As a Coca-Cola employee, I had to make a stop at the Final Four Fan Fest: Bracket Town. Last Friday, before all the big crowds arrived, I took a stroll through the event to experience the “madness” before it got too busy to take pictures.

Even before I entered the Georgia World Congress Center, where Bracket Town is located, I could already tell this was where the weekend action would be taking place. People were starting to meander on to the park grounds and were taking pictures of all the fun NCAA signs and structures. The quiet was strange, knowing that in just a few hours this part of town would become an epicenter of activity and sound.

World Congress Center

Leaving the parking deck, the first thing I noticed was this large Fan Fest sign leading me to my destination.  Note the classic Coca-Cola drink station set-up in front of it.

Final Four

Just down from the Georgia World Congress Center, the giant NCAA statue was luring people over for pictures in front of the Dome, too.

Final Four 2013

Since I knew my destination, I made it there pretty quickly.  Before long, I was walking into Bracket Town! The entrance had large blue screens displaying all sorts of fun Final Four images.

Coke Zero

I’m officially in!

final four

The first section you see when you walk inside is Coca-Cola Zero’s entertainment center to the left. Lots going on here with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, several basketball courts, basketball games and pictures, and even a Coca-Cola Zero and Powerade tasting station.

bracket town

While watching some of the kids playing basketball, old and young, I met Dillon Bender, a freshman at Anderson University in South Carolina (who was playing basketball, too). He was in town with his mom and dad. His father is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).  They told me that they were here to enjoy both games over the weekend and that depending on the results of those games, they may even come back Monday night for the final!

“I’m excited to meet a lot of people and absorb the atmosphere,” Bender said. “It’s building up the anticipation – everything going on right around the Dome.”

And who is Dillon routing for this weekend? Michigan. Looks like he’ll be coming back tonight for the final!

Bracket Town

Of course I stopped by the tasting area for a cold drink and met some of the Coca-Cola Zero weekend volunteers. They were so excited to be helping out and asked me all about working for The Coca-Cola Company.

bracket town

I grabbed a snapshot of the group who chatted with me—good looking crew.

coke zero picture

On my way out of the Coca-Cola Zero zone, I couldn’t resist my one opportunity to be above the basketball rim. I’m dunking! ;-)

final four 2013

I took a nice stroll around the rest of Bracket Town. As you can see, more people were starting to arrive! Lots of sponsors had their spaces set up with different activities in each section. Sirius XM was down by the Buick Arena, CBS Atlanta was there reporting on the action and of course there was a Dunk Zone.

final four 2013

One picture opportunity I couldn’t pass up was a shot with the NCAA Men’s Final Four trophy. Clearly I was excited.

Of course you know what they say about good things not lasting forever? While I couldn’t stay long, as I headed out I felt like I had a good feel for the celebration to come and had secured my Final Four experience. Did you get to visit Bracket Town? Let me know what I missed in the comments!

Hope everyone enjoyed the Final Four weekend in Atlanta. Can’t believe it’s finals day.

Mallory Perkins is a Social Media Analyst at The Coca-Cola Company.