We started with a pickup truck and two trailers in a backyard. That was the spring of 2009 in Auburn, Alabama. By fall we were hosting 53 groups every game day. Today, we host more than 300 groups at Auburn alone. Through hard work, determination, and attention to detail, we’ve seen Tailgate Guys expand across the region. From Austin to Atlanta to Gainesville, we’ve learned that where you find sports fans you also find plenty of room for quality service and old fashioned hospitality.
Now we employ more than 100 staff members, offer our services to tens of thousands of fans, and—needless to say—have successfully moved out of Michael's backyard. As we grow and gain national recognition, our goal remains to deliver outstanding service, anticipate needs, and create settings where fans make their greatest memories.
Our success depends on our team’s ability to work together seamlessly. That’s why we’re grateful for team members who diligently ensure that each guest has an unforgettable game day experience.
Parker has successfully led Tailgate Guys to substantial growth year after year while establishing successful partnerships with universities and bowl games spanning from Florida to Texas. Parker, his wife Melanie, a professor at Auburn University, and daughter Elizabeth James reside in Auburn.
MICHAEL OTWELL | CHIEF PRODUCTION OFFICER & CO-FOUNDER
As a co-founder of Tailgate Guys, Michael has been the mastermind behind our logistical operations and game-day planning from the beginning. Michael has continually strived to refine and streamline the Tailgate Guys production and has successfully implemented the Tailgate Guys system at each of our locations. Michael, his wife Jenna and two daughters, Lily and Maddie Tate, reside in Auburn.
Originally from Acworth, GA, Clay is a two-time graduate of Auburn University with a bachelors and Master’s in Accounting. Clay brings his expertise to Tailgate Guys with an impressive past career as an external auditor for PwC, and serving as a CFO for a private company. Clay met his wife, Ely at PwC and they call Auburn home with their twin children, Presley and Walker. When Clay’s not crunching numbers, he’s on to the latest DIY project and enjoys fixing things... as you can see, we all know we are in good hands with Clay on board!
SHELLY ADAMS | DIRECTOR OF EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION
As the first full-time Tailgate Girl, Shelly bravely took on the task of handling all guest services and office administration duties in the Auburn office. Shelly quickly grew into a larger role at Tailgate Guys and PRE Event Resources. After graduating from Auburn University in 2011, Shelly and her husband Dustin moved to Atlanta where she worked in two churches over a two year span. Though soft-spoken, you put Shelly on the pitcher's mound and she'll mow you down.
Tailgate Guys’ resident ‘most interesting man in the world’ Ron has done it all. He has been married for 25 years, father of three and is a lifelong resident of Auburn. He played sports throughout high school and went on to be the Auburn Mic-Man where he graduated in 1986. His family has owned Anders Book Store for 50+ years, he is the director of the AHSAA Super 7 Football Championships and is the Mayor for the City of Auburn. Seriously, what can’t this guy do? With his hand in so many pots, an obvious fit for Ron is to be Tailgate Guys’ Director of Special Projects where he can handle anything and everything we throw at him.
CHAD CLEVELAND | SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & TECHNOLOGY
Chad brings 15 years of collegiate rights experience to Tailgate Guys, having most recently served as Vice President at IMG College. In his role at Tailgate Guys, Chad oversees marketing strategy, creative, and consumer-facing technology and digital platforms. He is based in our NC offices and he and his wife, Brandi have two kids. When he's not working, Chad is typically hiking or camping with his family.
A Plano, Texas native, Eric has extensive experience in athletic event management. Before joining the Tailgate Guys team, Eric served on the athletic event management team at Auburn University's Athletics Department. Eric's background paired with his natural enthusiasm for customer service has made him an ideal fit with Tailgate Guys. If you think you are a sports guru, try this guy. As Tailgate Guys' "sports almanac," we dare to try to stump Eric. He and his wife, Morgan both Auburn grads, are happy to return to Alabama to raise their daughters Hadlee & Sadie.
When she’s not completing a calligraphy order or creating seamless event plans, ML likes to run and spend time with her husband, daughter, and their four bird dogs. Born, raised and remaining in Opelika, AL, ML knows the value of close-knit community and Southern hospitality- the perfect combination for our senior project manager in our HQ.
AJ comes to Tailgate Guys with experience from the largest independent secondary ticket marketplace in North America, Vivid Seats. He oversaw more than 50 corporate partnerships in sports and entertainment. AJ oversees business development strategy including new property acquisitions, account management, and our local and national sales efforts.
MIKE POZOWICZ | SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PRE EVENT RESOURCES
Coming to us from Toms River, New Jersey is Mike Pozowicz. We love him for his work hard, play hard attitude and his passion for hospitality. Mike is an avid soccer player and likes to spend time bird hunting. He's been around for a while and he's become a Tailgate Guys and PRE pro. We love him for his work hard, play hard attitude and his passion for hospitality. Mike is an avid soccer player and likes to spend time bird hunting.
Born in Philly but a Florida native, Brendan has a passion for sports. He holds a bachelors degree from University of South Florida and not one, but two masters degree (MS and MBA) in Sports and Entertainment Management from USF. He has worked in sports events management and sales with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the University of Texas before starting out with our Austin Tailgate Guys team. Brendan is based in our Gainesville office, and can be found trying the latest food spots in town.
Eli is a member of our Atlantic Region crew. Joining us from his home state of North Carolina, Eli is a welcome addition. With athletic experience from Auburn University and the University of Oklahoma, Eli brings top skills and expertise to the team. He and his wife, Kelby, enjoy spending time with their lovable boxer-mix named Happy. Welcome aboard, Eli!
PAUL WILLIS | SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNAL OPERATIONS
Paul has valuable experience and a passion for hospitality. Prior to joining Tailgate Guys, Paul had several years of valuable experience in restaurant management. Paul manages all of the day to day in the Auburn office while also keeping his thumb on the pulse of all other Tailgate Guys locations and PRE Event Resources operations. He and his wife Stephanie also call Auburn their home. No, that's not "E" from the show Entourage. That's just Paul.
A team like no other
As our business has grown, we’ve learned how to work with each of our partners to provide the right services to that property. We create a setting where tailgaters make great memories—even if their team doesn’t emerge as the winner. That’s because we understand that tailgating is about the people, and we ease the experience of set-up, maintenance, and tear down, so that fans can spend their time and energy enjoying their friends and family.
Through a commitment to hard work, attention to detail, and collaboration, we’ve watched our company grow and expand year after year across the nation. From hosting 53 tailgate groups in 2009, we’ve since expanded our national footprint from California to Florida.