6 Ways to Sponsor a College Football Tailgate

6 Ways to Sponsor a College Football Tailgate

BY Lindsey Champitto

GAME. DAY. Football tailgates are fast paced, lively environments and are often a huge part of campus culture. Catching the attention of students in the middle of the madness can be a trying task. However, when tailgate sponsorships are done right, they can be the gateway to creating collegiate brand fans!

Here are six ways to ensure your tailgate sponsorship is a hit:

Create Shareable Moments

Sharing content to Instagram and Snapchat is top-of-mind for college students, especially during a tailgate. Since a student’s social following consists of both their on-campus and hometown networks, finding ways to naturally incorporate your brand is a huge advantage. Utilizing branded photo booth prop-signs is one way to create a shareable moment for students to utilize on their platforms. Leveraging the growing popularity of polaroid photos amongst Millennials, and supplying Instax cameras and branded FUJIFILM is another way to ensure that your brand will be featured on social media. A more subtle approach is to supply relevant promotional items as they can be utilized in photos as well.

Incorporate an Interactive Activity

Students attend tailgates to have fun! Keep it light by providing an activity students can participate in that positions your brand as the life of the party. Cornhole, jumbo pong, and ultimate frisbee are just a few examples of popular tailgate games your brand could provide. Not only are these games elements easy to transport and cheap to produce, they can also be branded!  

Make Sign-Ups Easy

If your intention is to capture emails at this event, or opt students into your loyalty program, make sure the sign-up process is quick and easy! The attention span of students during tailgates will be short. If the sign-up process is long, students will likely give faulty information to cut down on time. If your system requires a specific password, be sure to reiterate this information to the student before they sign-up to cut down on time.

Incorporating an incentive in exchange for an email is always a smart move. It increases interest and can help reduce the number of fake sign-ups. Offering a reward that can be utilized in-store and online, or a discount with their first purchase, is ideal as these can be emailed out after the event. If you chose this route, be sure to wait at least 24 hours to send a the initial email or SMS message.

Try Guerilla Marketing

If you’re working with a tight budget, guerilla marketing could be the best bang for your buck! Some venues require payment to reserve a table or promote a brand on campus, but guerilla marketing lets you get scrappy. Not only is mobilizing a street team an easy way to avoid cost, it’s also a great way to ensure you reach the maximum number of students. At a table, you’re restricted to one location. Guerilla marketing allows you to go out and interact with students, rather than waiting for them to approach you! Just make sure you’ve hired the right campus reps to be the face of your brand.

Keep It Casual 

Students will be hesitant to interact with people taking themselves too seriously during a tailgate. To make sure that you don’t stick out in the wrong way, have all members of the team dress casually (it’s a tailgate—no one should be wearing a button down unless it’s an SEC frat). Additionally, provide value and don’t be salesy when speaking about your brand. No one attended this tailgate hoping to be sold something.

Branded Tailgate-Themed Promo Items & Product

Providing promo items that are tailgate-relevant can make an impact on campus all season long! Some of our favorites include footballs, hats, bottle openers, koozies, and stadium cups. Color coordinating the promo items and product with the home team’s school colors will increase the chances of students holding onto them for later use. Be sure to keep the items small as student won’t be able to bring large items into the stadium.

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How can YMC Help?

Want to bring your brand to campus but aren’t sure how to get started? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!