How to Score with Marketing Events at Tailgates

How To Score in Event Marketing at Tailgates

Do you know which SEC game has tailgaters gathering up to three days before kick-off each year? It’s the long-standing rivalry of the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs. The match-up, according to the Orlando Sentinel, “draws more than 140,000 people” each year. We can’t imagine a more ideal situation in which to win the hearts of consumers. Our minds are (of course) always on marketing events.

We recognize not all football tailgates last for days at a time. Yet, results from the first Tailgating Institute research study show the average tailgater spends three to four hours pre-gaming. Tailgates give your company a significant and consistent opportunity to market to thousands of people.

Why your brand should be at football tailgates

Brand Ambassadors for Kurig marketing eventsThe Tailgating Institute study goes on to say the average tailgater is between the ages of 25 and 44 and is a college-educated male. He “attends and/or hosts 6-10 Tailgate Parties each season.” Fans who live and breathe sports, especially football, are as loyal as they come.

And there is no doubt that tailgating will continue in popularity. These fans consistently endure the most extreme weather conditions just for the sake of cheering on their team. For example, Green Bay Packers fans reportedly tailgated in temps “48 degrees below zero” at the 1967 game against the Dallas Cowboys!

Sports historian John Greenburg best sums up tailgating’s appeal in our “technology-driven society” in a Forbes.com article. “There’s so little in the way of social interaction these days. (Tailgating) gives you the opportunity to go out and be face to face with human beings. The ultimate ice breaker is sports.”

There is no doubt that faithful football fans will continue the tailgating tradition and show up every game day. Why not contribute to their positive experience and make this captive audience fans of your brand?

4 ways to position your brand for the win with marketing events

From ESPN College GameDay to the Super Bowl, EPS has been on-site for the brand win. Here are four ways we’re helping companies garner fans (and sales) at football tailgates and other related sporting events:

1. Use qualified talent.

super bowl team marketing

The people executing your marketing events, aka talent, must represent your brand in a positive and professional manner. Finding and training them can be a challenge, especially when you have other key event responsibilities. Hiring an event staffing company with proven success simplifies your processes and ensures you get the best talent there is.

EPS has almost two decades of experience and more than 68,000 event staff in our nationwide database. We screen and interview talent to ensure they are the right fit for each event and then train them using a variety of interactive methods. We also hire all talent as W-2 variable hour employees, not independent contractors, to keep our clients clear of legal liability.

EPS has executed tailgating marketing events of all sizes; however, one of our most comprehensive football-related programs was Super Bowl XLIX.

  • 542 event staff secured six weeks before execution
  • All were NFL credentialed and put through FBI background checks
  • Included a dedicated internal EPS team and program manager
  • On-site talent ranged from top tier models to way-finding staff

2. Create an experience.

Super Smash Bros marketing event

Psychology Today tells us, “Studies show positive emotions toward a brand have far greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments which are based on a brand’s attributes.” Experiential marketing is a great way to create a positive, emotional connection with a brand and EPS is passionate about fostering those connections. Here are two programs in which our staff were able to spread the love.

  • Nintendo Super Smash Bros. Tailgate Tour. EPS hired brand ambassadors who were gaming enthusiasts to hit the road. The team stopped at six college campuses where college football fans competed playing this Wii U game. The marketing goal? To build excitement around the new game, as well as earn one school the title of Super Smash Bros. Champion. This program proved that college rivalry is a great way to get and keep students’ attention!
  • Oxygen Network at the NFL Experience. EPS promotional models set up shop at Super Bowl XLIX’s NFL Experience to promote the Oxygen Network. The EPS models invited attendees to throw paint-dipped footballs at a large wall. Artists then transformed the impressions into art to create a mural as well as a lasting impression with football fans.
[Tweet “College rivalry is a great way to get and keep students’ attention.”]

3. Offer samples and demonstrations.

Brand Ambassadors at marketing event

Fans spend an estimated $35 billion on food and beverages for tailgating each year. Scan any tailgating lot and you will see an ocean of grills and coolers, proving just how important food and drink are to the party. Companies are taking note, and EPS has assisted large brands in getting their products into the hands of consumers at marketing events.

  • Pizza Hut. EPS brand ambassadors were seen on ESPN College GameDay’s campus of the week to promote its official pizza sponsor, Pizza Hut. Visitors received a free slice of pizza and a chance to win free pizza for a year. The contest required them to make a Pizza Hut branded sign and then share a picture with the sign via Twitter using #SignUpForGameDay. Fans had fun, and Pizza Hut’s campaign spread far and wide!
  • Keurig. As part of the Keurig College Tailgate initiative, EPS brand ambassadors traveled to college campuses to promote Keurig’s 2.0 coffee brewers. Football tailgaters made and sampled Keurig beverages and had the opportunity to buy the brewer at 40% off retail. Fans flocked for the caffeine fix they needed for game day (and every day)!

Keurig and Pizza Hut proved product sampling and demonstrations are a great way to engage consumers. But the focus doesn’t have to be on food or drink only.  For example, EPS brand ambassadors at the Cleveland Browns Training Camp signed fans up for the FanDuel fantasy sports app using hands-on demos and training.

4. Capture event data and attendee information.

event marketing

In 2013, Forbes.com remarked on the reason major advertisers aren’t making a bigger splash at football tailgates, though “aware” of the opportunity. It’s because of “the lack of numbers available.” This isn’t an issue at EPS.

EPS helps companies gather critical information at their marketing events using a variety of mobile technology solutions. From lead generation to mobile check-in, EPS provides easy ways for our clients to gather the event data they need.

The EPS team has all you need – from talent to technology – to score big at football tailgates this season – and beyond!

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