I’ve noticed that my friend, Katie Levans, has written quite a few articles lately about how there are other things in Charlotte to drink besides alcohol. And while I love a refreshing iced tea every once in a while, there’s just something about putting “Long Island” in front of the name that makes things more interesting.
(Note: If I suddenly start writing articles about other alternatives to alcohol it’s a sure sign I’m pregnant.)
For the young go-hards (or people like me who are desperately trying to hold onto their youth) there’s always added excitement when we’re given a reason to drink.
But after football season ends, our reason to drink on Sundays sadly disappears.
That’s where Jimmy Lawler comes in.
Jimmy is a young Charlotte native who felt like he and his friends needed a fun day drinking event on Sundays. So, with the help of his girlfriend Taylor Bureau and his aunt Nancy, he started Buzz City Entertainment. Their first event? Buzz City Beach Soccer, a Sunday soccer league played in the sandbox at VBGB.
Buzz City Beach Soccer is a laid-back, intramural league for people who want to come out, drink and not take themselves too seriously.
Starting April 3, this co-ed league will provide tiki huts (that Jimmy impressively built himself), kiddie pools, prizes and, of course, local beer specials so you can get weird on a budget. Teams will consist of eight players and the fee is $62 per member.
I met with Jimmy and Taylor at my new office, Sabor, and here’s what they had to say:
Me: What made you want to start Buzz City Entertainment?
Jimmy: I’ve been playing soccer in Charlotte since I was really little [he went to Providence High School] and I’ve always wanted to start out on my own, do my own event company. I do event-managing work for Tough Mudder. And while I enjoy working for Tough Mudder, I would never actually do one. I have event ideas that my friends and I would want to be a part of that will be more focused on fun.
Me: How do you start a company in your 20s? Did you have to get a lawyer? I would have no idea how to do this.
Jimmy: You don’t need a lawyer. You basically file for your company name, website, get partnerships and find sponsors. Right now Healthy Home Market and Oxyfresh are the sponsors.
Taylor: We’ve also partnered with Charlotte Independence. Our long-term goal is to have 16 sponsors for the 16 teams by next year.
Me: That sounds like a lot of work. Did you have to quit your job?
Jimmy: Tough Mudder is a contract job with a sporadic schedule so I have time to do both.
Me: Are you going to offer other sports? (cough) Kickball (cough)
Jimmy: We’re starting with soccer to see how that goes. We also want to branch out to festivals and other types of events.
Taylor: Tell her about your Lumberjack idea.
Jimmy: Ok, really random, but I’ve always wanted to do a Highland games type of festival, all lumberjack themed. And then a bluegrass festival afterwards.
Me: I could drink at that.
Me: Are you a Hornets fan? Is that why it’s called Buzz City Entertainment?
Jimmy: That’s not really the reason but I am a Hornets fan. To me, Charlotte is just the Buzz City, baby.
Me: What would you tell other young Charlotteans if they want to create their own startup?
Jimmy: It’s really just a learning process. I’ve worked plenty of events but there was still so much that I didn’t know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn on your own. We’ve done a ton of Youtube tutorials.
Taylor: It’s also good to start a business in something you’re passionate about. We will only plan events that we would want to go to.
Me: Finally and most importantly, how many people tell you that you look exactly like Anders from Workaholics?
Jimmy: Tell me to my face? At least two a week. But I constantly hear people say behind my back “That kid looks just like Anders!” I never thought I looked like him until my friends started calling me “Ders.”
Me: Ok, I kind of want to do this league. I’m really bad at soccer but I’m really good at drinking.
Jimmy: That’s ok. We want it to be a casual intramural where drinking and hanging out is the focus.
Want to have a reason to drink on Sundays this spring? Sign up for Buzz City Beach Soccer here.
Because waking up for work on Monday morning without even a slight hangover probably means you didn’t have enough fun the day before.