and busy television sets – as football season 2014 kicks into full gear, such
standbys will again become commonplace on college campuses and in households
nationwide. And alongside packed stadiums will inevitably be hectic
supermarkets swarmed with game day shoppers stocking up for a weekend of
The excitement of college football season brings along a slew of opportunities for brands to harness the power of consumer perceptions -- and few resources offer richer insights than the ever-changing world of social media conversation.
To predict the most talked-about goods and trends for the upcoming football season, DataRank analyzed online conversation at two major retailers – Walmart and Target – from August 2013 to January 2014. Key products and preferences were then isolated and examined in their own right to extract deeper insights about consumer experiences with tailgate shopping.
Foremost in consumer minds was holistic shopping – the ability to obtain necessary tailgating supplies in one trip. 43% of Walmart’s tailgating discussion and 38% of Target’s featured mentions of favorable product selections, often with the caveat of busy or crowded stores.
This Walmart is crowded. I feel like I'm going to get lost. #E3to1Million— Jennifer Stromberg (@J3NNY107) August 17, 2014
But by far the greatest single share of conversation concerned tailgating equipment – coolers, containers, and especially grills. Commenters across all retailers positively emphasized equipment deals in time for tailgate season, and nearly 5% of total discussion on grills mentioned the value of versatile devices, with tailgate suitability appearing as a common point of positivity.
Takeaways for Tailgate 2014
Analysis of tailgate 2013 conversation reinforces an important trend in consumer attitudes toward purchasing: the value of one-stop-shops for convenient, all-inclusive shopping experiences. The hustle of game day preparations – much like the schedule of everyday life for many consumers – simply cannot accommodate multiple supply trips. Retailers specializing in all-in-one offerings should continue to capitalize on this advantage. Those with a narrow purview might consider partnerships aimed at expanding the range of available products.
In a similar vein, consumer emphasis on tailgating equipment highlights the marketing potential of product combinations. Considering both the desire for holistic shopping experiences and enthusiasm for tailgate-suitable grills, one can envision the possible popularity of bundled packages or deals offering a complete set of tailgate supplies.
Clearly, the time spent leading up to the big game is of utmost importance to football-minded consumers. Retailers should make game day purchases as convenient as possible if they want to capture this demographic.