Athens Alive Project Proposal

Justin Becker
Sep 6, 2016 · 7 min read
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Photo: Chase Baran

So, you just graduated college and are looking for the next step. All of your friends have moved to Atlanta, but you are just not all about that hustle and bustle. The traffic, noise and lack of green space just do not suit you. That’s where we come in. We are trying to make Athens, Georgia the attractive destination for young adults — those not quite married, not quite ready to settle down. Athens is not just the University of Georgia, nor is it just a place for a weekend getaway. We want to to show the side of Athens that isn’t in the visitor’s bureau; we want to show that Athens is the place to live as a young professional.

The Problem:

There are several obstacles we must overcome with Athens Alive. Many people think of Athens as just the Unviersity of Georgia, so we have to overcome the ‘college-town’ stereotype that has defined Athens for so long. Young professionals are largely unaware that Athens is home to a variety of job opportunities, cool restaurants, and affordable and hip neighborhoods. Our goal as Athens Alive is to get the message out there! Athens has the potential to become the next Asheville or Chattanooga, so we need to communicate and cater to our target demographic with a design-savvy and content-driven site.

The Solution:

We plan on building a fully-functioning interactive website that allows people to see Athens in a different light. More than just a website promoting tourism in Athens, we want Athens to be the destination for young adults in the region to settle down. We plan on building a digital and content-driven campaign encouraging twenty-to-thirty-somethings to pick Athens as a place to call home.

Our clients and partners: Athens Alive, a grassroots project spearheaded by Richie Knight, will be our main client and correspondence throughout the process.

  • Richie came to us with a project proposal to map downtown Athens like it has never been done before.
  • We will give users the opportunity to hover over locations on our interactive map and see live video
  • The end goal is to promote Athens as a living destination for young adults, and to emphasize that Athens is not solely the University of Georgia.

Our vision for the website: We love Athens, and we also want to represent Athens in a way that has never been done before. Athens tourism sites are wonderful, but we don’t want Athens to be just a place to visit every once in a while. We want to investigate other campaigns and find the driving force behind what makes people want to move to Athens. Once we consolidate our research and get a clear idea on branding and marketing, we want to polish it into a modern, tech-savvy and interactive site.


Nashville, Tennessee: Nashville Guru’s website is very attractive and has a wealth of information about the city, even though it is aimed at a wider audience than just young professionals. Like other websites showcasing a city, there is a major focus on shopping, dining, events, and practicality, but this one also includes information about real estate and rentals, and gives direct links to current listings. This might be a good idea for us to include in Athens Alive.

The Nashville website also has something along the lines of what Richie was wanting. It give you an inside look of restaurants with tons of photos, a look at the menu and contact information. It is really useful to get a feel of the place, and also shows that Richie’s desire to include video is a unique idea.

What does Athens have?

Breweries — We will focus on the breweries as they are popular with young adults who want to enjoy an Athens-style, and pretty inexpensive, beer with friends or coworkers. Creature Comforts, Southern Brewing Company, Cooper Creek Brewing Company, Terrapin Beer Co., and 5 Points Growlers.

Creature Comforts Brewing

Bars — We are focusing on bars for the young adult. No Bourbon Street, no Bar South. We want to focus on the casual bars where you can grab a cocktail after work, maybe get a bite to eat and catch up on some reading. Normal Town, The Old Pal, HiLo, High Wire Lounge, Allgood, and the Rook and Pawn.

Restaurants — Our demographic will be (hopefully) interested in the best local joints. We are targeting the places in Athens for foodies, families and the best cocktails for our young adults. We want to try and keep it local, avoiding chains at all costs. Ted’s Most Best, Seabear Oyster Bar, The National, The Branded Butcher, Porterhouse, South Kitchen, Homemade, Big City Bread, Five and Ten, Last Resort Grill, White Tiger, Tlaloc, Agua Linda, Cali-n-Titos, and Kelly’s Jamaican.

Ted’s Most Best

Events — Events held in Athens are perfect for not only college students but also young professionals or new families. Twilight Festival is a nighttime bike race held in Athens annually in the spring. The race is also a festival where families can line up around the unique downtown scene to watch the 150+ bikers. AthFest is another festival that takes place in Athens that combines music and art and is perfect for all ages. It is meant to “provide much needed funding to support music and arts education for youth” Other festivals held in Athens include Slingshot, Indie South Fair, Classic City Brew Fest, and Athica.


Outdoors — We like to think our demographic will be active and trying to get workout in a few times a week. Athens has some awesome, well-kept parks and recreational centers perfect for a workout. Botanical Gardens, Dudley Park, Oconee Forest Park, Sandy Creek Park, Bishop Park, Founder’s Memorial Garden, Trail Gardens, Bear Hollow Zoo, and Memorial Park.

Exercise — Athens has lots of different options for staying active. Gyms, Yoga Studios, Dance Studios, Martial Arts, and Cycling.

The Plan:

Athens Alive is a project that will be more than just a tourism website. We want to blend content and technology to create an open-source, creative, web and design-savvy website with a specific target audience in mind. We will use technology to market to our specific ‘millennial’ demographic, but we will also make the design interface accessible and appealing to a variety of groups.

Our main correspondence Richie emphasized how he wants us to map downtown like it has never been done before. We want to explore Google Maps API to create an interactive map that allows users to zoom in on locations downtown and see a live video or 360 degree view of the space. We will be modeling our Athens Alive campaign after Houston, Texas’s campaign ‘The City with No Limits.’ We will be marketing Athens as more than just a place to visit — we want to create a new community.


  1. Research and strategy: August 13th — September 15th
  2. Wire framing, mockup: September 15th — October 10th
  3. Beta, functionality, building out the site: October 11th — November 1st
  4. Wrapping up, testing, launching: November 2nd — December 9th
  5. SLAM: December 10th

Reach goal: Develop a full-fledged marketing campaign and open-platform website that maps downtown with live video looking into popular restaurants, bars, and businesses.

Realistic goal: Creating an themed interactive map of downtown Athens, Georgia with live video inside different map points.

Base goal: Develop a map of downtown Athens that shows potential residents popular places.


The main obstacle we are facing as a group is our lack of experience in coding maps. This is one of the main piece of content that Richie wants us to develop so he can use it for other Athens’ neighborhoods. We are planning on using Google Maps and are going to “self-teach” ourselves on the way.

The other tough obstacle we face is representing Athens without having a focus on the University of Georgia. The goal of Athens Alive is bringing in young professionals and getting them involved with the local community. We need to show these potential Athenians that there is more the Athens, Georgia than UGA.

Lastly, one of the other tough obstacles we are facing is dealing with a client. Richie has a busy schedule, and we really need to schedule consistent time with him so we can stay on the same page. We have already begun to schedule weekly meetings with Richie because he is teaching a class on the fourth floor of the Journalism building coincidently.

The People:

Chase Baran

Proposal Presentation, Project Beta, Project Poster, and Project Trailer

Justin Becker

Wireframe Presentation, Beta Presentation, Stage Presentation, and Booth Presentation

Adelaide Reckling

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Project Plan, Wireframe, The One-Pager, and Debrief

Grace Strang

Check-in 1, Check-in 2, Operational Project, and Project Website

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