Sports bars are places fans can go to watch the big game with fellow enthusiasts. Essentially, they're the next best viewing option aside from actually being at the game or sporting event. To help fans enjoy the sports bar experience and amp up business during the off-season, there are several promotions sports bars can enact.
Bars with dartboards, billiards and other house games can increase business by hosting sports leagues. Dart and pool leagues can be seasonal, or bars can schedule specific tournaments during typically slow times. Bars can charge league entry fees to supplement profits. Ultimately, creating sports leagues gets people in the door -- whether to participate or simply spectate -- and patrons most likely will purchase food and beverages.
Promote price discounts when the home team scores a goal, touchdown, run or a comparable feat. For example, the Green Tavern (greentavern.us) sports bar in Pontiac, Michigan, offers $1 beer specials whenever the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons or Tigers score. The bar also sells 35-cent wings during every Red Wings, Lions and Monday Night Football game. Slashing prices according to team performance helps get more people through the door and creates a festive atmosphere. After all, the bar's patrons instantly have something in common: They're pulling for the same team.
Karaoke might not have much in common with watching sports, but holding karaoke nights and contests during off-seasons can help generate some festivity and business when it would otherwise be slow. Three G's Sports Bar (3gs-sportsbar.com) in Worcester, Massachusetts, holds a karaoke event every Monday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Karaoke nights provide a way for people to get in touch with their inner stars.
Holding a Ladies' Night can be an effective promotion for a sports bar, especially for one in a college town that regularly has a cover charge. On these nights, women are admitted free and can purchase food and drinks at reduced rates. The notion is that if bars can get women in the door, men will also come out to watch the game and mingle with the crowd.
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