Jesse Cole: Sports Business Done (Very) Differently - Work in Sports e140

Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas baseball team does things differently, but not just for the sake of being different, he's pushing for new. Listen in to this episode and get ready for a different perspective on sports business. 

Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast.

I think over my years in the sports industry and in business in general, I have a pretty good BS detector. I can usually tell when someone is less than they project themselves to be. Or they are all flash and no substance.a different approach to sports business

These people exist everywhere. They live by the fake it til you make it mantra, they try to blind you with their smile or their louder than life personality, or their command of the room…but deep inside when push comes to shove they don’t have the ability to get the job done.

As someone who has interviewed hundreds of job applicants over the years, this is one of my big fears…that someone will sell me on their image rather than their substance and ability. I’m always very leery of people like this, and the cynical side of me comes through, fully expecting it to be nothing more than an act.

I always envision the clown at the kids party who is all energy and excited and engaged and funny…and then you see him in the backroom smoking a cigarette and looking at porn on his phone. It’s all just an act.

You can’t afford to be fooled by these people. You have to have a good BS detector and question things. Which is what I did leading into my interview with Jesse Cole founder of Fans First Entertainment and the owner of the Savannah Bananas collegiate bummer league baseball team.

Just speaking honestly here – I saw Jesse, at first, as a gimmick. The yellow Tux and the over the top personality….it can’t be real, it can’t be authentic and genuine….and he can’t really know what he’s doing. I saw all this glitz and glamour and dancing grannies and thought to myself, his 15 minutes of ESPN fame will run out and the Bananas will be out of business in 5 years.

I know that makes me sound like a bad person… but I’m just not that trusting with flashy people, I’ve seen it, and been let down by it, too many times.

I was wrong. And here’s why – Jesse mixes the enthusiasm and spirit with underlying business principles that work. Sure he does things differently, and never saw a camera or microphone he didn’t love, but in a lot of ways the over-the-top promotional elements and the uniquely yellow wardrobe is just the cover of the book…and we all know not to judge a book by it’s cover.

Jesse’s book, and I mean it in the figurative sense, not literally his Amazon best selling book “Find Your Yellow Tux”, is chock full of substance and vision and eagerness and fire.

So here he is, Jesse Cole owner of the Savannah Bananas baseball team… I can’t tell you enough, listen to the details of what he has accomplished


Listen in to the podcast to learn more about Jesse Cole and his unique approach to sports business

By Brian Clapp | December 12, 2018
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