8 Budget-Friendly Bar Promotions for Football Season

 In Bar

No need to throw a Hail Mary and hope for crowds on gameday. With these 8 low- cost strategies all under $500, you can launch bar promotions for football season that bring fans rushing into your place…without breaking the bank.

1. Score Big with Football Themed Drinks

Pull patrons into the game with bar promotions for football season directly involving gameday action. This could be a two for one pitcher special for five minutes after the home team makes their first touchdown. This would incentivize fans to arrive early and get ready for their team to score! Or, offer football-inspired gameday drinks like a Gridiron Gimlet or a Fan-hatten.

“Secret” menus are trending at bars. So, build a “Super Fan” drink menu of special cocktails that you reveal to your most loyal customers. Let them know they’re welcome to share the secret! Bar promotions for football season that make big fans feel special will boost their loyalty to you.

Cost: $250+ (and Secret Menus Aren’t Printed! That’s Free)
You’ll need to print your gameday drink menus or you can utilize a digital tablet menu to save on print costs.

2. Take it Outside

Have an outdoor seating area? What about an oversized parking lot? Great, you’re already ahead of the game on bar promotions for football season…Just turn that extra space into tailgate headquarters and bring the fans to you instead of the stadium before the game. The key with football bar promotions is to generate hype and prove to fans that you’ve got team spirit to match theirs. An outdoor tailgate is a visible advertisement to other potential customers that your place is THE place for all things football. You’ll want to rent or buy at least one tent, and if you can add on the extra funds, print a big banner that says “Gameday Tailgate.” The tent itself will act as one of your bar promotions for football season, visually mimicking the look of a real tailgate.

Cost: $500
The $500 would be for the rental or purchase of a tent. As an added bonus, grill food outside – smoke rising from fired up grills are another sign that your tailgate is the real deal!

3. Open Early for Gameday Brunch

Not every game takes place during “typical” bar hours (nighttime), so open up early for a noon or early afternoon game. Take your bar promotions for football season to the next level: Create a special brunch menu complete with football-themed brunch drinks like a “Hail Mary” instead of a “Bloody Mary” or one of these 17 trendy beer cocktail recipes. Instead of a happy hour, create a fan power hour an hour before kickoff with great drink specials.

Cost: $250+
Same as your drink menus – print ‘em or go digital and save on print costs.

4. Go Get ‘Em!

Don’t just spread the word about your bar promotions for football season online and in your bar- Go straight to the source…the stadium grounds! No gameday ticket? No problem. Fans will be tailgating or walking to the game. Send a staff member or two out to the stadium area to hand out business-card size coupons for your bar.

The business card size is ideal as it fits right into the fan’s pocket or wallet. Be sure your staff is wearing apparel for your bar, and that the offer is worth being stopped for, like a free appetizer.
Ensure the disclaimer is that the appetizer is per table. That way, you’ll encourage big groups to come back without everyone at that table of ten cutting into your profit margin with a coupon for their own free appetizer. Bar promotions for football season should be aimed at attracting these big groups with the ultimate goal that your bar will become their “home base” for football season – and beyond.

Cost: $300
About $50 for 500 business card coupons from Vista Print, printed for 6 home games.

5. Bring ‘Em Back

Congrats! You’ve got a full house for gameday. Now, keep the crowds coming back with bar promotions for football season that incentivize repeat business. Each week, print out simple coupons for your servers of your latest football promotions– good for redemption on the next gameday. For example, offer $2 off an appetizer or a “secret” chicken wing special only good with the coupon. You could also offer a free appetizer, but as we mentioned earlier, specify that it’s per table.

Don’t forget! Gameday crowds can help you offset slower week nights. Target one of your bar promotions for football season to bring guests back for a midweek event like a round of Buzztime Sports Trivia on Monday evening.

Cost: $300
About $50 for 500 business card coupons from Vista Print, printed for 6 home games.

6. Star Power Play

Former football players, coaches, or cheerleaders can add a little bit of star power to your bar on game day or at your night-before pep rally. Let their celebrity status shine as one of your bar promotions for football season. They can sign merchandise and their presence will get customers excited. Plus, the celebrities can promote their appearance at your venue, opening up the audience for your bar promotions for football season. You may need to pay a small appearance fee, but if the celebrity has a strong following – it will be money well spent.

Cost: It will range based on the celebrity.
Offer gift certificates in trade to offset the cost. Bonus: when the celebrity cashes on in their trade, your guests will see a celebrity frequenting your venue – boosting your brand as THE football hotspot.

7. Biggest Fan Contest

Football season is all about big rivalries. Tap into that gameday spirit by hosting competitive bar promotions for football season like a Biggest Fan Contest. Create a hashtag for your contest with your bar’s name. Promote your contest with posters in your venue, on social media, and at nearby, non-competitive venues. Get creative and think of places where your guests go that would share your bar promotions for football season: convenience stores, gas stations, auto repair shops, clothing stores, etc.

Ask that contestants email you a picture of them decked out in their fan gear. Create a gallery on the Biggest Fan contestants on Facebook and encourage your followers to vote for their Biggest Fan by liking the picture. The picture with the most “likes” will be crowned Biggest Fan. This is one of those bar promotions for football season that will give you big bang for your buck. The Biggest Fan contestants will definitely be asking their friends to “like” their picture…therefore, more people will be visiting (and hopefully liking!) your Facebook page.

Cost: $500 or free*
*If you already have Buzztime and just want to promote your contest in house on your own TVs…read on to see how.

It will be about $50 to print 30 11×17 posters promoting your contest plus additional design fees if you use a graphic artist to design the poster. To save on print costs, you can turn your bar’s existing TVs into eye-catching digital signage with Buzztime. There are no design fees as templates are provided making it super easy and simple to turn your bar promotions for football season into instant display ads.

Promote your bar promotions for football season and contests on Facebook. You’ll save money by strategically showing your ad only to those who would be interested in it. For your Biggest Fan Contest, target a $400 ad buy to people who indicate they like the home football team and live within a 10 mile radius.

8. Create Your Own Mascot

Why let those sports team mascots have all the fun? Create your own as one of your biggest bar promotions for football season. It’s not as difficult or expensive as you think. Most mascots are just animals with a memorable name. If your bar’s name is Tim’s Hometown Pub and you’re known for 30 cent chicken wings on game day, spend a few hundred bucks and rent a chicken costume for your biggest gameday. Get a t-shirt printed with a number 30…you now have a mascot: Tim the Chicken. Bonus points if your mascot hits the streets and hands out coupons for all your bar promotions for football season! You might think a mascot is cheesy but wait until everyone wants to “say cheese” and get their picture taken with your mascot. All of a sudden, all eyes are on your bar on Instagram and Facebook…

To get the crowds involved in your bar promotions for football season and contests, add in an interactive element. For example, “crowdsource” your mascot’s name. Post a picture of your mascot on Facebook and ask your followers to put their best name in the comments. The name with the most likes will win assuming it’s not already trademarked or in use by another organization.

Cost: $500
About $275 for the costume rental, $25 for a custom t-shirt, $200 for a simple mascot graphic using stock imagery that a graphic artist customizes to include the name of your mascot. NOTE: never use stock imagery for your actual logo, this is illegal by most stock image website terms. If you want to turn your mascot into a logo, ask a graphic artist to start from scratch and illustrate an original logo for you.

Armed with these bar promotions for football season, you’ll be ready to score big on gameday and stand apart from the competition. Let’s do this!

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