If you’re in the food and beverage industry, chances are you're seeing your venue full of crazed sports fans during the big games—in fact, big game or not, there’s no shortage of opportunities to host a viewing party at your restaurant or bar. As the trend of cord cutting continues, more people are looking to venues to host events for them and watch the game on the big screen. Look no further than the 2019 Playoff season of the Toronto Raptors and resulting business boom.
The Raptors Effect
Canada’s restaurants and bars boomed with the successful run of the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals. Seas of red and white swept the country as fans cheered on the Raptors for a chance at franchise history, their first NBA Championship.
When The Raptors won the Eastern Conference Finals, a report from Moneris, a debit and credit processing firm, showed transactions for bars across Canada went up in the hours after the game. They reported seeing a 52% increase in transactions across Canada when comparing transactions with the same date last year.
Moneris’ Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Jeff Guthrie, spoke to the CBC about the importance of these types of sporting events and how they encourage people to be a part of the experience, celebrating as a community at bars and restaurants.
While eyes might be on the cities hosting these major tournaments, Guthrie’s report shows that there’s something to gain by creating a sports viewing experience in other locals of restaurants and bars.
You look into the crowd and see a sea of sports fans on the edge of their seats. Their fingers covered in wing sauce as they wait to see if the star player is going to go for the shot that would tie the game and push it into overtime. The silence from the crowd is deafening and surrounds the entire bar. “He shoots, he scores!” The crowd erupts and beers are grasped in celebration. The energy is lively, and suddenly—cut to commercials.
Commercials killed the momentum.
Want to kill the atmosphere in your bar or restaurant airing sporting events? Air commercial breaks and lengthy half-times. Data from the Wall Street Journal shows that 63 minutes of commercials air during an average NFL game. Yes, 63 minutes! And what are your customers doing during those 63 minutes? They’re watching other businesses’ promotions, maybe even seeing commercials from your competitors. Putting screens with your own ads next to the game provides relevant content to your guests. You might not want to stand there and manually swap TV inputs whenever commercials break out (though, I suppose you could) but you can at least display your promotions alongside the televised event. It’s time to start complimenting the game instead of competing with it.
The solution? Digital signage.
Ditch the average Game Day experience and modernize it with digital signage that promotes your business and entertains your guests. The benefits of digital signage are endless. It can help boost food and beverage sales, promote events at your venue, share your social media accounts, and much more. Combing the benefits of digital signage and an understanding of your guests needs allows you to create the perfect guest experience.
It’s time to take those 63 minutes of atmosphere killers and use them to your advantage. To do this, it's important to be prepared for the three crowds on Game Day you’ll meet.
The 3 Game Day Crowds
Hosting a successful Game Day experience starts with understanding the three types of crowds that will enter your restaurant or bar. We’ll break these down to help you understand how digital signage appeals to each one.
This crowd is looking for a place to start the party early. Give them a reason to show up to your business! You can do this by using digital signage to run contests to come in early to win memorabilia, merchandise, or even tickets. Advertise your Game Day drinks and food specials with digital signage to let them know what pre-game offers are available.2. During-the-Game Crowd
As we previously mentioned, this is the time to display your custom signage next to whatever screens are playing the commercials. It will at least provide a more relevant commercial experience. Use this tool to help you continue to highlight your specials, any contests you have going on, or events happening after the game. And always have a great music playlist to keep the crowd energy level high!3. Post-Game Crowd
The way to get people to stick around after the game is to stop your staff from asking if guests want the check after the game is finished. All your hard work with your digital signage goes down the drain once this happens. And that contest that they entered at the beginning of the night? Announce the winner after the game and make it a rule that they must be present to win. This will guarantee more people will stick around once the game is over to hear their name.
Incorporating digital signage and playlists takes your average Game Day and turns it into a special guest experience for your customers. Hosting a sports viewing party may be as easy as putting up some TV’s and turning on a channel, but creating an atmosphere where crowds come early, stay for the game, and don’t want to leave provides a substantial boost to your bottom line.
Sports fans are looking for the ideal place to hang out before the game, cheer on their favorite teams, and to celebrate their teams win or strategize how to win the next one. Give your restaurant or bar the golden opportunity to host a Game Day experience that your guests will never forget with Control Play!
Our service comes with libraries full of the best curated playlists specifically for sporting events. We also provide digital signage and promotional announcements that help you entertain the three different types of sports crowds, and more.
Stop wasting your screen time, download our free "Game Day Guide"
Posted by Bianca Matos
Bianca is a marketing specialist and host of BMN live weekend broadcasts. She shares a passion for music, hospitality, and great social content.