8 College Tailgate Marketing Event Ideas

8 College Tailgate Marketing Event Ideas

Want to reach 49 million college football attendees at the biggest games of the year? Explore 8 college tailgate marketing event ideas and learn how brands can create interactive game day experiences for fans.

8 College Tailgate Marketing Event Ideas

1. Set Up Branded Tailgate Tents with Sample Giveaways


Have a product college students will love? Consider setting up branded tents in popular tailgating areas and giving away free samples. College students will happily take free items, especially if they contribute to the game day experience in some way.

2. Launch Mobile Bus Tailgating Tours

College Mobile Bus Tailgating Tours

Mobile bus tailgating tours allow brands to create a memorable experience for tailgate attendees. With mobile tours, brands have the opportunity to engage customers face to face and have two-way conversations with customers. Brands can have hands-on product demonstrations, as well as social and digital contests to keep the communication going after the bus leaves.

3. Hold Interactive Tailgate Contests for Fans  

Interactive Tailgate Contests for Fans

Interactive tailgate contests are a great way to build excitement and buzz around your brand. Consider having a spin-to-win prize wheel. You could also have fans compete with one another to win prizes. Cornholes, horseshoes, ladder golf, and other tailgating games are always welcome and add to the game day tailgating experience. Just make sure to giveaway branded prizes and incorporate social media into the mix.

4. Utilize Tailgate Street Team Promotions

College Tailgate Street Team Promotions

Tailgate street team promotions are an excellent way for brands to engage tailgaters. College street teams can approach groups of people stationed in place and talk about your brand, pass out promo materials, and/or direct them to a specific place. Promotional models can be used to draw traffic to your branded tent or mobile bus tour.

5. Engage in Food and Beverage Sampling at Tailgating Events


Everyone is hungry and thirsty on game day! This is an excellent time for food and beverage brands to promote their products to hungry tailgaters. Have brand ambassadors pass out samples and call-to-action coupons in high-traffic tailgate areas.

6. Host Tailgate Parties for Students and their Families


Another way to connect with students and their families is by hosting tailgating parties. This is a great way to build brand awareness on campus and an excellent way to engage both students and parents. Consider hosting a fraternity and sorority party or a tailgating event during parents’ weekend.

7. Raise Awareness with Tailgate Hand-to-Hand Marketing


Need a low-cost option for reaching students during tailgating events? Brand ambassador programs utilizing hand-to-hand marketing is a cost-effective way to promote your message to students. Make sure to have a clear call-to-action message and a bold, eye-catching creative.

8. Encourage Digital and Social Engagements at Tailgating Events 

Digital and Social Engagements at Tailgating Events

Tailgate marketing is mostly about first-person experiences and face-to-face marketing, however, it’s important to not lose out on social and digital opportunities. Incorporate a campaign hashtag and social media contest to incentivize digital engagement and buzz around your college tailgate marketing events and promotions.

Want to work with an experienced college marketing authority? Contact us today to begin planning your college tailgate marketing event!

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