Meet the 22-year-old behind the Bananas’ internet fame

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - If you’re on social media, chances are you’ve stumbled across the Savannah Bananas.

Behind that internet explosion is 22-year-old Savanah Alaniz.

“Whenever I had my internship interview process, they said, ‘what’s one thing you’d change about our marketing?’ and I said, ‘Oh, I’d get you guys a TikTok, like easy peasy, that’s one thing where I think y’all could grow,’” Alaniz said.

She got the internship for the summer of 2020.

“When I got there in the summer, they said TikTok is your summer project. Just run with it,” Alaniz said.

By the end of the summer, they had more than 100,000 followers on TikTok.

Of course, the team hired Alaniz on full-time.

“We have an entire team that comes up with these ideas and films them and edits them, and now it’s gotten to the point where all I do is come up with a caption, throw the hashtags on it and push post, and so it was kind of cool to be able to go from creating the entire thing, to now I just get to post it,” Alaniz said.

The Bananas’ TikTok account has grown to 2.8 million followers. On Instagram, they have 606,000 fans following along and their YouTube is steadily growing, with nearly 84,000 subscribers.

By growing social, the team is able to reach more people than they ever could in a traditional game setting.

A key to the success on social media is getting the players involved.

“You don’t really know what you’re getting in to until you get here for the first day,” Bananas pitcher Hunter Entsminger said.

“You come from school where it’s nothing but baseball, and it’s a routine oriented thing, and you get here and it’s all the dances and the craziness that’s going on on the field. I mean, it’s really a culture shock, but then again, once you get into it, you play better,” Bananas pitcher Ryan Kennedy said.

“It’s really funny to see how they go from, ‘oh, I’m here to focus on baseball and I’m going to do this, this and this and I’m going to throw this hard or whatever,’ to ‘oh, I don’t want to mess up in my player dance,’ or ‘I want to nail this TikTok dance because they’re going to post it tonight,’” Alaniz said.

The competitiveness isn’t just on the field. The Bananas front office wants to be first and on top of whatever new trend is taking the internet by storm.

“I’m so competitive, so I like being ahead of everyone else. Like, if we can do this trend before they do, right on... and I just want to do it better than everyone, so I think that’s one way that like, if somebody does it better than us, I’m like, ‘ohhh how are we going to do it better next time,’” Alaniz said.

When you get down to it, a lot of their success is trying something and seeing if it works.

The bunch will continue to try and up their appeal and continue to smash any and all social media trends.

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