From One Family to Another

After graduating from Georgia State, former football player Kam Cheatham took to the road again, this time with a different group of teammates. Following his return to campus for Homecoming last weekend, he put pen to paper (digitally of course) and sent along some photos to talk about his new family. 

As I finished up my high school career at Louisville Male High School, I had no idea where life would take me much less where I wanted it to take me.  Then began the rollercoaster ride of finding the right fit for me collegiately.   My family has been diehard Kentucky fans my entire life and to say we know all about Bill Curry is an understatement.  As soon as I found out he was returning to coaching at Georgia State, I knew that was the place for me.  So I packed my bags and headed to Atlanta.  Georgia State was not only the best place for me, it was the place I had dreamed of.  Playing for the Panthers was a dream come true and a blessing I could have never imagined.  I met some lifelong friends and learned so much about who I am along the way.

Fast forward a few years and as with most people who attend college, we are faced with another huge decision, only this time its not where to go to school but what to do with the rest of our lives!  While I was in college my older brother had gotten a job with Kenny Chesney and had moved on to George Strait and Taylor Swift.  I didn’t know where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do, but the allure of traveling not only the country but the world and working in such a rewarding industry immediately caught my attention. Upon graduation a job had just opened up within the Taylor Swift Merchandise Department, and it just so happened that I knew someone who could help get my foot in the door.  Being on the Red Tour took me to places I could only imagine from stadium shows in New York to the Fargo Dome to Los Angeles, from Winnipeg, Canada to stadium shows in Sydney, Australia.  Some people complain about the long hours we work on the road or the travel, but I am cherishing every moment and every sight I get to see from Mt. Rushmore to the Sydney Opera House.

While on the Red Tour one of the opening acts was Brett Eldredge. As luck would have it he was looking for a Merchandise Manager shortly following the end of the Red Tour, and because of relationships forged on the road I was offered the position.  Working with Brett has been a blessing, everyday is different than the next and we have so much fun traveling – from salmon fishing in Alaska, to feeding giraffes in Philadelphia, to a show on the beach in Florida.  I’m often asked what my job is like or if I ever get to do anything cool on the road, and I can say without hesitation, Yes!  Brett recently was rewarded with his second No. 1 single, “Beat of the Music.”  When it went No. 1, we celebrated all night with Brett and the touring family. It was truly an experience I will never forget; it’s the same feeling you get when you win the big game.  The reason I loved football so much is the reason why I love touring…FAMILY.  On the road we become extremely close with those we are with and it creates an atmosphere that is unique to the career I have chosen.

Everyone says, “It’s not what you know it’s who you know,”  which is true, but I believe it is also extremely dependent on your values as a person and the person you are. You can easily know the right people, but if you can,t convince them you can do the job, they won’t even consider you.  Georgia State University, the Panther Football Team, and Coach Curry helped mold not only my values but who I am as a person and prepared me for this amazingly exciting career, and as such, I will always be a Georgia State Panther!

–Kam Cheatham

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Salmon finishing in Alaska

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Mount Rushmore

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Hanging out with his parents and Brett Eldredge

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Feeding giraffes at the Philadelphia Zoo

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Traveling with his brother in Australia

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His tour family

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