In our 35 years, Rewards Network has helped nearly 100,000 local restaurants grow their business. Depending on their favorite sport, fans may be draining or exhausting the energy and excitement of their favorite team and players. But for sports bar managers and employees, the season never ends. The marketing and business planning of a sports bar are events that take place all year round, and the financial success of your establishment may depend on you being a little creative from time to time. Your ability to consistently fill the stands (so to speak) can make the difference between maintaining a stable cash flow and having to work to avoid the ups and downs of an off-season, not to mention offering your customers an even more fan-worthy experience than ever.
To help you make your sports bar a success, here are seven great ideas for marketing your sports bar that can lead to any business, from novice to the Hall of Fame.
1.Get Local Sports Fans ExcitedThe number one rule of marketing in sports bars? Get local sports fans excited. They are your core customer base and their enthusiasm translates into more visits and strong word of mouth for your business.
2.Speak Their LanguageAnd the key to getting fans excited? Speak their language. Live appearances by popular artists can be a great way to draw in crowds, but don't forget about classic sports figures. Organizing the signings of classic sports figures can be a big draw, especially for lifelong sports fans who are willing to pay special coverage or a surcharge for the autograph of their favorite local player, active or retired. You'll have to do some research about where to book certain athletes (or what available athletes the booking agencies have access to) and rationalize the cost of the appearance with your potential earnings.
But if everything seems to be going well, a special autograph session could be the highlight of an entire year of marketing in sports bars.
3.Offer Special EventsSports bar marketing doesn't have to be 100% sports-based. Especially during periods of inactivity (though, if the interests of bar visitors are eclectic enough, there's never downtime between sports seasons), special events, such as question and answer nights, games and poker nights can fill in the gaps on a weeknight without a game or event. Fun facts can be related to sports or to pop culture, depending on the age and interests of the audience you hope to attract.
4.Invest in QualityA large sports bar should have a lively atmosphere, perfect for watching the game. The bar should be clean, cozy and have a design that is not confusing. People will spend a lot of time watching the games, so the bar should also have all the amenities that offer customers a fun but comfortable experience.
5.Obtain Licenses & PermitsOnce you have the building, you must obtain all the licenses and permits needed to manage a bar or restaurant.
Around 1,218 establishments in the United States are officially classified as sports bars, and Texas has the most sports bars in many states. By choosing a bar that meets all of these requirements, you guarantee a fun and enjoyable experience that goes beyond just watching the game.
6.Buy Special ProgramsBuying a special program, such as a boxing match or a popular and off-the-market game, may mean a minimum cost for you, but it is a great source of interest for many sports fans.
7.Choose The Right LocationDetermining the right location for your future sports bar means analyzing the locations of the competition, the composition of the different neighborhoods and weighing what you can afford. In addition to serving popular cocktails and beer brands, a good sports bar should also offer specialty beverages, such as craft beer.
Bonus Tip: Host Special EventsHaving local bands or artists for special events can attract customers who wouldn't normally have considered stopping by your sports bar. Even if you don't rent the space separately, having an outside part of your place can increase interest and visits to bars, as summer temperatures rise. Think about your target audience - wherever you want to hang out is a great place for your sports bar.
Your sports bar becomes your home away from home for one night and you can even attract new customers if you advertise the event in free local newspapers or on your online profiles and on your Facebook page. They should also be placed so that guests seated at the bar or tables can continue to watch and listen to the game. Rewards Network is the country's leading promotion program for the restaurant industry. For more than 35 years, we've helped local restaurants thrive by filling seats with full-price customers and offering flexible financing options that help operators grow their businesses.