Tailgate Nation returns to the stadium

Tailgate Nation's third year is all about honoring the fans that put game in gameday.

Drone shot of football fans at Tailgate Nation tiny stadium

Reuniting with fans

After a year of going virtual, the Tailgate Nation program is back in person at college football games across the U.S. this fall.

“We’re so excited to be back at the games this year,” says Emma Dillinger, senior planner, Brand Experience, General Mills. “We're going back to engage with fans in person and we’re also bringing back some of the virtual aspects that worked really well for us last year.”

The in-person experience includes interactive elements like Tiny Houses with food sampling, an MC, trivia and a car cooler that delivers snacks.

For those celebrating at home, Tailgate Nation teamed up with Meijer to launch the first-ever virtual “homegate,” which brings the gameday excitement through an interactive virtual kitchen and backyard, as well as a tailgate outside The Big House, the football stadium for the University of Michigan.

The Tailgate Nation program is also blowing out its Fanatics program by offering even more value this year. All you need to do is buy 4 participating General Mills products and you’ll get $50 off at Fanatics.

Participating General Mills brands include Chex, Old El Paso, Chex Mix, Nature Valley, Totino’s, Fruit Roll-Ups, Bugles, Gardetto’s, Betty Crocker, Cinnamin Toast Crunch, Cheerios and Fruit by the Foot.

Support for Special Spectators

Tailgate Nation is also teaming up with Special Spectators, a nonprofit on a mission to create VIP gameday experiences for seriously ill children and their families at sporting events across the United States.

General Mills partnered with Special Spectators for the first time last year, but due to COVID-19, everything was virtual.

This year, they’re back in person at the games, celebrating together safely.

“The kids get VIP seats, tours of the stadium, meet and greets with some of the players and coaches, and a General Mills gift box filled with our products, Tailgate Nation products and school themed items as well,” says Dillinger.

The Tailgate Nation team was looking to add an element of community support and Special Spectators was the perfect fit.

“Not only is Special Spectators an amazing charity that does great things for kids, but they work really closely with colleges already, so it felt like a natural fit for us to partner in this environment,” says Dillinger.

To learn more about Special Spectators, visit