How Premium Sporting Events Can Help Increase Restaurant Traffic

  • Posted on: Jul 20, 2018
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Increase Restaurant Traffic with Premium Events

At Joe Hand Promotions, we spend all day talking to bar and restaurant owners. While every place is unique, many of the challenges are shared. There are some concerns that we hear over and over, such as:

How can I get repeat traffic?

How can I convince millennials to skip takeout and Netflix and spend a night out?

Why is my place a ghost town two hours before closing time?

This is where we can help. Our relationships with leading premium sports and entertainment brands such as UFC, SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, and WWE give us exclusive access to content that fans care about. These events are uniquely positioned to help your restaurant bring in the ideal crowd.

Here’s why premium sporting events can help increase your restaurant’s traffic.

Loyal Audiences

Fans of combat sports are exactly the types of customers you want in your restaurant for a number of reasons:

They stay longer. For some types of exclusive content, such as UFC and WWE events, there is a four-hour viewing time. The majority of these audiences either arrive up to an hour before or stay nearly an hour after the event ends.

They spend more on average per customer. It’s proven that our fans spend an average of $40 per person during an event.

They come in large groups. The median group size for our fans at bars is four people, making it easy to fill up your restaurant on any given night.

They’re young. Combat sports have the highest percentage of fans visiting bars and restaurants in the 19-39 age range.

They offer more opportunities for repeat business. Ninety-three percent of our fans return at least once to the same restaurant on a non-event night.


They have money to spend. More than half of our fans have a household income greater than $70,000. 

Year-Round Events

There’s no “off season” when it comes to these events. Consistent activations lead to consistent traffic. It’s easy to create habits in your audience when they know you are the spot to watch premium sports.

UFC, SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, and WWE each produce about one premium event event per month. You can piggyback off those by showing any of the numerous free-to-air broadcasts in MMA, boxing, and wrestling. 

Cross Promotional Opportunities

Combat sports fans are huge fans of other sports! Avid MMA and boxing fans are most likely to also be avid fans of the NFL, NBA, Major League baseball, and NCAA basketball. Bring them in for one event, and it’s a huge chance to sell them on the other.

That’s why our advice is that once the crowd arrives for your watch party, take down the posters promoting that event and replace them ones advertising a different sport or promotion.

Restaurant Branding

As a sports-themed venue, it’s impossible to live up to your name if you aren’t showing premium events. But branding your restaurant as the place to watch these events can be a very valuable niche, even if sports isn’t in your title. All kinds of restaurants and bars can benefit because the demand is so strong.

Combat sports are among the most popular in the country - they combine for more fans than sports such as MLS, PGA, Formula 1, and the English Premier League. And the majority are millennials. Combat sports have more fans aged 15-65 than college football and basketball and the NHL.

We represent the premium brands in those sports. UFC, SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, and WWE are the industry leaders in MMA, boxing, and professional wrestling. These are marquee, high-value brands that you want to associate with your restaurant. 


Premium sporting events create an experience that your customers can’t get anywhere else. They differentiate your restaurant from your competitors. And they draw the right crowd - young, affluent, and likely to return.

We work with each of our restaurant partners to make sure their events are a success. From booking the right events to bringing customers in the door, we’re with you every step of the way.

Ready to pack the house? Contact us today!

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