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Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan Delivers Huge Hits Once Again

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan 2013 incorporated more new elements, more Titans players and more teamwork from throughout the organization to make it the best Titans Caravan ever!

The Caravan rolled nearly 3,000 miles from April 29-May 10, 2013, totaling 49 stops. As the organization continues to take the Titans Caravan to as many places as possible, nearly 50 percent of all stops took place in locations not visited by Titans Caravan in 2012. 

"The 15th Titans Caravan was very special for us," said Don MacLachlan, longtime Titans executive vice-president for administration and facilities. "We were proud to take many different elements of our organization straight to our great Titans fans throughout the region. Titans Caravan helps us to show our appreciation for the wonderful support that we receive year-in, year-out. We remain overwhelmed by our fan base and are constantly looking for ways to improve and expand Titans Caravan!"


One way that the Titans did this* *was to host a series of football chats immediately after the NFL draft, utilizing the resources of the Titans Caravan and the industrious Titans ticket office staff. Titans season ticket members were invited to special events at five different venues, hearing inside viewpoints from the likes of Titans general manager Ruston Webster, head coach Mike Munchak, coordinators Jerry Gray and Dowell Loggains and senior defensive assistant Gregg Williams. Titans captains Jake Locker and Jason McCourty even made special surprise appearances at the events, as did the Titans eight-time Pro Bowl mascot, "T-Rac." More than 2,000 Titans season ticket members received a complimentary meal and heard some great football talk at these special events. 

Locker and McCourty led a star-studded lineup of 16 Titans players who appeared on the Caravan. David Stewart was joined by his bookend at offensive tackle, Michael Roos, as he returned to his native North Alabama and was greeted by family and friends. Safety George Wilson took fellow Titans newcomer Delanie Walker to his hometown of Paducah and received an overwhelming **hero's welcome at Shoe Carnival**, which provided one of the largest stops in recent Titans Caravan history. Other highlights among public stops included huge events at sports complexes in both Cookeville and Jackson, big turnouts at Kroger locations in Bowling Green, Clarksville and Lebanon and an enthusiastic reception in Memphis at Logan's Roadhouse.

Another new wrinkle to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan was a trip to Smokies Park in Kodak, Tenn. Before the Tennessee Smokies hosted the Birmingham Barons, Titans wide receiver Marc Mariani joined local law enforcement officials in addressing the crowd of nearly 5,000 East Tennessee school children. The Smokies were hosting the children as part of their May 9 "Safe Kids Health and Awareness Day." Mariani gave the final speech of the impressive presentation, stressing that making excellent choices in all parts of your life gives you a chance to achieve your dreams.

The Titans' school program was once again a total crowd pleaser. Twenty-two times "The Titans Play 60 Program" was performed, as almost 15,000 children from more than 30 schools heard T-Rac's message of getting up, getting out and getting active. This Titans school program script was originally penned in 2000 by Titans Radio's Larry Stone and Titans mascot coordinator Pete Nelson. Today's version of the Titans school program still includes its original messages, but has also grown to include the NFL's No. 1 mantra to kids about getting active. 

"The feedback we've received from many of the school administrators is very positive, and we look forward to continuing to encourage our youth to have an active lifestyle to be aware of proper nutrition," Titans vice president of Community Relations Bob Hyde said. 

Hyde has overseen the school program since its inception.

"An important element in the success of our school program is the key role played by our friends from the Tennessee State Parks," Hyde said. "Three of their rangers traveled with us during the entire caravan and they were joined by rangers from nearby state parks to share all that was available at nearby parks. They also introduced the students, as well as Titans fans at our public stops, to several different species of wildlife found in Tennessee. The most popular of those species was a bald eagle, who was injured and is now cared for by park rangers."

Long-time team partner Academy Sports + Outdoors became the namesake sponsor of Titans Caravan and, with that, added their special brand of enthusiasm and organization to a Titans tradition. Five caravan stops took place at Academy Sports + Outdoors locations throughout the region and each was a rousing success. Look for an even bigger role for Academy Sports + Outdoors in Titans Caravans to come!

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