The World's Largest Resource for the Cart, Kiosk, and Temporary Retail Industry
by Jenny Kincaid Boone

During football season, some retailers count on sales as much as a team counts on the quarterback.

Two Roanoke-area business partners are building a retail enterprise that targets specific kinds of spenders — collegiate sports fans.

A year ago, Mark Rowland and Jon Kurz created Tailgaters United, selling hats, chairs, vehicle magnets, flags and other merchandise representing a variety of universities, including Virginia Tech and Virginia. They’re tapping into a potentially lucrative customer base, with about 42 percent of tailgaters revealing that they spend more than $500 on food and supplies each year, according to Also, 46 percent of people surveyed said they tailgate six to 10 times a season.

Kurz and Rowland started out with a $15,000 investment and a cart at Valley View Mall. During the holiday season, they operated a temporary store at Tanglewood Mall.

In February, the entrepreneurs widened their Valley View presence, moving the store to a retail space near Old Navy. Last month, they went a step further and shifted the business to a larger storefront across from Buffalo Wild Wings at Valley View.

The men met while working for Lowe’s Home Improvement store. Both had a desire to turn a hobby into a career, and they decided to make their love of college sports at least a part-time livelihood. For now, they work full-time for different national retailers.

Rowland, a Virginia Tech fan, and Kurz, a graduate of West Virginia University, began the business with the idea of appealing to fans of various collegiate teams and in a way, uniting them with common merchandise.

“We love the traditions of the college game,” said Rowland, 46, and a Roanoke County resident. “I think everybody speaks that language, no matter what team they follow.”

“We don’t want to be known for just Virginia Tech and West Virginia,” he added.

Read complete article.

Similar Articles

Useful Links

Looking for more information on wholesalers and products? Check out our directory of useful links.

  • Triple Image
  • Lerner Corporation
  • AGA Wholesale
  • Wetline Pro
  • The Cell Planet
  • My True Card
  • Jersey Shore Shades

  • View the full directory
© 2000-2012 Pinnacle Publishing Group
195 Hanover Street
Hanover, MA 02339
Phone: 800.936.6297
Fax: 781.829.1042