Tailgating Trends: Your Brand’s Playbook for Fall Football Season

Football season is quickly approaching, and with it comes the tradition of tailgating—whether you go for the football or the festivities. Tailgating is also a key sales opportunity for various consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, including in categories like food and adult beverage.

We spoke with influencers from our network to hear more about the trends shaping this year’s tailgates. Keep reading to learn about the trends they predicted and tailgating campaign strategies for advertisers to include in their playbooks this fall.

Tailgating Trends Emerging this Fall

When you think of a tailgate, you might imagine a stadium parking lot lined with coolers, tents and lawn chairs, but lately, “homegating” has emerged as an alternative. Hosting a football-themed gathering at home allows fans to celebrate their favorite team without making the trek to the stadium.

“Everyone tailgates differently, and it also varies between college and professional sports. For example, instead of tailgating every weekend, I host an annual tailgate on campus for The University of Texas football team, which brings in about 150 people. You could also alternate between tailgating at home, on campus or at a random spot.”

ANALI MARTINEZ GONZALEZ (thenuevalatina.com)

This year also brings new trends in adult bev. Mocktails continue to trend, and tailgating season is the perfect time for autumnal flavors and party-size mocktail punches. Alcoholic options like hard cider and sangria will be popular, as well as a classic tailgating staple: beer. In the food category, boards continue to trend, and not just charcuterie—consumers are craving butter, dessert, wing and other themed snack boards.

Advertising Strategies for Tailgating Season

Designing multi-layer, omnichannel strategies is the key to catching consumers’ attention during the tailgating season. A channel that has proven to pair well with sports is digital out-of-home (DOOH). In a campaign that ran during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tincup Whiskey and agency Grand Visual deployed dynamic DOOH creative around Denver’s Ball Arena. Co-branded with the Colorado Avalanche, the creative featured live countdowns to home games and shifted at puck drop to show live scores. By aligning with the hockey team’s branding and the buzz of the playoffs, Tincup tapped into fandom, emotion and cultural moments to engage with consumers.

Digital promotions is another tried-and-true channel for connecting with consumers hosting gatherings. PepsiCo used the channel ahead of the holiday season to increase basket size by cross-promoting Pepsi beverages and Frito-Lay snacks. The campaign centered around an offer of $3 off the combined purchase of five products from either brand—providing value to consumers stocking up for the holidays and boosting sales of multiple brands in PepsiCo’s portfolio.

Leveraging social media can also help advertisers connect with highly engaged audiences. Mondelēz International used influencers from Quotient’s network as part of a campaign aiming to boost sales of its snack brands. Influencers created content featuring Mondelēz snacks, and amplified the content with paid social. Repurposing this content programmatically on DOOH screens and mobile display ads helped Mondelēz reach its target audiences at multiple touchpoints and drive sales of its snack brands.

Feeling inspired by these tailgating trends and advertising strategies? Contact us today at hello@quotient.com, and we’ll help you score a touchdown with your next campaign!