Tailor Your Tailgate
By Amanda Banken • September 19, 2017
While some of us may still be pushing 90-degree afternoons, all things pumpkin, crisp mornings, harvest colors, and COLLEGE FOOTBALL are on our minds! With WHP headquarters located in Gainesville, Florida, we cannot escape football fever (GO GATORS!). Combine our love for the SEC with our nature to #brandeverything, we thought it only fitting to create a quick list of Top Tailgating Dos and Don’ts – BRANDING Edition!
Okay, let’s get more specific here. While you want your business to be easily recognized, you need to consider what attendees will ACTUALLY USE. By all means, keep your logo prominent, but consider subbing in your property colors for the school colors and adding in a (non-licensed) tagline to go along with the mascot or football in general.
While everyone loves a good giveaway, first impressions are everything. Whether you’re looking to attract passersby or ensure your residents can spot you in a field of fellow football-lovers, you’ll need a striking display presence. This means a pop-up tent, fabric tablecloth (nothing says “last minute” than a plastic party store version that constantly blows off), and feather flags for extra attention. Add in tailgate chairs and a cooler wrap, and you’ll have more attendees than you can handle!
Okay, so you’ve attracted your crowd with your amazing display, and everything coordinates perfectly. Now what? GAMES! Everyone will already be in the competitive spirit and good old-fashioned tailgate games will help keep the party going! Cornhole is classic, and there are so many uses for a simple Solo cup (wink-wink), but even a few footballs can keep those frat boys occupied! Having a prize wheel can create excitement and increase the outside buzz around your spot for a chance to win your swag!
So many promo items associated with tailgates are so “been there, done that,” but slight tweaks on these classics (coozies, solo/stadium cups, bottle openers, pom poms, foam fingers, spirit towels etc.) can go a long way! They are classics because people use them, but you DO need to amp up the appeal beyond your typical logo/phone/website. Allow our Design Department to add in some graphic flair! Or instead of the standard blue coozie with a white imprint, opt for FULL-COLOR (or add a pocket, if you dare!). Night game coming up? LIGHT UP AND GLOW! My current favorite fall item is a glow-in-the-dark coozie that is magnetic (no more need for “hold my drink” while you flip those burgers or toss the frisbee).
This comes into play with collegiate licensing (don’t use their mascot unless you’ve paid the big $$$), alcohol usage, and what is allowed on/around campus. We can help you align your items and theme to match the school vibe without crossing the line of licensing infringement. And of course, you need the new clear stadium bags, but do you know the size specs for the bags AND logo size to place on them? No worries – we do!
Football season lasts a LONG time, and tailgating events don’t need to be limited to home games (a cook-out at the clubhouse for away games is the perfect way to engage with your residents during renewal season). There are TONS of budget-friendly items (read: less than $1!), and if you plan ahead and order in bulk you’ll save valuable bucks! You can even run a “repeat guest” discount – “bring your TAILGATE cup and get a free soda!” – to encourage attendance and push your items to NEW faces.
If it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen, so get your handles out there! This includes photo backdrops, giveaway items, or even get our Design Team to create a property-specific Snapchat filter! You know your end users will be posting photos, so be sure they tag where they are! And contact info is everything. While a clean logo design may work sometimes, a tailgate event where it’s all about being social is not the time to forget about working those connections.
So there you go – my wisdom on how to brand your business for football season. I’ve been in this business for 10 years and am a huge college football fan (half Gator and half Mizzou Tiger, in case anyone is keeping score), so trust me. I know what works. And hey, if you need my hands-on expertise, I’ll be more than happy to come tailgate with you!