Sports are beautiful. They unite people, bringing them together under the one banner. They bring out people’s passionate side, allowing them to fully commit to a cause. They also go particularly well with beer.
The competition between sports bars can be just as willing as the competition between professional teams. It’s a constant dog fight to be the most alluring, the best value, the most atmospheric and the coolest. When a big game rolls around you need to be the name on everyone’s lips, lest you miss out on the big spending supporters of the winning team or even the sorrow-drowning supporters of the losers.
So how is it done? Let’s take a look at a few sports bar marketing game changers that might help to inspire you.
1. Offer EVERY Sport
How do you get a reputation as a great sports bar? You offer people the thing that they go to a sports bar for – sports. If your venue is capable, try to have as many screens as possible within it. Multi-room pubs and bars are ideal for this, as they allow you to televise games in each room with sound. Denote a larger area and multiple screens to the games with the biggest audience, but try to provide variety no matter how big the main game is.
One great example of being the best at televised sport is Thomas Magee’s, an old school sports bar in Detroit. With 40+ TVs offering every major sports channel, as well as opening hours that work around EPL and UEFA fixtures, this place knows how to cater to their audience.
2. Show Your Wit on a Sidewalk Sign
Attracting new clientele can be tricky, but one of the simplest ways is to just drag them off the street. Most sports bars are gifted a sidewalk sign by a preferred brewer or distiller; a blank canvas on which you can create art.
If you or one of your staff has a well-developed funny bone, why not produce a little bit of hilarity for passersby to enjoy? And if you don’t trust yourself to produce some gold dust, never fear – the internet is here to help! Classics include:
- Hungry? We will feed you. Thirsty? We will get you drunk. Lonely? We will get you drunk.
- SPECIAL OFFER: You give us money, we give you beer
- Soup of the Day: Whiskey
3. Keep Your Sports In-House
Like any good sports bar, you have a pool table, a foosball table and a couple of dartboards. But on certain nights of the week, usually Monday through Wednesday, these terrific pieces of entertainment – like the rest of your bar – sit there laying to waste.
Why not fill this profit vacuum with fun? Organising an in-house competition of pool, darts, foosball or even beer pong can get those quieter nights of the week filled to the brim with action. When done right, building a league brings in steady, guaranteed revenue to your bar or pub.
4. Prizes, prizes, prizes
A prize or giveaway promotion can serve to turn an otherwise dead and boring night of the week into something buzzing with excitement. More than just a single prize to give away, the best nights are those that offer a constant string of prizes, getting patrons in early and giving them a reason to stick around.
While promotional gear and meat raffles are the typical giveaway fare, you want to stand out. “Go big or go home” should be your motto – aim to truly excite people with your prizes by offering either super unique thing or items of value. Once word gets around that you’re giving away sports memorabilia or electronics the hordes will come, eventually on the regular.
To win the game it’s wise to change the game. Change it in your favour by getting creative with your sports bar promotions.