“I’ll be strutting a little bit,” Moore said, laughing. “I’m very proud of our community.”
Franklin emerged Friday as the victor in a 32-town NCAA-style bracket matchup organized by the editors of Garden & Gun magazine.
From the online votes, Franklin garnered more than 62,000 of the 90,000 total votes in the final round, allowing Franklin to defeat fellow Southern town Savannah, Ga., in the two-day championship run.
While this is the magazine’s fourth year for a Southern-style “March Madness” online matchup, this is the first year the magazine chose towns as the contest’s topic. Turns out, Southerners are especially proud of their towns. More than 1.3 million total votes caused the magazine’s website to crash at least once.
“In full honesty, we didn’t know that it would explode like it did,” said Kim Alexander, the magazine’s digital media director. “I’ve never seen engagement from residents like we’ve seen with Franklin.”
Williamson County tourism and downtown Franklin officials helped fuel the fervor. All week, they took to Twitter and Facebook to get the word out over social media, even holding a pep rally “tweet up” at The Franklin Theatre.
But what did Franklin actually win, other than bragging rights? Garden & Gun officials say the title isn’t tied to any guarantee of magazine coverage. Business and tourism officials hope it brings sweet financial rewards.
“(The win) creates a huge platform for Franklin to stand on and say, ‘Hey, these guys did a competition. It was run by public opinion,'” said Josh Collins, digital communications manager for the county Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Franklin media blitz extends into the sky, too. The latest issue of Delta Airlines’ Delta Sky magazine includes Franklin in its feature story of top 15 “Where To Go Now” cities list.
State Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker showed off the magazine this week during Franklin’s dedication of its Civil War battlefield park.
Article Courtesy of|Kevin Walters|The Tennessean