Fans First, Entertain Always

The Savannah Bananas started drawing crowds in 2015 — now Jesse and Emily Cole are revealing their secrets in their Fans First Experience Workshop.

The Savannah Bananas started drawing crowds for their antics and shenanigans in 2015 after Jesse and Emily Cole bought the team. They created a buzz by trying all manner of hilarious gags and gimmicks. Some worked (the player’s dance routine), some failed (poster-sized tickets), but all of them got people talking.

Now, Jesse and Emily along with President Jared Orton are taking their show on the road, or to the boardroom to be more exact. It may seem like the pranks and comedy sketches are improvised and haphazard — that’s intentional. In fact, there’s a method behind the madness — and it’s a method they believe all businesses can implement to set themselves apart in memorable, if not always harebrained ways. 

Jesse explains, “Everything is about the experience. What are your customers saying when they experience your product? Are they saying anything? I believe a lot of companies don’t try new things. They do the same thing over and over again. So we experiment. Sometimes we fail, and then we learn.”

The team is hosting Fans First Experience Workshops to share their method with businesspeople in vastly different industries — real estate, travel, home services, business services, and construction were some of the fields represented at their trial run. “This is our opportunity to bring our Fans First philosophy to the world,” says Jesse. 

On Day One of the workshop, they guide participants through a customer journey mapping process, pinpointing ways they can create moments for their clients or “fans” that blow the competition out of the water. 

On Day Two, the participants, a group of business owners and director-level leaders, sit at rapt attention as a group of three 20-somethings — full-time Bananas staff who report to Jesse, Emily, and Jared — give credence to the methods spelled out the previous day. They talk about Fans First moments and the company culture, of course, but what’s striking is their confidence and ease. Self-possessed is a word that comes to mind. It makes sense when you understand that their personal and professional development is at the heart of what “Fans First” truly means. 

“ This is our opportunity to bring our Fans First philosophy to the world.”

“We talk a lot about mapping the experience for customers, but our number one fans are our people,” Emily says. They are the remarkable product of an organization that puts its biggest fans — its staff — first. Their performance, more than the wild and entertaining game-time show, is proof that the Banana’s method truly works. 

The next Fans First Experience Workshop is scheduled for late July, and like all Bananas games, tickets are selling fast. Click here to learn what “Fans First” truly means. 

If you're a fan, it's not too late to join in on the Savannah phenom at