Matt and Greg met at Holy Cross College, where they were both student athletes on the Golf team. In 2017, they enrolled in the Applied Entrepreneurship Program (AEP). AEP is an academic venture that focuses on connecting students with the South Bend and Elkhart professional network in effort to supply students with the necessary tools and resources to start their own business. Their business concept for tailgate concierge services won them funding from the program and an opportunity to launch Touchdown Tailgates in South Bend in 2018, in part through the acquisition of a small Notre Dame-student owned and operated tailgate equipment rental business. With a strong focus on rebranding and extensive marketing efforts, the company was successful and secured a warehouse headquarters less than one mile from campus, which still serves as E3’s sole logistics facility for all Midwest events. In early 2019 Matt, Greg, and John joined forces to form Exclusive Event Experiences with a focus on growing college football tailgate services and expanding across the midwest.
In May of 2019, Matt graduated from Holy Cross and moved to Chicago to work on the business full-time with Greg and John. It was a great year learning the Chicago side of the business and the team saw over a 100% sales growth in both Chicago and Notre Dame.
In early 2020, the team had aggressive plans to expand across the midwest into new markets. Those plans were put on hold when universities and stadiums across the country did not allow any fans to attend games. Even with the challenges, the team did not put things on hold and they realized that there was a real opportunity in virtual event production and socially distanced events during the pandemic. The team quickly put together offerings and executed multiple events for clients and also produced one of the largest drive in EDM concerts just outside of Chicago. This quick thinking and creative action allowed the business to make it through the zero fan attendance at stadiums.
In early 2021, the company picked up the previous growth plans to expand into new markets across the midwest. During this time, another opportunity presented itself to the team. Irish Express was a company that had been in business operating roundtrip bus trips from Chicago to Notre Dame on gameday since 2017. The team worked out a deal to acquire Irish Express and operate it in tandem with the tailgate service operations as it aligned very well with the previous offerings. Additionally, during the summer of 2021, E3 signed with Northwestern University as the Preferred Tailgate Partner and as the University of Notre Dame’s Tailgate Service Provider. Overall, 2021 was a record year for the business and the company saw tremendous growth expanding into the new markets and employing over 75 individuals.
Gameday is looking forward to another great year in 2022 serving Notre Dame, Chicago, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Indiana with a plethora of package offerings including Tailgate Services, Transportation Packages, Catering Delivery, Accommodation Partners, and more. Whether it’s just renting a cooler or table, or flying you in on a private jet with black car service to your private tailgate in front of the stadium with full food and beverage, we have an option for you.
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Gameday’s leadership team is comprised of four co-founders and partners who share a deep passion for sports and a commitment to delivering world-class event experiences for fans. Over the past six years, Gameday has grown from a single venue operation to serving customers across the Midwest.
Matthew Sheldon, a graduate of Holy Cross College, is the company’s CEO. Matt has a passion for providing incredible experiences for friends, family, and clients alike. He is happiest when serving others and is always there to ensure that everyone is having a great time. Matt’s entrepreneurial journey first started as a freshman in college when he started his first web design agency. Since then Matt’s self drive and dedication has allowed him to turn his passion into a full-time career in the events industry. He is also a real estate investor and manages properties in South Bend.
Greg Fean, a fellow Holy Cross graduate, is the company’s COO. Greg is the operator and expert in getting things done. He is the man behind the scenes putting together a plan to succeed and hiring individuals with that same passion to provide excellent service to our clients. Greg has extensive event background working on projects ranging from small intimate gatherings to multi-day events with thousands of attendees. Greg is extremely skilled in operations, employee, and vendor management and is a crucial role to the success of the operation. With family ties to South Bend and Notre Dame, Greg has been a lifelong Notre Dame fan. Greg currently lives in South Bend full-time with his loving wife, Morgan.
John Murray is a co-owner and active senior advisor to Gameday. He is a Marine Corps veteran, seasoned strategist and proven business leader, with experience as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and as a global managing director for Accenture. From 2006 to 2009, John was the chief bid officer in Chicago’s effort to host the 2016 Olympic Games, where he served alongside CEO Pat Ryan as one of the three executive officers of the bid corporation. In 2011, John founded & chaired the Chicago Sports Commission, attracting the NFL Draft and other major sporting events to the City. Additionally, John is the CEO of Arena Partners, a growth strategy and event production firm that has produced some of the largest events in Chicago’s history.