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CANINES AND CRITTERS:
A FAMILY TRADITION
As Told By Matt Breda
None of us said a word. We just watched silently as the Breda logo glowed across Sanford Stadium. To anyone else at the game that night, it was just another jumbotron advertisement. But to us, it was a family moment to cherish.
It’s official—Breda Pest Management is now a sponsor of UGA athletics. We couldn’t be more excited. The Dawgs have always been our team and UGA our school. If there is one thing that runs in our family other than pest management, it is a love for the Georgia Bulldogs.
The tradition began with my dad, Rodger Breda. He graduated from UGA in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. When he became a father, he made sure to raise his children in the Bulldog faith. It seems like we’ve always been season ticket holders. We’ve had football and basketball tickets ever since I can remember. In fact, we were practically raised in the seats of Sanford and Stegeman. Now, our business’ logo will shine on both of their jumbotrons, along with every other UGA sports venue with a screen.
I was born in 1979, so I was officially alive for the Herschel Walker days for football. I recall going to football games in the 1980s and watching the Dooley-led Dawgs between the hedges. I vividly remember walking toward the stadium in a sea of red and black that was so dense you couldn’t even see the pavement your feet were on. And then there were the tailgates. I still love seeing all those red tents, especially around the Dawg Walk area. Football Saturday’s in Athens are something special and I knew that from an early age.
When it came to basketball, I had the privilege of growing up during the Hugh Durham era. Stegeman Coliseum was packed every single night. Georgia was playing great basketball against quality opponents. In fact, I remember watching Shaquille O’Neal and the LSU Tigers tipping off against the Dawgs. Basketball has always been my favorite sport to watch and I had some fun times under the concrete dome of the Coliseum. These experiences are what led me to coaching basketball later on in life.
I’m not just a Dawg fan because my dad went to school at UGA and took us to games. It’s larger than that now. My oldest sister and I both followed in my dad’s UGA footsteps but blazed our own trail, earning bachelor’s degrees in management information systems. After earning my second degree from UGA in 2005, a master’s in education, I now call myself a Double Dawg. That’s a title I hold proudly. My brother Mitchell, who works with us, also attended UGA and earned a degree in marketing like our dad before him. Our family has always been invested in the UGA community. As a family, we represent two generations of Breda Bulldogs—with a third generation on the way!
Academics are vital, but I also believe that just as much can be learned through athletics as academics. As a family business, we already are very supportive of high school athletics throughout the metro Atlanta area. Now, we are so thrilled to be able to support UGA athletics, too. So many important life lessons are learned through the adversity in athletics. These are the types of lessons that can translate to all aspects of life. As someone involved in business, I know firsthand how important overcoming adversity is. Just like in sports, bad breaks happen. It is your ability to recognize the issue, adjust your approach, and correct the problem quickly that will make you successful in any situation.
Attention to detail is what we focus on at Breda. No detail is too small. Just like in sports, you have to pay attention to even the smallest details. If you look the other direction for one minor infraction, it becomes a path to failure. We have a lot of great days at Breda, but we’re not immune to mistakes and we cannot ignore them. After all, sports are often a game of angles and inches. One small factor can swing the outcome of a season. The same applies in business and in life.Ultimately, our sponsorship of UGA athletics is about what we value as a business and as a family: hard work, problem solving, and the ability to overcome adversity. We want to see the young men and women of UGA demonstrate those virtues in sports and in life, so we are going to do all we can to support them.
The Breda Bulldog tradition continues today. We’ve been through the ups and the downs. We remember the patience of DJ Shockley as he waited behind David Greene for years before finally getting his chance to lead UGA to an SEC title. We were heartbroken in the Georgia Dome in 2012 when the clock ran out on our national title dream. We experienced the thrill of a one-point victory against Notre Dame this year in South Bend.
To me and my family, UGA is more than a sports team, more than a campus, and more than a diploma on the wall. To us, UGA is a family tradition that has united us for decades. Our hope is that UGA will continue to be an institution that draws families together and teaches valuable life lessons. After all, that’s why we love UGA. And that’s why we are now official athletic sponsors. Go Dawgs!