The Georgia Swarm held its first annual Ultimate Fan Experience contest this past summer. Thousands of contestants entered for a chance to win a multitude of prizes, highlighted by an all-expenses-paid trip out with the Swarm to a select road game.
Alpharetta-resident Jason Sautner won the contest and elected to bring his son, Rowan, with him to Georgia’s road game against the New England Black Wolves on Sunday, March 12. The pair also received two on-the-glass season tickets for 2017, custom Swarm jerseys with their own names and numbers, and behind-the-scenes access throughout the season.
Jason and Rowan flew up with the team on Friday, March 10, and they joined the players during practice the next day. Rowan got to pass the ball around with the players – including his favorite player Lyle Thompson – and even took some shots on goal against Swarm goalies.
“It was a really cool experience,” Jason said. “They were awesome to my son and myself. Everyone here, the staff was very polite. We just had a great time getting to know everyone.”
On gameday, Jason and Rowan rode on the team bus to the game and were treated to the behind-the-scenes action, highlighted by sitting by the Swarm’s bench on floor-level.
“To see the sport and how fast they are: catching, passing, everything, their stick skills,” Jason said about what he noticed being down with the team during the game, “You don’t get to see that when you’re up a little higher.”
After spending a weekend with his new friends, Rowan left with a plethora of autographs and photos that will last a lifetime.
“He’ll never forget it, a day he’ll never forget,” Jason said. “Like I said, every player was really cool and enjoyed meeting him, and everyone signed it. He was really excited to have that experience.”
“It was great,” assistant captain Shayne Jackson said about having the Sautners around all weekend. “Rowan’s a good little kid … All-in-all, I think it was a good trip for him, and I hope he had fun.”
“Rowan and his father Jason were great,” head coach Ed Comeau said. “… It was a great experience for Rowan. He was really part of the team … They certainly got the Ultimate Fan Experience. They got to see what it was like with the airplanes, buses, and everything else. They were great. Rowan seemed to really enjoy himself. It was great that they got to share that experience with all of us.”
Stay tuned this summer for more details about the Swarm's 2018 Ultimate Fan Experience contest!