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Volume 27 No. 30
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Weekend Plans With Bespoke Sports & Entertainment’s Mike Boykin

Boykin this week has been able to swing by the "SEC Nation" set several times ahead of UT-WVU
Photo: BESPOKE

The college football season is here, and even the most hardcore fan may have trouble rivaling Bespoke Sports & Entertainment CEO MIKE BOYKIN's enthusiasm. Boykin is not shy about his fandom, and this weekend he's ready to see his South Carolina Gamecocks open the season strong against Coastal Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium. But before Boykin heads south from Charlotte, there's a good bit of business to take care of. Boykin has spent the week making sure his team is ready to activate its official SEC sponsorships and entertain clients and VIP guests on behalf of Pilot Flying J and Academy Sports + Outdoors, as the SEC season also kicks off Saturday afternoon with West Virginia-Tennessee at Bank of America Stadium. Boykin caught up with THE DAILY ahead of the weekend festivities to talk about his prep for Bespoke's clients, his deep ties to South Carolina and how he'll wind down on Labor Day after a heavy dose of pigskin.

PLAYER INTRODUCTIONS: Wednesday morning I was walking by Romare Bearden Park (where "SEC NATION" will film this weekend) and noticed the setup for the show had already started. Friday our clients move in for their activation, and our team will also be over there just making sure everything is where it needs to be. We'll go by and meet the talent, have a couple meet-and-greets with VIPs and do a tour that afternoon to show them how it all came to life. It's unique that WVU-UT is in Charlotte this week because there isn't an SEC team here, but we're excited. Heck, it's in our backyard just three blocks away. I can just walk over and see how we're doing. A couple of our partners are also from Knoxville, and they'll be coming to town, so that'll be fun for them. Then a couple of folks from our team will go to dinner with our clients and hit the BRAD PAISLEY concert Friday night as part of the Belk Tailgate ahead of the game. Then Saturday morning our team will be out there at about 6:30am to go through the last-minute training and pep talk and all that.

ROAD WARRIOR: I'll sneak out hopefully by about 9:00 Saturday morning and get my butt down to Columbia (about a 90-minute drive) for a quick tailgate with my beloved Gamecocks family. We've been doing this for longer than dirt and I'll behave, I won't go crazy. Hopefully the Gamecocks have a pretty good lead at the end of the third quarter and I'll scoot back up to Charlotte, check in with the clients and find a reason to celebrate or commiserate depending on the outcome of the game. Then early Sunday morning I'll get up at the crack of dawn and head down to Isle of Palms where we have a beach home. I've got a few details to wrap up down there from the summer and then I'll watch the Miami-LSU game that night. Monday I'll go on the beach with my dogs and some friends and then head back to Charlotte to get back to work for a short but super-busy week. This is the time of year I live for and it's also a great time of year for our business.

IN THE MEANTIME: I used to play golf before I started this business but now I think I've played four times in four years. I do walk over 6 miles a day, I've been on a health kick the last couple years so now I'm like Forrest damn Gump. I can do pull-ups now after probably not being able to do one for 20 years. I love the water, pool or ocean, I'm absolutely happy to be there. I'm a dog-lover, too. I've got a lab and a Jack Russell who both boss me around pretty good. I really enjoy my time in Charleston as well. If I'm not at the house or in the ocean there's plenty of great places and people to spend time with, especially a lot of sports execs who either have second homes or are already retired there. So I see a lot of friends from my past when in town and never have a hard time finding a great restaurant or cold beverage.

Know of someone you’d like to see featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot an email to tleary@sportsbusinessdaily.com.