Score Big with Your Business: Preparing for March Madness…Madness!

March Madness can be considered one of the most exciting annual sporting events in North America and represents a big opportunity for restaurants and bars to increase food and beverage sales, customer engagement and guest loyalty.  Sports fans have a chance to witness some of college basketball’s most talented and determined players at their very best. It truly is one of wintertime’s biggest – not just sporting – events!.

March Madness post from Control PlayIt all starts March 14th and creates business opportunities until April 3rd!

68 Teams  –  7 Rounds

Here are your key dates!

March 14-15    First Four
March 16 -19   First/Second Rounds
March 23-26   West , East, Midwest & South Regionals
April 1st           FINAL FOUR!
April 3rd           CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

Capitalizing on “The Madness” is critical for businesses, but it is more than simply being open during the big games. To truly engage customers and leave a lasting impression, it takes a creative and strategic approach. Using digital signage, food specials and events, and thematic music playlists designated for restaurants and bars will all help get people into seats, keep them engaged with what your business offers, and brings them back for the next round.

basketball going through the hoop at a sports arenaYou can go all in for every date or select the dates most relevant to your market to host watch parties. The key to success is communication. Utilize your sound system and tv’s to let your customers know you are Mad For Hoops and you are their game day headquarters!

Here are 5 ways to keep your customers engaged:

Food Brackets

What better way to get in on the March Madness action than to create a bracket of your own – for your menu items! You can theme your food and beverage offerings to your favorite teams and engage your customers in a fun and competitive way.

To get started, create a March Madness food and beverage menu with unique options for each of your favorite teams. Each day of the tournament, you can feature two new or modified menu items for customers to try at a special price. To add to the excitement, customers can vote on their favorite items and see which dishes make it to the next round.

Takeout Promos

Are your customers watching the big game from the comfort of their own homes? No problem! You can still provide them with a winning experience by offering Game Day takeout packages that cater to their needs.

Close-up view of basketball ball with funny face in popcorn box and messy table after partyTo get started, consider creating special promotions and deals during March Madness that will incentivize customers to order from your establishment. This could include discounted rates on specific menu items or combo deals that are perfect for sharing during the game.

Depending on whether you offer carryout or delivery options, different promotions can be used to cater to your customers’ needs. For example, you could offer a discount on delivery fees or free delivery for orders over a certain amount. Alternatively, you could provide customers with a discount on carryout orders and make it easy for them to pick up their meals. Consider letting them vote in your menu bracket online.

Create a true gameday experience

Want to provide your customers with an immersive and unforgettable March Madness experience? Look no further than your music and digital signage!

By curating the perfect playlist and utilizing eye-catching digital signage, you can create an “at the game” experience for your customers. Make sure to use cohesive messaging that promotes your new and upcoming specials, as well as the latest stats for current and previous games during the tournament.

And don’t forget to keep the party going after the game is over! Have your post-game playlists ready to keep the energy high and ensure your customers have a blast throughout the night.

“Betting” Promos

Bottom view of basketball hoop nMarch Madness and betting go together like Beyoncé and Jay-Z – it’s a power couple that fans can’t resist. With almost every aspect of the tournament open to betting – from the exact finishing bracket to the point totals of individual players – the desire to bet on specifics for each game can be taken advantage of by offering customers specific specials or deals.

For example, you could offer winners of betting pools a special discount on their next order, or even free appetizers for the duration of the tournament. Entry fees for these pools could be tied to a purchase of a drink or one of your ongoing menu specials, providing a way to further promote your other March Madness deals. Combining your promotions will elevate you above your competitors by creating something unique and differentiated.


And speaking of differentiated – every restaurant owner around town will be trying out promotions during the tournament to draw customers to their businesses.  Ensuring that your restaurant is different and unique from your competitors will make your business feel fresh for customers. By providing unique and creative specials, you can create a buzz around your business and attract customers who are looking for something new and exciting.

By incorporating these tactics and more, you can get customers into your seats, keep them engaged with what your business offers, and ensure they come back for the next round. So why not join in on the madness and make this year’s tournament one to remember? Control Play provides you all the tools with music, music video , audio messaging and digital signage so you are game day ready!

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