This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on December 18, 2019.
Luke Lorick is a self-appointed tailgating aficionado who has made it his mission to change the culture of tailgating.
Steeped in tradition, tailgating parties have been popping up since the pigskin was first punted at a stadium field. Boisterous fans celebrate by grilling, socializing and participating in cook-offs with their team’s rival fans intended to encourage fun and friendly competition.
As a teenager in Lexington, South Carolina, Lorick was a regular tailgater in the parking lots at the University of South Carolina (USC) before the football games.
After attending and ultimately graduating from USC, the tailgating buff wanted more opportunities to engage in the hobby which had occupied much of his youth. Lorick hoped to share the experiences and friendships his favorite activity had brought him throughout his life, so he made the decision to take his passion to a grander scale.
In 2012, the Tailgating Challenge was created as a celebration of the American tradition. What started as a side project turned into a business venture specializing in the essentials of making every tailgating experience a memorable one. From product reviews and tips to the must-have gear every tailgater needs, the South Carolina native is making people rethink how they celebrate.
Lorick’s career brought him to Waxahachie, Texas. From there, he’s been making the rounds to more tailgating venues to learn how people all over the country are putting this pastime into practice. He receives no monetary incentives for the product reviews, but instead shares his opinions on products he has personally tried and deems valuable to the community of tailgaters.
The stadium party expert has tested over 500 different tailgating and outdoor products which include the Polaris Slingshot Roadster, Human Touch Reflex Massager, a football hanging lounge chair and the Kube Sound Cooler.
Thanks to Lorick’s efforts to get America tailgating, whether outdoors or indoors, the Tailgating Challenge has grown into the largest tailgating-specific site in the world. Tailgating Challenge isn’t exclusive to tailgaters, but is also intended for campers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.
National Tailgating Day is recognized on the first Saturday in September, which happens to coincide with the start of the college football season. Recently, Lorick took his love of tailgating and moved the party indoors. The National Homegating Day will celebrate its first annual day on January 1, 2020.