Battle At Bristol - Trophy Club

It was the morning of the 2016 Daytona 500 and I had just opened the doors of the NASCAR Hub to welcome our first guests. It was then when a longtime friend and former customer, Greg (Chipper) Harvey from Bristol Motor Speedway, stopped by. Chipper and I caught up on old times and talked about some of my recent successes including the custom hospitality environments that I have been creating. It was during this conversation that Chipper invited me to come to Bristol, Tennessee, the following week to look at a building the Speedway had recently purchased. They intended to convert it into a Special Events venue for their upcoming football game—the Battle at Bristol.


The following Friday I found myself in Bristol attending a meeting with Chipper and Bristol Motor Speedway President, Jerry Caldwell.  We were outlining starting the development process of what would become  the Trophy Club at Bristol Motor Speedway.


The team at AWESOME developed a thematic that was emblematic of an event that would soon become the World’s Largest College football game (serving 156,990 guests) as well as a marque experience for guests looking to tailgate before kickoff. Our production team handled every element of this experience including logo creation, brand development, event layout, subcontractor procurement, talent management, and ultimately guest relations. The team at Bristol Motor Speedway gave us complete control and treated us like full-time employees tasked with hosting their guests.


The success that we were able to achieve wouldn’t have been possible without assembling a diverse team of professionals that respectively added their special sauce to create a truly unique affair. Each one of us took something different away from the experience; therefore, I asked each AWESOME team member to share their favorite moment from this epic event.


  • Cassie Brickman, AWESOME Producer

    • Leading up to the event and during load-in I was unsure of what to expect on event day.  I wasn't sure if fans would come in and use their food and drink tickets and head out, be no-shows all together, or if we would have a packed house.  I know that as a football fan myself, there are so many friends to see on game day that it is difficult to stay in one place for very long. I was pleasantly surprised when at 3:00PM fans started to line-up and were anxious to enjoy their experience.  Then, I was completely blown away when we opened the doors 15 minutes early and had a constant line at the entry point for well over two hours—it was fabulous. The best part, however, was the spirit of these fans.  When the Tennessee Pride of the Southland Band came marching in the energy was indescribable.  People were standing on their chairs, cheering, yelling, dancing, singing, and having fun.  Everything else stopped and the band was the show!  It was fun and exhilarating and set the tone for the rest of the day!  
  • Fatimah Adams, AWESOME Stage Manager

    • People were incredibly excited about meeting and listening to the coaches and players as they shared their thoughts and experiences. The band, cheer squad, and stage programing team kept the fans entertained throughout the day and created some very special pre-gaming moments. The signage looked great, and as IM Creative likes to say, it was a "cheap" and cheerful way to transform the space. The decor helped elevate the event and turned a lackluster venue into a vibrant, lively event space.
  • Chris Epperly, AWESOME Talent Manager

    • Working the VIP room can oftentimes can be a drag. After all, who exactly are the VIP's? Who are their handlers? How many guests are they bringing with them (and do they ALL have to be backstage?)? This weekend's Trophy Club experience, however, was different. It was unique and by far my most memorable moment. Think about this: Imagine sitting backstage, in our VIP room, at a table with former Virginia Tech Head Football Coach Frank Beamer and Former Tennessee Head Coach Phil Fulmer. Combined, both coaches have 432 D1 Wins. (#justsaying) Then, throw in NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace and you've got one "helluva" backstage VIP party! What was said backstage, stays backstage, but I can promise you, the conversations were something I will never forget!
  • Emily Glen, AWESOME Designer

    • My favorite part of this event was seeing the designs come to life. I spent so much time working on them behind the scenes, and to really see the space transform per our team's vision was amazing. Our goal was to make the space immersive and exciting—and I think we exceeded that goal! I continue to be impressed by the talent we have assembled at AWESOME and my favorite part of this and every event is working side-by-side with people who love what they do and prove it through the quality of their work. I appreciate the team from Bristol Motor Speedway (Jerry, Chipper, and Anthony) for allowing us to be a small part of this very big event.



Michael Verlatti

AWESOME Strategist / sales / operations / & giver outer of drink tickets. 



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