Taking advantage of sporting events is important to running a successful bar business. Even if you aren’t running a sports bar, you should still be working on putting together a promotion that drives traffic to your business. In fact, sports are the biggest opportunity you have during the year, and if you master a sports promotion, you can increase your revenue by 30% to 40%. If you want to execute a successful promotion, here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Identify your target. If it’s a one-time event such as an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight or the Indy 500, plan the event similar to any promotion. However, if you’re looking for a consistent sports crowd, start planning two to three weeks before the season starts. People choose where they’re going to spend football season at the beginning of the season. Once you’re past the first weekend, then your chance of getting those patrons to switch over to your bar or club diminishes.
2. Develop “planks” to help build your promotion including food, beverage, entertainment and constest/giveaways. Offer something special, too, such as renaming chicken wings “barbells” for a fight night at a special price. If the wings have a new name, then it doesn’t appear as if you’re discounting food.
3. Start a fan club. You may be in a town with a popular sports team, but think about making your bar the headquarters for a team (or two) located outside the city but still has a huge following. From there, you can divide your bar in various sections, decorating it in team colors and featuring servers wearing that team’s jersey. The goal is to make your guests feel at home at your bar so they come back every week.
4. Think outside the box. Monday Night Football promotions are a dime a dozen. Those games are on at every bar and every household. Instead, do something different such as an “I Hate Football Mondays,” with specials targeted to women. The trick, however, is to keep the game on, so the men can watch, too. Remember, a promotion won’t work unless it’s compelling, clever and truly unique.
5. Use social media. From Facebook to Twitter and Foursquare, use social networking to market to fans of the team or event you’re promoting. Offer specials on your Fan page while you tweet out deals during the game.