about us

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Jesse Cole

Jesse Cole founded Fans First Entertainment back in 2011. Since then, Fans First Entertainment has acquired the Gastonia Grizzlies and the Martinsville Mustangs; both of which are in the Coastal Plain League.

After serving as General Manager and Managing Partner of the Grizzlies since 2008, Cole purchased the Grizzlies from partner Ken Silver in the fall of 2014.   After the 2014 season, Cole was named the Executive of the Year in the Coastal Plain League.  In Cole’s tenure, the Grizzlies have broken the attendance record in each of his seven years.  The Grizzlies have been recognized regionally and nationally, being named Gaston Gazette’s Person of the Year in 2013, Organization of the Year in the CPL in 2012 and winning best promotion in the country at the Summer Ball Conference in 2010 and 2011.

Fans First Entertainment took over the management of the Martinsville Mustangs in 2012.  In Cole’s first two years in Martinsville the team has broken attendance records and set the all time single game attendance record at Hooker Field.

In 2011 Cole was honored as the Business Person of the Year by the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also received honorable mention for Executive of the Year by Ballpark Digest.

In his many years, Cole has implemented unique features such as the Midnight Madness Game, the Grizzlies Donut Burger and Donut Dog, The Grandma Beauty Pageant, the Great Community Give Back Game, dancing players and Dunk the GM inning in the Dunk Tank.

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Emily McDonald

Emily joined Fans First Entertainment in 2011 after serving as the Director of Community Relations for the Vermont Lake Monsters in the New York-Penn League. Prior to working for the Lake Monsters she worked in the front offices for the Augusta GreenJackets with Ripken Baseball and the Binghamton Mets. Emily graduated from SUNY Oneonta in upstate N.Y. where she studied Communications with concentrations in Marketing and Public Relations.

Emily dedicates most of her time to working with partners, learning about their wants and needs and implementing creative marketing campaigns to fulfill them. By sharing customer service ideas constantly with staff and managing the hiring for all levels, she helps ensure each fan and partner has the best experience possible!

Fans First Entertainment charities works with numerous non-profits each season, raising money which goes directly back to the local community! Emily oversees this program and loves working closely with these groups. She volunteers for many organizations and is on the Board of the YMCA, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, and Relay For Life.

Even when baseball isn’t in season you can see Emily at the ballparks for other events. Fans First Entertainment is often coordinating baseball camps, yard sales, concerts, festivals and tournaments are some of the fun things the teams’ host on weekends throughout the whole year!