:48
Phenomenal place so yeah, I don’t know drop us a note I guess and let us know What your favorite Atlanta sports team is or brand or whatever. Yeah,
Rob Broadfoot 20:58
but right now it’s the tsunami under 15 girls volleyball team another big one to watch yes
Don Mock 21:05
Rob Broadfoot 21:05
maybe a sleeper this season I don’t know we’ll see
Don Mock 21:09
Well, I hear they have a superstar striker is there a striker What positions I don’t know What volleyball position there are
Rob Broadfoot 21:13
She is an outside setter , outside setter
Don Mock 21:16
Okay. All right. All right. Go outside setting. Hey, somebody’s got to set up the big spike.
Rob Broadfoot 21:21
That’s right. You know, not tall enough to be the hitter the broad feet are not a tall people. Is
Don Mock 21:27
that What it’s called? The hitter. Okay. All right. I feel like it should have a better name
Rob Broadfoot 21:31
I know like spike
Don Mock 21:32
Striker or something borrowed from soccer. Yeah, all right.
Rob Broadfoot 21:37
Anyway we digress. Yeah Atlanta sports. We could talk about it for for days on end. Yeah, but yeah, send us your thoughts favorite teams, thoughts, brands, all that kind of good stuff. And you can find us where Don
Don Mock 21:48
on the interwebs Yeah. www.mocktheagency.com and the socials on the socials at @mocktheagency and we did just reserve our blue sky account.
Rob Broadfoot 21:59
Big news. Big news
Don Mock 22:00
things things could be happening over there. With their with their 10s of followers over on
Rob Broadfoot 22:06
dozens of followers.
Don Mock 22:07
Yeah, exactly. Fun times.
Rob Broadfoot 22:10
All right. We’re closing in on 100 Only five more episodes,
Don Mock 22:13
I know. I’m nervous. Something’s gonna explode at 100. confetti.
Rob Broadfoot 22:19
It’s gonna awesome. It’s gonna be a 100 minute podcast I don’t know. Alright everybody we’ll talk you next time.