Good Life

Tailgate Guys prepares for third season with Penn State football fans

As summer begins to wind down, college football season rapidly approaches and, with it, opportunities to indulge in the game day tradition that some enjoy more than the game itself — the tailgate. While you could spend days planning and prepping for the perfect tailgate for you and your friends, you can now, instead, hand over the reigns to the pros.

Tailgate Guys, founded in 2009 before really picking up steam and growing exponentially in 2017, is a national brand affiliated with college communities all over the country. Tailgate Guys offers a turnkey tailgating service that takes all the prep, hassle and stress out of tailgating, so all fans have to do is simply show up and enjoy.

From the time of reservation to the end of the tailgate, Gary Nettles, general manager of Tailgate Guys at Penn State, said the company provides a “seamless process.”

“We listen to our guests’ needs to recommend the best possible pre-developed tailgate package for them, or customize a tailgate package for them,” Nettles said. “We reserve their tailgate space, provide them with catering menus to choose to have at their tailgate and coordinate all of the logistics of getting the food to their tailgate (the) day of (the) game.”

Guests are greeted by bellhops on game day, who help to unload vehicles and it to to the tailgate space. Tailgate Guys also provides on-site concierge service during the tailgate.

“The best part is, once the tailgate is over, the guests can simply walk away,” Nettles said.

Fans enjoy watching other college football games during a tailgate by the Tailgate Guys at Penn State. Courtesy of Tailgate Guys. Tailgate Guys Photo provided

The ease and convenience of this process is what Nettles says customers like most about working with Tailgate Guys. For anyone with a hectic schedule, the service allows them the chance to still enjoy a top-notch tailgate without putting in all the effort.

The upcoming football season is Tailgate Guys’ third at Penn State and, so far, the experience has been a good one for both fans and the brand alike.

“Penn State arguably has the most prominent tailgating history and culture in the country, as well as the best fan base,” Nettles said. “It is extremely rewarding to hear from our guests how our service elevates their game day experience and it is the only way to tailgate.”

For Nettles personally, a business based on tailgating and that allows him to work directly with Penn State fans creates a fun work environment that also provides valuable business experience.

Fans walk among the tents in the Tailgate Guys area before a Penn State game. Courtesy of Tailgate Guys. Tailgate Guys Photo provided

But what about after football season is over? Does the business simply shutter until the next season? Not at all, Nettles said.

“When not in football season, we operate as our sister company, PRE Events. We can provide basic equipment rental, set up and tear down for events like other organizations in the area or we can provide full service for an event where we can take care of equipment, on-site concierge services, catering ordering and logistics and even assistance with event sales in certain situations.”

But first, all eyes are on the upcoming football season and providing fans with the best game day possible.

“I think our biggest change for this upcoming year is providing our guests additional food and beverage options. With this being only our third season at Penn State, I think our services are still new to a lot of people, so we didn’t change too many things (this season). We are just keeping the great service and high standards for our returning guests and hopefully many new guests,” Nettles said.

Holly Riddle is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer. She can be reached at