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Turnkey Tailgating Business Booming As Fans Return To College Football Stadiums

RevelXP Tailgating at Oklahoma
Photo credit: REVELXP

With a presence at more than 60 collegiate and professional stadiums nationwide, game day experience company REVELXP

With a presence at more than 60 collegiate and professional stadiums nationwide, game day experience company REVELXP is expanding on the turnkey tailgating concept this season and fans are responding enthusiastically.

Turnkey tailgating provider REVELXP, says it has sold more than 90 percent of its inventory for the following games:

  1. Auburn @ Penn State – Sept. 18
  2. Florida State @ North Carolina – Oct. 9
  3. Miami @ North Carolina – Oct. 16
  4. SMU @ TCU – Sept. 25
  5. Alabama @ Texas A&M – Oct. 9
  6. Georgia @ Auburn – Oct. 9
  7. Alabama @ Auburn – Nov. 27
  8. Alabama @ Florida – Sept. 18
  9. Nebraska @ Oklahoma – Sept. 18
  10. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game – Alabama @ Miami in Atlanta – Sept. 4

In addition, all full season tailgating packages at University of Georgia have sold out.

“The enthusiasm fans are showing for turnkey tailgating and premium hospitality experiences is unlike any previous season,” said Ray DeWeese, CEO of REVELXP. “We are excited about partnering with the nation’s most beloved universities to safely celebrate the return of fans and together, create the rich and rewarding experiences that we missed last season.”

REVELXP is was founded in 2020 under the Teall Sports & Entertainment umbrella to combine several established sports and entertainment companies, including Tailgate Guys, PRE, Colonnade, Complex Sports and Rhino Sports & Entertainment. Its turnkey tailgates include reserved tailgates in premium game day locations, tents, tables, chairs, coolers, food from local favorites and beverage services, satellite TVS, reserved parking and day-of bellhops to help carry any additional needs. Their accommodate groups as small as five fans up to 1,000.

Turnkey tailgating at Texas A&M
Turnkey tailgating at Texas A&MREVELXP

“We’re adding a lot of additional value items to packages. The food and beverage offerings will start to look fairly different this year, including some of the things that we’re including with the packages, whether that’s the option for a Bumpboxx, ice shakers, or some of these other add-ons that we’ve that we’ve thrown in.”

Another big change DeWeese says is taking the focus off only serving the traditional turnkey tailgating model and instead creating more experiences that are open to anyone.

“We’ve created outdoor breweries, which are more of a general admission type of a ticket. We’ve created at Ole Miss a pavilion experience where the pavilion is their basketball arena, which is situated right outside of football stadium. There will be an indoor access point for that where it’s an individual ticket experience, not a turnkey tailgating area.”

The concept at Ole Miss involves a strategic partnership that makes REVELXP the official experience provider and Dyehard Fan Supply, another Teall Sports brand, the official merchandise provider for Ole Miss Athletics. Through this partnership, REVELXP is creating fan experiences on game day, while Dyehard manages and operates the official e-commerce, in-venue and store merchandising programs, including a custom game day shopping experience in The Grove for the first time ever.

“Ole Miss represents a unique opportunity to transform both the in-venue and the e-commerce merchandising programs in a holistic, unified way with our colleagues at REVELXP,” said Scott Killian, CEO of Dyehard Fan Supply. “Never before has merchandising been so highly integrated with hospitality and tailgating experiences to create a seamless, elevated fan experience.”

Rendering of the new field-level pre-game and in-game experience
Rendering of the new field-level pre-game and in-game experienceREVELXP

New experiences at Ole Miss for the 2021 season include:

  • North Plaza Walk of Champions: Turnkey, white glove tailgating services lining the Belltower bundled with pre-game experiences, premium food and beverage amenities and parking passes.
  • Pre-Game Pavilion: Indoor and outdoor experience between Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and The Pavilion that includes select food and beverage menu offerings, a beer garden and live entertainment.
  • Field Level Pre-Game and In-Game Experience: Accessible and premium viewing experiences in the northeast corner of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium offering top-class hospitality with food and beverage opportunities for groups of 30+.
  • Enhanced Merchandise Program: New Ole Miss merchandise stores available for shopping inside and outside The Grove and in the stadium, brought to fans by Dyehard Fan Supply.

“Coming to a game at Ole Miss is a bucket list item for any sports fan,” said Keith Carter, Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics. “As we look at welcoming fans back to our venues this fall, Teall Sports & Entertainment understands our vision and is bringing new and exciting ideas to the table. As has been said, The Grove is the country’s greatest tailgating destination, and this partnership with REVELXP and Dyehard Fan Supply will ensure that the rest of our game day experience achieves that same level of excitement.”

The partnership will extend beyond football season to other private events and premium experiences year-round, including the addition of a multi-tier fan experience in the Swayze Field outfield during baseball season and a Premium Viewing Deck with seating, deck rails and other premium services.

DeWeese says offerings and capabilities will vary by school and be customized for each based on their infrastructure and unique fan appetite.

“What we found is people really enjoyed the turkey tailgating side, so how could we expand on that and look at the experience overall? It starts with working with each one of these partners and doing an audit to look at what is available today, talking with their fan base on what may be available later that we can help with, and then just creating that stuff from a really collaborative and specific approach to each individual school because of the history with all the individual schools.”

“Whether it’s The Grove at Ole Miss or fan walks all over the country that are different, we don’t want to disrupt that. We just want to amplify it and help people interact with it.”

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Gator Walk Village is expanding from 18 tents to 38 this season due to fan demandREVELXP/DANHARRISPHOTOART.COM

For example, REVELXP is creating a new Kenan Pines experience at UNC, located in the woods at Kenan Stadium between Gates 2 and 3, that’s going to have more of a sports bar feel.

“Where turnkey tailgating has historically been at the Bell Tower, that won’t change. Now we just have other options.”

DeWeese says bringing all the sports and entertainment brands under the REVELXP umbrella allows the company to make some big changes to the fan experience.

“We want to revolutionize the fan experience. If you look at all of the acquisitions that have been made, they all tie back to that in some way, shape or fashion.”

“There has been a steady decline in fan attendance, and it wasn’t just competition of other things in the marketplace from a sports and entertainment perspective, but also from 75” TV, having food delivered to your house and homegating. People were still showing that they wanted to consume live events, but there was a disconnect between the offerings on campus and what we thought needed to be there.”

DeWeese says they really paid attention to how the younger demographic wanted to experience a game.

“They weren’t as apt to graduate, join the alumni association, donate and get their season tickets. They were much more looking at the secondary ticket market, setting up tailgates, because they want to experience things with their friends or family and shared in that experience.

“That’s actually where ‘Revel’ in our name came from. ‘Revel’ came from the idea that when you look back on things, you revel in those times. Those memories of being at the big game against a rival where we won or lost, you reveled in that at some point during the time that that game was going on.”

Moving forward, REVELXP is focused on working in both college and professional sports to maximize fan engagement, identify new revenue streams and successfully welcome back fans to stadiums this season. From design and custom-builds, to seating solutions, equipment needs, ticketing services and event staffing, REVELXP is a partner in pre-, post-, in-game, and non-game day premium hospitality solutions.

This piece originally appeared on Forbes

Author

  • Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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