Mendoza School of Business

Tailgating gets online playbooks

Published: November 8, 2013 / Author: Nancy Better

In The New York Times article, “Tailgating gets an online playbook,” Marketing Professor John Sherry is quoted about his research examining tailgating as a cultural ritual, and how people are using technology as part of the experience.


tailgating has attracted academic, as well as commercial, attention. In a
research study titled “A Cultural Analysis of Tailgating,” John Sherry, a
University of Notre Dame marketing professor and anthropologist, likens
tailgating to traditional harvest celebrations in ancient Greece and Rome,
which involved excessive feasting and drinking and required generous
hospitality toward strangers and guests.

Sherry dubs tailgating a “vestaval,” after Vesta, the goddess of the hearth.
“As in ancient times, people celebrate the massive abundance of the season
while they can,” he said. “The football season starts at the end of summer,
goes through fall and ends on winter’s doorstep. Tailgating is an autumnal rite
that celebrates abundance in the face of austerity.”

Sherry applauds the use of technology in organizing cultural rituals, including
tailgates. “People want to be involved in a very participatory way, and
technology makes more room for this to happen,” he said.

Read the entire article.


Topics: Mendoza