Today is New Year’s Day 2013. More than likely you spent the day binging on college football bowl games and drinking massive amount of water and sports drinks to rehydrate yourself from ringing in the new year with a few too many cocktails the night before. In between bowl games and watching over and over Jadeveon Clowney’s huge hit in the 2013 Outback Bowl, we spent the day looking back at the year that was 2012 for us here at TailgatingIdeas.com.
We started the year off by attending the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show out in Las Vegas checking out some of the newest tailgating gear coming onto the market. Later that month we joined forces with Tailgating Digest to help that magazine get off the ground. Sadly, it was just not in the cards for Tailgating Digest to put out their inaugural issue as projected and the magazine cited a lack of advertisers for the reason they were unable to publish their first issue. In June, Tailgating Ideas reverted back to the look and theme prior to joining forces with Tailgating Digest and continued to publish articles and blog posts on product reviews, recipes, cartoons and humor pieces.
As in years past, Tailgating ideas was recognized in a number of mainstream publications. Regular readers of Tailgating Ideas have grown accustomed to some of our more significant posts getting picked up by Sports Illustrated in their Extra Mustard section. 2012 was no different with at least three or four mentions in Sports Illustrated last year. In addition to SI, Tailgating Ideas was also featured in the Costco Connection October 2012 edition. Most might not think of the magazine that promotes people to shop at Costco being a big deal but it is actually a really big deal. Costco Connection has over eight million subscribers so landing in a magazine of that size is quite significant.
In October 2012, Popular Mechanics relied heavily on information they pulled from Tailgating Ideas to put together their 7 Gameday Gadgets for Your Next Tailgate feature. With an average monthly circulation of over a million readers we were quite pleased to land on the pages of Popular Mechanics.
Although the results of our involvement in the Visa #MakeitEpic Super Bowl campaign won’t be seen until 2013, we did fly to New York, got to meet Hines Ward and they filmed me talking about how to make your Super Bowl party into an epic tailgate party themed party. The footage in this campaign will be released via the Visa online social media channels and we will keep you posted on when those come out.
All in all, 2012 was a good year for Tailgating Ideas. In looking at our traffic statistics, our number of visitors in 2012 increased over those from 2011 and the years prior. Steady growth is always what we are striving for and that includes increasing the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers as well. So now that we have gotten enough of the chest thumping and back patting out of the way, let’s list the Top 10 Blog Posts from 2012 that appeared on TailgatingIdeas.com.
10. Frost Boss – Coming in at number 10 was our product review of the Frost Boss. Admittedly, we were a bit skeptical of a device that spins a canned beverage in ice and takes it from room temperature to ice cold in two minutes without making it fizz or explode upon opening. We were sent a sample during the summer and ran it through it’s paces thoroughly. Needless to say it passed the tests with flying colors. Apparently a lot of you were also equally impressed and made it our No. 10 most popular post of the year.
9. Conversion Vans – Surprising to us was that a guest post, written by Blake Arbogast on tailgating with a Conversion Van made it into the Top 10. But after re-reading it, it was sharply written and included a lot of great information for those not quite ready to make the leap to RV tailgating but wanted something more than tailgating out of the back of your pick-up truck.
8. BasketPong – It takes a lot for a new tailgating product to make us take a step back and say “wow”. While out in Las Vegas for the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show, Basketpong did just that. Basically what it is is a game that has taken the game play and fun of beer pong, taken it vertical and implemented elements of the game of basketball. Did we also mention that on top of all that it can float in water? Just remove the bottom and middle posts, plug the base with the included plug, take the top post and insert it into the base and it can float in water. By making it the eighth most popular post on the website in 2012, apparently you readers were as impressed with it as we were.
7. Krewe of Monroeaux Tailgating Trailer – From time to time we feature what we call “Righteous Rigs”. Those are either tailgating trailers, RVs, converted ambulances or other vehicles specifically outfitted for one thing; tailgating. The Krewe of Monroeaux, an LSU tailgating group submitted photos and a description of their tailgating trailer and we shared them with all of you. Our feature of their righteous rig got a lot of attention and ended up getting passed around on social media and ended up on a few LSU message boards.
6. Tailgating Intervention – Back in July before football season started, we found this clever video on YouTube that spoofed the popular TV show on A&E “Intervention”. Instead of the addict being addicted to something like drugs, alcohol or gambling, this spoof featured a guy that had an addiction to tailgating outside of football season.
5. Margaritaville Tailgating Grill Eulogy – Any long time reader of this tailgating blog knows how we felt about the Freedom Grill FG-50 and the Margaritaville Tailgating grill. It pained us dearly in March of this past year when we had to publish the Margaritaville Tailgating Grill Eulogy. In order to tell the complete story of the Margaritaville Tailgating Grill we had to tell the story of the Freedom Grill FG-50 as their history and stories were intertwined. The writing was on the wall in the spring of 2012 as these grills become more and more scarce and nearly impossible to buy. The FG-50 and Margaritaville were never given a proper burial but we hope our eulogy provided adequate closure to those who loved these tailgating grills as much as we did.
4. Red Solo Cup Koozies – Red Solo party cups are as common at tailgate parties as 40 year-old virgins are at comic book conventions. Although country music artist Toby Keith sang the praises of the Red Solo Cup in 2012, the main drawback is they do not insulate your beverage very well. We had the opportunity to test out and review a fun new drink koozie that not only keeps your beverage can cold but resembles a Red Solo Cup. Little did we know that our Red Solo Cup Koozie Review would become the fourth most popular blog post in 2012.
3. Holiday Gift Guide 2012 – Every year it seems as though people are stumped to find gifts for the tailgaters in your life. After all, what do you get the tailgater who already has everything. Hopefully each year we put out our Holiday Gift Guide for tailgaters it provides a little bit of help and a possible suggestion to make someone’s holiday gift giving experience a little easier. This year’s guide was picked up by Sports Illustrated which gave it a boost in visitors despite only having been published on the site with two weeks to go before the end of the year.
2. Father’s Day Gift Guide – Based on the past successes of our holiday gift giving guides we thought we would introduce the Father’s Day Gift Guide. Our suspicions proved to be right on in that Sports Illustrated picked up on this gift guide and posted it in the June 11, 2012 edition of Hot Clicks. They even gave it a shout out and made a comment that the iPhone case that is a bottle opener was quite intriguing. On the strength of the visitors coming in from Sports Illustrated plus the overall interest, vaulted the Father’s Day Gift Guide to the No. 2 most popular post in 2012.
1. Bacon Roses – It is no secret here that our love for bacon runs deep. And seeing how Valentine’s Day is typically not a holiday for tailgating seeing how football season is done and baseball spring training hasn’t even started, we thought this would be a fun way to bring a little bit of tailgate flavor to an otherwise boring holiday. The step-by-step instructions are right there so if you need a Tailgating Valentine’s Day Idea, you are good to go.
That wraps another year of tailgating fun and instruction. This past August marked the five year anniversary of this tailgating blog after starting it in 2007. We hope to do many of more of these yearly wrap-ups and hope that 2013 is our best year yet. If current trends keep up by improving on the previous years, that is one new year’s resolution we can keep.