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‘I Hope You’re Ready for Some Walking’


Sep 11, 2023

The Charlotte Sports Foundation’s Duke’s Mayo Classic featuring UNC vs. USC was one of the early-season neutral-site games. Danny Morrison, the executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, is seen walking down South Mint Street, full of energy and clutching a cup of unsweetened tea. Despite being 69 years old, Morrison is an avid walker and remains active through his love for tennis. He walks five miles daily and maintains a brisk pace as he heads to the “College GameDay” set at 7:53 a.m.

Morrison and his team have spent months preparing for the game, holding meetings with sponsors and coordinating with city and Carolina Panthers officials. This high-profile Week 1 matchup between North Carolina and South Carolina is part of a modern trend in college football, where neutral-site games featuring top nonconference opponents have become more common.

As “College GameDay” begins at 9 a.m., Morrison and his team are pleased with the growing crowd of fans in Romare Bearden Park. Among the people that greet Morrison is Joe Tuza, the President of Duke’s Mayo, with whom Morrison has worked closely since Duke’s Mayo became the primary sponsor of the Belk Bowl. This partnership has led to viral moments and increased brand recognition for Duke’s Mayo.

After the show begins, Morrison continues to navigate the logistical challenges of the day. He greets Darius Rucker, the celebrity guest-picker, who asks for a satellite feed for the TVs on his bus. Morrison then leads a group that includes Tuza and Will Pitts, the CSF’s Chief Operating Officer, onto the field before the game begins, savoring the moments as the stadium comes to life.

As the day progresses and the streets surrounding the stadium become flooded with fans, Morrison changes into a new outfit to maintain his neutrality between the two teams. He continues to move around the stadium, ensuring that everything is in place for the pregame festivities. Power brokers and celebrities gravitate towards Morrison as kickoff approaches, and he joins Tuza and others for the coin toss.

Finally, at 10:10 p.m., after a long day, Morrison sits down in his suite to watch the game. The content does not continue beyond this point.

By Editor

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