'As Told To' Stories
Written for Prof. Lori Johnston’s Feature Writing course, these “as told to” stories were created by a person’s spoken remarks recorded and then edited for publication. Comments trimmed for length and clarity.
 Why It’s Newsworthy: Athens residents and visitors may be familiar with the billboards featuring the shaved head of Reign Streiter. For those curious about him, Streiter gives an account — in his own words — of his first set of billboards.  

 

Reign Streiter is a real estate agent with Give Back Real Estate in Athens. He is better known as the man with the shaved head, who in 2006 started placing billboards throughout Athens. A conflict with the sports marketing department of the University of Georgia played a part, Streiter told Olyn Gee.

 

There’s an intersection (West Broad Street at Briarcliff Road) that is probably the most highly trafficked intersection in all of town, and there’s a billboard there. And one day the billboard was empty.

So I went to the owner of the company that I worked at, and I said, ‘I really think it’d be great if you got that billboard.’  

But he didn’t do anything about it. I sort of said, ‘If I think it’s such a great idea, why don’t I get it?’ So, I went ahead and bought the rights to the billboard. I borrowed a friend of mine’s football jersey. And I wore the jersey for a photo shoot. And that billboard came out. It was successful.

So, I called the billboard company (and said)  ‘I’ll produce 15 of these billboards. And you can keep them in storage and kind of put them up over the course of the year.’

I got a phone call from (someone in the University of Georgia sports marketing department). He said, ‘I noticed a couple of billboards around town and you’re wearing our jersey and our logos on it. You can’t do that.’

(Streiter negotiated to keep the billboards up a few weeks.)  We had 15 billboards with me wearing the UGA jersey. So, I called the billboard company. I said, ‘All of these have to go up immediately.’

Well, you can imagine the impact on a small town when 15 billboards, of the exact same thing, go up all around town. And my phone started ringing left and right. So, that was kind of what, what started off a successful career in real estate.

 

Olyn Gee is a fourth-year student in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 

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