In this CLIQ Spotlight, we chat with Luke Lorick, Founder and CEO of Tailgating Challenge and an all around aficionado of the tailgating tradition. Tailgating Challenge is a social platform for sports fans and tailgaters to share common experiences and learn about the best tailgating equipment on the market.
CLIQ: How did you become an expert in tailgating, what’s your story?
Luke: As a kid growing up, I’d go to games with my family at the University of South Carolina, which I fell in love with and later went to for college. I continued to tailgate pretty much every home game after graduation until I moved away. But that’s where the idea was born for the Tailgating Challenge and National Tailgating Day (the first Saturday of September). I just wanted to continue to spread what I was passionate about and create a platform for like-minded people to share ideas and have fun.
CLIQ: Why does tailgating do such a good job bringing people together?
Luke: I think there are some components that are obviously fun, like the synergy of bringing people together to cheer your team on. But another big factor, in my opinion, is that people are actually putting their phones away and connecting with each other on that human level that we don't do as much anymore as a society. I think when people actually do that, they have better conversations and end up having a lot more fun. That’s one reason why I think tailgating is going to be really big this year coming off of COVID.
CLIQ: What do you look for in the ultimate tailgating setup?
Luke: There are a lot of different ways to answer this one. I feel like you can have an awesome tailgating experience with a low budget, but of course, if you have a higher budget, you can get some of the really cool gadgets for that ‘wow’ factor. But for a standard setup, you just need an affordable grill, comfortable seating and some yard games– and trust me, yard games have blown up over the last couple of years. I actually created National Yard Games Day for the first day of Summer each year.
But all that said, and this may sound cliche, the most important part to me is the people. If you’re tailgating with family, friends and people you care about, you’re going to have fun no matter what products you have. It starts truly with the people, every single time.
CLIQ: We definitely agree with you there! How does CLIQ Chair work in your tailgate setup?
Luke: In my opinion, CLIQ Chair is the most comfortable, ultra-portable chair that I've tested. I'm not saying it’s going to beat some of these big rocking chairs in terms of comfort, but that's not the intent. So if you're low on space and want something nice and sturdy, CLIQ Chair is the best one that I’ve found. And again, this is not a paid advertisement [laughs].
CLIQ: What tips do you have for all the tailgaters out there?
Luke: Make sure you plan for the weather. For early season games in the heat, make sure you have shade. And if there’s some rain on the forecast, there’re tons of awesome tailgating products to help with that. Some of my favorite tailgates have actually been in the rain, and that sounds weird, but because we were prepared, we could make the most out of the situation.
CLIQ: Any big events that you’re looking forward to this year?
Luke: I’m just really excited to get back to tailgating this year. We went to the University of Wyoming on National Tailgating Day and had a really good time out there. It’s great to see tailgates that I’ve never been to before and learn how fans in these different places are doing it. I’d say the next big event for us is National Homegating Day. That’s on Superbowl Sunday and it’s all about bringing the tailgate home. So we have a lot to look forward to!