Tailgating: Everyone Wins!

By: Alyssa Crowley

What do you get when you combine a festival and a carnival? That is easy: a vestival. A vestival celebrates household values, dramatizing them in a public space and publicly proclaiming the importance of a shared sense of culture. One example of a vestival is tailgating, where fans gather to display their shared interest of sports and show their support for their desired teams. As years pass, tailgating is becoming more than just tents and grills. Fans are beginning to enhance their tailgating experience with customizations. There are five main practices of customization, which are householding, personalizing, mimicking, upgrading and expanding. The main concept I want to focus on is householding.

Householding is where you take a public space and transform it into a personal space. As the viewing experience at home continues to grow in popularity, organizations are beginning to create ways to bring their fans back to the stadium. Georgia Southern created tailgate mini-mansions to help differentiate the experience at their stadium. The mini-mansion can accommodate about fifty guests with almost 400 square feet of indoor entertainment space. Inside the mansion includes four flat screen HD TVs, a wet bar, air conditioning, and a private bathroom. Are you sick of being inside? No worries. The mansion allows you to move the party outdoors where you have access to a satellite TV, outdoor furniture, a fridge and a propane grill. On top of all the amenities, you have the option to supply your own food and drinks or pay an additional fee for a pre-stocked fridge. These new innovations to tailgating are helping organizations draw in larger crowds to help increase their profits during each season. In this example, the school is beginning to attract a larger crowd during their football season. They want to give fans an at-home experience. How much do these mini mansions cost, you may ask? This tailgating experience will cost a fan $5,000 per game.

Tailgating Mini-Mansions

How successful do you think these new tailgating ideas will be? I am sure there are many fans willing to spend money on this type of tailgating experience, but when focusing on college football I do not know many students who have the budget to cover these expenses. Some feedback I would present to specifically collegiate sports is to focus more on who your main target is. In addition, you could create different cost packages to better meet the needs of potential customers.

Enhancements in tailgating have only begun. There are many opportunities in this market and much improvement can be made. Organizations will not only have to continuously compete against the at-home experience, but also the traditional form of tailgating. In conclusion, organizations are beginning to see that, with their advancements in hospitality, they are drawing in bigger crowds, which leads to a greater return on investments. Only time will tell which creative ideas will be profitable and continue to draw in a larger fan base.

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3 thoughts on “Tailgating: Everyone Wins!

  1. Craig Wyszomirski December 15, 2015 / 12:03 am

    I think that these could be very successful if they are offered to companies as a way to entice new clients. I also believe that if they are trying to attract students from colleges that they should offer cleaning services and possibly servers that will make the experience better and more care free. Overall, I don’t know if this will attract college kids mainly because tailgating itself is a great experience that schools with prestigious sports teams usually use tailgating as a point of attraction. Also the price is a huge factor that will turn away students.

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  2. Alicia February 26, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    I don’t think these tailgating mansions will be successful among college students because the price range is very high. Maybe for fans of professional teams like the New England Patriots, who have full time jobs and make a good salary, would be a better focus for a target market. Although these mansions are very cool, they do not seem practical. I feel like part of the fun of tailgating is being outside and mingling with other fans of the game. If you are inside tailgating, that is not as easy to do. I do, however like the idea of having different cost packages in an effort to meet the needs of more potential customers. I think that would help a lot in growing the success of this form of tailgating, if these even become popular in the first place.

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  3. cassidylebert March 11, 2016 / 12:17 am

    I don’t think this new concept will take off among college students but I think there is a big window of opportunity for large companies and wealthy fans. I think college students are enticed to tailgate because of the free floating spirit of hanging out outdoors with a bunch of people who are all there for the same reason. The open environment builds a sense of community that everyone wants to be a part of. Taking that indoors creates isolation. For large companies looking to build relationships with new clients this may be a more viable opportunity as it seems similar to box seating which is often used for this reason.

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