Keeping your sports bar at the top of a customer’s list for a night out can be challenging, but with these 5 marketing secrets, we help break it down for both you and your customers. By following these secrets, you can work to keep your venue as a top choice among customers and create long term success for your bar.

While keeping up with your competition you must consider several components, a few of which include your customer connection, the atmosphere at your bar and the implementation of loyalty programs that incentivize customers. Remember, don’t be afraid to have fun and get creative with your marketing tactics

These 5 secrets can be used at your own discretion, but will ultimately bring you success in this lucrative business:

1. Connect Online

Our top 5 marketing secrets start with your online connection with your potential customers. Making a good online impression starts with your website and social media accounts.

These online platforms are not something to ‘drop the ball on’ because this is where your customers will most likely look first before visiting your bar.

You should make sure to have an up-to-date website that lists your upcoming events, specials and other information that draws the customer in.

Your social media content should correspond with your website information, and show daily activity that engages customers and alerts them of your upcoming events. Customers don’t want to have to pick up the phone and call. They want to have easy access to your news through your online sites.

Lastly, stay active and be human! Customers feel a deeper connection when people care, so having attentive customer service goes a long way.

2. Create an Exciting Atmosphere

How can you make your customers feel like they are at the exciting sporting event when they are actually at your bar? A high energy, arena-like atmosphere will deliver the excitement that fans crave. If fans can’t be at the event, your bar should be the next best place!

Without a doubt, sport creates unity between fans, and this can happen inside your business. Having an exciting environment creates the opportunity for a community to form. Win or lose, fans will remember the positive feeling they felt from their time at your bar.

Having your staff interact with your customers during exciting games will help pump up the atmosphere and can leave a lasting impression on the customer. This can be done through simply turning the TVs to the sporting event and making your food/drink specials, staff, and online engagement catered to the fan’s desires.

3. Host a PPV Watch Party

Fans can’t easily access PPVs on their TVs at home, so this opens the door to a new level of opportunity for your bar. This creates the space for new content to be on your in-house TVs, a new demographic that you haven’t seen in your bar yet, and a new event for customers to attend.

Host an interactive watch-party! This is a good way to market to the customer about coming to watch the event and party with friends. Customers, fans or non-fans will see the word party and be intrigued in what your bar has to offer during the event.

‘There is no I in team’ so be on your customer’s team and bring PPVs to your bar to meet the desire of these niche fans. Not only will this make customers happy, but it will diversify your bar with new content that could stand out from your local competition.

4. Make It About More Than Sports

Although sports may be the driving factor of your sales and revenue, there are various other ways to knock it out of the park at your bar. By adding various events to your bar’s calendar, you can attract different demographics and fill your venue during down times.

Hosting other special events, such as bar crawls, karaoke nights, live music, game nights, contests, etc., will convince your customers to look forward to spending time at your business and participating with friends and family. This is a great way to engage customers while also creating a friendly atmosphere.

Don’t forget to offer various promotions during these special events that include happy hour specials, food specials, and more. Give your customers a fun, delicious reason to show up!

5. Implement Loyalty Programs

If you have ever been a part of a loyalty program, you know the exciting feeling you get after receiving points towards a free item. People love receiving incentives, so why not incorporate this marketing tactic into your bar?

A reward system can be based on customer reviews, word of mouth, a stamp card, or an online points system. These ideas can reflect terms, such as “Refer a friend, get a discount on your next visit!”, “Leave a review and get 20% off your next meal!”, “After 10 visits, show us your loyalty card and get a round of beer on us!”

These types of incentives will bring customers back to your bar to receive points or claim their earned rewards, which ultimately brings you more foot traffic and sales!