Marketing researchers examine motivations for a favorite American tradition: tailgating

Research from faculty at Appalachian State University examines a favorite American tradition: tailgating -- and what motivates us to participate in these iconic game-day rituals.

Drs. Pia Albinsson, Unal Boya and David Shows -- professors of marketing and supply chain management in Appalachian's Walker College of Business, co-authored the article, “Celebrating Together: Generational Cohort Differences in Game-Day Tailgating Rituals,” which was recently published in the Journal of Managerial Issues.

From the abstract:

Tailgating is an American football pregame activity prevalent on university grounds and surrounding areas. This research specifically investigates generational differences of game-day tailgating rituals at a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) southeastern master level university. Survey data from 753 active tailgaters (Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z) was analyzed using ANOVA procedures. Findings show that tailgaters are mostly motivated by team identification, followed by escape, and spending time with friends. However, generational differences are observed for spending time with family, identifying with the home team, and the desire to attend home games. In addition, in terms of game-day rituals, while the younger generations are more fluid/ nomadic in their tailgating locations and engage in drinking games, the older generations stick to the tried and true rituals such as setting up a tailgating spot decorated with team colors and cooking. Implications for teams, universities, and related community businesses are discussed.

About Faculty Research in the Walker College of Business

Walker College of Business faculty produce and disseminate extensive research through both academic and professional communities. In the last five years, faculty members have published approximately 400 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 130 conference proceedings and made more than 400 conference and professional presentations in 170 different venues. In total, the faculty has produced more than 700 individual intellectual contributions in basic discovery research, more than 400 contributions in applied or integrative research and 240 contributions in teaching and learning research. For more information, visit

About the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management

At Appalachian State University, students in the Walker College of Business’ Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management learn to drive industry initiatives that develop customer satisfaction and retention, contribute to company profits and build connections with suppliers, distributors and the community. Students majoring in marketing may select a concentration in general marketing, digital marketing or sales. Students majoring in supply chain management (SCM) learn about logistics, operations, strategic sourcing, process improvement strategies and supply chain technologies, enabling them to compete in the global marketplace and help future employers reduce costs, improve profits and expand their markets. Learn more at

Marketing researchers examine motivations for a favorite American tradition: tailgating
Published: Sep 28, 2021 10:45am