Sports Bar Marketing: Get More Customers

Sports Bar Marketing: Get More Customers

It’s easy to fill seats in your sports bar during big game events. The challenge is to get customers into your establishment when there’s nothing going on. Now is the time to tweak your marketing plan and come with some fresh ideas.

Offer New Sporting Events

In keeping with the sports theme try and offer events that aren’t available to the average customer like specialty football channels and pay-per-view events. Everyone loves football, but not everyone is a subscriber to specialty regional football networks like the Big Ten Network or Fox College Sports. Many bars will offer whatever is on cable, but may not be willing to pay for the extras.

The same can be said for Pay-For-View event like boxing. This kind of programming is only available if the bar is willing to spend the money. If you decide to offer some special programming, make sure your market its availability via Twitter, Facebook and posters around the bar ahead of time.

Many sports newscasters don’t regard soccer as a popular sport in America, but it has a following worldwide. The 2014 World Cup set record television ratings. Dedicate one television set on the weekends to the NBC Sports Network showing the English Premier League, which airs soccer games on Saturday and Sunday mornings to midday. Get a reputation as a bar that loves sports, any kind of sports. Advertise your bar as a soccer hub and see what kind of reaction you get.

Everyone Loves A Deal

It’s not unusual for sports bars to offer food deals. There’s often a half-priced chicken wing night. Try and mix up the deals to give larger discounts. Try 100 wings for $10, deals that really only work for large groups. The point is to try and draw in larger crowds that make up for the loss on the chicken wings with appetizer and drink purchases.

The discounts don’t always have to be wings. Try giant a nacho plate that serves four people or get your chef to invent a dish unique to your bar.

Get To Know Your Customers

There are always a few slow nights in each week so network with your customers and see if anyone is looking for a venue to host a charity event, reunion or anniversary party. If you can fill the place, you can discount the food and get a boost in drink sales.

Contact amateur sporting teams like hockey, softball, soccer and basketball teams and offer them group discounts. Find fantasy sport teams who need to meet to hold their drafts and propose a large group discount on either beer or food to get them in the door.

Go Digital


Get on the Internet and find local bloggers in your area with large followings who are armchair quarterbacks and sports obsessed. Invite a select few to your bar to watch games, give out a free appetizer or  drink and ask them to write their blogs in the bar so long as they mention they were watching the game at your bar.


There is always something new you can try to drum up business, you just have to be creative and buck tradition. Trends only start when someone has the courage to try doing business differently.


Trusted by thousands of bars and restaurants in North America since 1984, Buzztime integrates trivia, card, sports and live events with innovative tablet technology. While we don't take ourselves too seriously, this is a pretty serious business.

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