January 5, 2018 – MELT Chairman/CEO Vince Thompson will appear with his long-time friend, Paul Finebaum, today at 4:45 p.m. EST on The Paul Finebaum Show – LIVE from The College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta, site of Monday night’s epic national championship showdown between The University of Georgia Bulldogs and The University of Alabama Crimson Tide. Finebaum and Thompson will discuss numerous topics including Atlanta’s undisputed status as the Capital of College Football; record ticket prices for the game; President Donald Trump’s attendance at the game and its impact, and other business topics. Among those, the Disney/Fox acquisition and its impact on college football; how Amazon locating to Atlanta could reshape the game; how the Learfield/IMG College merger will impact the game, the influence that major social media companies will have on the next round of college and conference media rights bidding, how the NFL On-Location acquisition of Primesport and their entry into college sports could affect the game and many others. 

Several weeks ago in sportswriter Tim Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s article on a potential UGA appearance in the national championship game, Thompson “accurately predicted” that ticket prices would be “the highest in history of college football due to emotion and proximity” (UGA’s first appearance in a national championship since 1980) and “that a UGA/UA game would be the most electric crowd in the history of college football.” One of the two has already been proven right (average ticket price for a ‘walk-in’ ticket is $2500) and Monday night on a global stage both Atlanta and the crowd will be seen by a forecasted record viewing and streaming audience. 

Finebaum will be broadcasting live with Laura Rutledge from 2-7 p.m. EST and the broadcast can be seen and heard on SEC Network, Sirius XM, ESPN Radio, ESPN2, the WatchESPN app, The Finebaum Show podcast, and streaming on social media: @meltatl, @vinnyinc, and @finebaum

Finebaum and Thompson met in the early ’80s when Finebaum was first starting his journalism and broadcasting career with The Birmingham Post-Herald and WAPI-AM Radio, and Thompson was a student assistant in the Auburn Sports Information Department during the Pat Dye and Bo Jackson era. Thompson founded MELT in 2000 in Atlanta and MELT is now one of the largest independent sports marketing agencies in the country and has represented The Coca-Cola Company for nearly 18 years. Finebaum and Thompson speak frequently together about the business of college sports.

This is Finebaum’s first live show from The CFHOF. The SEC Media Days will be held in Atlanta at the CFHOF in July of 2018, further solidifying Atlanta’s claim as “The Capital of College Football.”

“I’m so proud and delighted to join my dear friend Paul Finebaum on his show,” said Thompson. “As the Voice of College Football and The SEC, it is an honor to spend time with him discussing topics that are both near and dear to us.” “Monday night should be ‘epic’ in so many ways and I’m honored to be just a small part of it with my dear friend.”