Football season is almost here, meaning your restaurant or bar is about to get blitzed with customers. Instead of waiting until the games start in September, you can capitalize now on fantasy football.
According to a 2017 Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) study conducted by Ipsos Marketing, 59.3 million people play fantasy sports in the United States and Canada and over 84 percent of players hold a draft party. Most experienced commissioners schedule their drafts toward the end of the month and in the first week of September when the preseason wraps up.
So how do you make your establishment THE spot for fantasy drafts? We’ve come up with a some promotional ideas and prep tips, so your restaurant can be an option for fantasy football draft parties.
Host a Fantasy Football Panel or Mock Draft
Try to partner with local sports personalities and fantasy experts to host a panel discussion at your restaurant or bar. Tap into sports radio and TV hosts, journalists and bloggers who can offer some advice on which players to draft or how to manage a league. You can even have them host a mock draft with the patrons.
Booking the panelists might take some legwork, but many publications and media outlets have a promotions department or marketing team that can help make arrangements. Their appearance can help attract plenty of people to your establishment, allowing you to promote your location to the attendees as a spot to host their draft parties or watch games throughout the season.
Make Wi-Fi Readily Available
If your restaurant or bar doesn’t have Wi-Fi readily available, make an exception for patrons having a fantasy football draft. Most fantasy leagues are hosted online, and it’s much more convenient for participants to select players from their phones or laptops in real time. To prevent all customers from getting to your Wi-Fi connection, have a server provide the commissioner or draft attendees with a temporary access code prior to the draft.
Offer Deals or Packages for Early Reservations
Fantasy football leagues can have as low as eight teams to as high as 16, bringing a significant number of people in at once. Accommodating a large number of walk-ins for an event like this can be very challenging. Try curbing this by offering incentives for early reservations.
For instance, offer a coupon or drink specials for guests who call ahead or make reservations online. You also can offer food and drink packages based on the number of people attending. Whatever you decide, make sure to post fantasy draft party deals on your social media accounts and on signs inside your establishment. Getting the word out should help reduce the number of unexpected parties.
Be Creative with Your Space
As mentioned earlier, draft parties attract large groups of people. That means you might have to slightly adjust your restaurant design and layout to accommodate these events. Also, things can get a bit loud and rowdy during a draft. If you have a larger venue with multiple dining areas, designate a special spot just for draft parties so other patrons aren’t disturbed.