Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour Closes 2012 Season, Announces Tailgater of the Year

Dec 20, 2012, 14:36 ET from Trybe Targeting

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2012 Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour wrapped up another hugely successful season following the SEC Championship game in Atlanta, Ga. on Saturday, Dec. 1. After visiting 10 of the fiercest football rivalries known to the SEC and a weeklong nationwide vote, The Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour has announced Matt Kamphuis as the 2012 Tailgater of the Year. Kamphuis will receive two tickets to the Fiesta Bowl and bragging rights to carry him through to the next season.

The Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour began its trek across the southeast at the Chick-fil-a Kickoff in Atlanta, Ga. Lead by tour director and BBQ pitmaster Chris Turner, the tour stopped at a total of 10 rivalry games and 16 activations at local Sam's Club® locations across eight states in the 2012 season. Heinz® and Wright® Brand Bacon joined the tailgate fun and provided fans with tasty product samples all year long. Tour director Chris Turner shared creative recipes using Cavanaugh™ sausage and tailgating tips and techniques for fans to use at their own tailgate parties. Game attendees and tailgaters went "fanatic" over the Heinz Pepper Relish filled Wright Brand bacon cups and the pre-cooked and gluten-free Cavanaugh sausage. The combination of Cavanaugh, Heinz and Wright provided for a tailgating menu of perfection that left fans from all teams drooling for more.

Where there's a football game, there's an army of tailgaters and The Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour went on a mission once more to find this year's Tailgater of the Year – that's the tailgater equivalent to winning the Heisman Trophy. At each game stop, the tour team captured photos of passionate tailgaters showing off their greatest team spirit – often accompanied by cheers, chants, costumes and war paint – and selected each game's Tailgater of the Game. Beating out the other nine Tailgaters of the Game through a nationwide vote, Matt Kamphuis was selected as the 2012 Tailgater of the Year. In addition to the honorary title, Kamphuis was awarded two tickets, provided by Ticket Solutions, to a bowl game of his choice.

"I just want to thank the Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour and everyone who voted for me to be the Tailgater of the Year," said Kamphuis. Kamphuis will be attending this season's Fiesta Bowl in January.

The tour concluded its season back in Atlanta, Ga. with its Cookoff Before Kickoff program that was activated specifically to highlight the SEC Championship. Cookoff Before Kickoff, sponsored by Coca-Cola® and Coke Zero® and hosted by Ray "Dr.BBQ" Lampe at four Atlanta-area Sam's Club locations, showcased SEC rivalry recipes and invited Sam's Club members to determine which team had the ultimate SEC game-day recipe. In the battle between the Georgia Vidalia Onion Burger and the Alabama BBQ Chicken Wings with White BBQ Sauce, it was the chicken wings that took home the winning title.

Nearly 70,000 fans were a part of the Gridiron Rivals Tailgate Tour experience for the 2012 season. With food, games and prizes to boot, the tour made a touchdown worthy of a Desmond Howard's end-zone pose. 

For more information on the tour and a recap of all the 2012 tour stops, visit Follow the tour on Twitter (@GridironTour) and on Facebook ( to stay in the tailgate talk all year long.

About Trybe Targeting

Trybe Targeting is the food and enthusiast marketing division of MMA Creative Inc., a 22-year-old marketing and advertising firm with offices in Nashville, Memphis, Las Vegas and Orlando. Trybe Targeting is the agency of record to the World Food Championships, Kansas City Barbeque Society, International Chili Society, World's Championship Chili Cookoff and the American Cornhole Organization. Trybe Targeting also helped develop and operates the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour, the richest competition series in barbeque history. For more information, visit

Jeff Morris

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