Not Just a Party in the Parking Lot: An Exploratory Investigation of the Motives Underlying the Ritual Commitment of Football Tailgaters, pp. 92-106

Jenna Drenten
Cara Okleshen Peters
Thomas Leigh
Candice R. Hollenbeck

This study examines the underlying motives within the ritual of football tailgating and the influence of these motives on ritual commitment. Employing an ethnographic approach, methods include participant observation, informal conversations, and formal interviews. Findings indicate that four basic motivations and the dual nature of these motives perpetuate the tailgating ritual: involvement (preparation and participation), social interaction (camaraderie and competition), inter-temporal sentiment (retrospection and prospection), and identity (collectivism and individualism). The data illustrate that the duality of these motives perpetuates consumers’ commitment to the ritual of tailgating and thus motivates participants to continue tailgating over time. Theoretical and sport marketing implications are discussed.