The lives of college athletes are complex and nuanced. It’s virtually impossible to get to know the human behind the athlete by watching a television broadcast of their sporting event. This is unfortunate because many college athletes graciously volunteer their time and effort to a wide variety of different causes outside of their sport.
The main mission of Gator Collective is to foster connections. Gator Collective strives to create opportunities for fans to get to learn more about these athletes as people, and in turn, for the athletes to learn more about the fans who cheer them on from the stadium, arena, or their own living room. Our TAILGATOR event is a perfect avenue.
How Does A TAILGATOR Event Work?
Typically held the night before important Gator football games, our TAILGATOR events bring fans and athletes together in Gainesville on Friday evenings in an informal, fun setting. Think of it as a mixer-type networking event, but with some of your favorite athletes at the University of Florida. You’ll have the opportunity to introduce yourself to your favorite athletes, and engage in thoughtful, detailed conversations with them over drinks and food that gives you a more complete understanding of who the human is behind the jersey.
Unfortunately, because the Gator football team is busy with preparations for its next game on Friday nights, we are not able to have current football players at our TAILGATOR events. However, we do host athletes who play other sports at the University of Florida, as well as former Gator football players.
At our Utah 2022 TAILGATOR, for example, Florida baseball players Wyatt Langford, BT Riopelle, and Colby Halter were in attendance. Men’s basketball players Colin Castleton, Alex Fudge, and Myreon Jones also stopped by, and even brought their coach, Todd Golden! In total, over three dozen current athletes came to hang out with their fans that evening in the Diamond Deck of Condron Ballpark. Additionally, scores of former Gator athletes stopped by, including Kiki Smith, Cheyenne Lindsey, Earnest Graham, Frankie Hammond Jr., and Zach Carter.
When Are TAILGATOR Events Held?
Our goal is to hold at least two TailGator events per football season. We held our first TAILGATOR on the night before the Florida-Utah football game. Our next one is scheduled to be held on October 14, the night before Florida’s football team squares off against LSU. To learn more about this upcoming TAILGATOR (and to get your tickets!) please click here.
It has not yet been determined if we will hold a third TAILGATOR event in 2022.
One of the other trademark features of our TAILGATOR events is our raffle! With the purchase of your ticket comes an opportunity to enter Gator Collective raffles, which in turn gives you the opportunity to win all kinds of prizes! The raffle winnings include a tour of the football facility, autographed items, Gator Collective merchandise, and more!
Gator Collective is a unique entity that provides college athletes with opportunities to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) like never before- and in return, gives fans unprecedented levels of access to their favorite Gator athletes. Commit today, and join the greatest team in college sports!