It’s back to school season across the nation and that means it’s time for some football. The competition on the field though may be rivaled by the competition in the parking lot. Tailgating has become its own sport and art form. Passionate fans arrive early to set up their mobile party for the day and get the best spots to show off their latest toys. The days of the simple foam cooler with drinks are long gone with spreads now looking like a fan’s home patio or dining room.
More fans are participating and are spending more and more each year. According to a recent NPD Group/National Eating Trends Survey, the number of tailgaters has doubled in the last 8 years. Growing numbers of participants and an increasing amount spent on food, drink, and tailgating accessories makes this group especially attractive for marketers. The American Tailgating Association estimates tailgater’s current spending between $7 and $15 billion. Companies are lining up to create a presence at stadiums and arenas with everything from sampling to interactive experiences to branded merchandise giveaways.
For marketers, it’s a target rich environment. Passionate people with the income to spend doing something they really enjoy with a little competitive spirit thrown in the mix. Identifying people’s passions or the potential to create passion and connecting it to your product or service is all about having the right positioning as part of a broader brand building strategy. Think about your own passions and you can usually follow the money trail along with a willingness to pay a premium for the right brand experience. Keeping up with the Joneses has moved out of the suburbs and into the stadium parking lot which is great news for the companies that create a real connection through the right brand experience.