Budweiser might become sponsor of ASG tailgates

Marisa Maldonado

A Budweiser representative said Monday that Budweiser will assume full sponsorship of Associated Student Government’s alcoholic tailgates if the 1800 Club decides to stop supporting the event.

1800 Club might withdraw its sponsorship of ASG’s alcoholic tailgates, ASG President Jordan Heinz said Monday.

Heinz said he had spoken with 1800 Club general manager Loren Rattner, who expressed concerns that turnout at the first two tailgates had not been adequate. Heinz said Rattner told him club owner Tony Anton would make a decision by Tuesday. Anton was unavailable for comment Monday.

Budweiser already has donated four kegs, worth about $50 each, for each tailgate. Two Budweiser employees would serve the alcohol as well if 1800 Club pulls its workers from the event. Saturday’s tailgate, which will go on as planned, will be in the woodchip area in Ryan Field’s east parking lot.

“We’ve always been a big supporter of Northwestern and always done a lot of tailgating parties in the past,” said Tim McCay, sales manager for Quality Beers, which distributes Budweiser. “We’re just trying to show our support for the team.”

Heinz said he was unconcerned about 1800 Club pulling out because the tailgates would continue regardless of their sponsor.

“Who’s there doesn’t make a difference — those are purely logistics,” said Heinz, an Education senior.

Heinz said it probably would be easier for Budweiser to sponsor the tailgates alone because it is a larger business than 1800 Club.

“(Budweiser) has the necessary insurance and everything,” Heinz said. “1800 Club — it’s a little bit more work for them, and they’re just a smaller company. It might just cost too much.”

Heinz said it has been difficult to attract students to the tailgates so far. The football team’s recent performance might hurt attendance if fewer students come to the game. The cold weather also might be a deterrent, Heinz said.

But Heinz added that because the tailgates begin early — about two hours before the 11 a.m. game — students might have less time to plan off-campus tailgates and will attend ASG’s event instead.

ASG Campus Public Relations Chairwoman Kate Duffy said her committee will try to increase turnout by chalking around campus and fliering in fraternity and sorority houses. Advertisements also will be posted at 1800 Club and Mark II Lounge to attract older students, who traditionally live off-campus.

Heinz said he hopes the tailgates will continue in future years.

“We definitely want to finish up the season,” Heinz said. “It will be up to the general consensus of the community whether it needs to happen next year or not.”