Football Pool Sheets and 9 Other Ideas For Attracting Customers
Below you will find 10 random, yet totally useful, ideas for you to infuse sports into your game plan for reaching more customers. They are in no particular order of relevance, and are general suggestions. For each suggestion, I will go into further detail in later posts. So let’s just get to it.
- Televise sports games at your business – I admit, I lead with a no brainer. This is more obvious for restaurants and bars, but can be incorporated rather uniquely in many other forms of businesses. Here’s an example of a company that I have frequented on many occasions, because it just sounded like a place that made sense for me. Sports Clips – This is a place where you can get your haircut, and it has a niche, catering to men that like sports. I’d hardly say that’s a niche, because you are talking about a wide range of customers, which is why it has been so popular. Here’s an off the cuff idea. You show the greatest games of all time at your dental office waiting area.
- Sports in your communications – Send out sports nuggets on your weekly newsletter. This doesn’t have to be just about showing sports statistics that are interesting, because that’s out there already. Instead, show your customers you understand them and their community. If you are a local business, find interesting stats that somehow can be traced back to the hometown you live in. Take the cost of your products and associate it to some statistics in major sports. The options can be limitless when you let yourself be creative.
- Host fantasy football draft parties – For those of you that haven’t been part of a live fantasy football draft, you are really missing out on a fun experience. I have had draft parties at restaurants, as well as in the private households. There are advantages to both, but having someone take care of everything for you at a restaurant is pretty much gravy for a commissioner of a league. To do this, you would be well advised to offer the items the customer would need to have for a draft. There are 2 primary ways to host a draft, which are using a physical board with player stickers (see Brunos Draft Boards for an example) and draft software (see Fandraft Software for an example.) I highly suggest considering the software option, because you can re-use it, lowering your cost that has to be pushed to the customer. If at all possible, it would be even better to offer both options, because most are actually used to the physical boards with stickers. You don’t have to be limited to a restaurant to make this work, but that happens to be the most common location for public drafts. I will be spending plenty of time on discussing fantasy football, and how you can take advantage of the craze in your business to reap some profits, so keep checking back for more.
- Sports related promos – During the highlighted season, offer specials to customers with a sports related theme. An obvious way to do this is naming a new food dish after a sports hero for the local professional team, but there are many other ways you could use sports themes in specials. Many companies will have deals relating to how the team performs, such as “bring in your ticket from the game and get a free appetizer,” or “take $1 off your car wash for each home run hit in the previous game by the local team.” You can take advantage of loyalties to not just professional teams, but rather college and high school can often times be better avenues for specific target markets. Try them all, but to get the best results you should really see what type of sports town you are in. As an example, the school I went to in High School was all about football, but the town over had basketball as their main draw. Figuring out what type of town shouldn’t be too hard for you.
- Engage on social media – Posting a congratulations to the local high school team for beating cross town rivals without asking for any call to action can be a good way for customers to see you care about them and not just their dollar. Taking it to a more personable level, you can include something that shows you actually watched the game. “A major shout out to John Smith for making that awesome game sealing tackle. Man I was worried, but (insert company name here)’s favorite player sure did pull through for us again this week.” Social media and sports go hand in hand. Twitter is a venue for people to break news, while Facebook is a place for sharing things that tell a story about you. Use the phenomenon to your advantage, and don’t think it’s just young people using social media.
- Sports decorations – Decorate your place with sports memorabilia, jerseys, and best of all would be pictures of famous athletes and local sports hero’s patronizing your local establishment. People like to associate with their heroes. Why do you think advertisers spend millions of dollars to have an athlete be their spokesman? It works, because “everyone wants to be like Mike.” That’s a reference to Michael Jordan for you late slow risers out there. You don’t have to deck the whole place out in sports themed decorations, unless that’s what you are going for. I was eating at a restaurant in Mississippi once, which was just this little random place in a little random town. When I went to pay for the check, I saw a picture behind the person running the cash register (which was the owner of the restaurant) that had the owner shaking hands with John Madden. I took a picture of the picture and sent it to my brother in Michigan, which then sent me back a message that said we had to go to that restaurant when we both visited my parents again. Something as simple as us both liking that fact that John Madden ate there made us want to go to that place, and I don’t even remember if I liked the food. Now if I was into Facebook or Twitter or any of the other social media sites at the time, you better believe I would have sent the picture and where I ate at to whom ever was on my list. This goes back to how powerful social media can be, because if my mom would have commented on that post, the locals to that are that were her friend could have seen that she commented on it. The restaurant could have gotten some new customers through my mom’s Facebook news feed, due to her commenting on something that her son thought was totally randomly cool dealing with sports. Just imagine if the restaurant had enough forethought to do some type of promotion by adding a QC code in the frame for customers to “Tweet this out to your friends, or like it on Facebook and they will receive a free appetizer when they show the post.”
- Sponsor a little league team – Sponsoring a little league team can be not just a good business move, but can be a way for you to give back to the community. There are always league dues that parents have to pay to be able to let their kids play the sport. Many times children’s parents just can’t afford the associated costs, so their kid has to suffer the consequences by not being able to play on the team. Even though it’s about charity if you covered the entire expenses for the team, including the baseball gear for each kid, you would inevitable to adding an interesting feeling in those parents. They would tell their friends how generous you were, and just imagine you have a business that caters to a lower income market. You are essentially reaching the market by sponsoring their kids to play a sport. Now another great opportunity to sponsor a team would be an adult bowling or softball league. Let’s say you are a local brewer of craft beers, but no one has heard of you yet. You can sponsor one of these teams, and then purchase the jerseys that have some cool slogan about why people have to try your beer.
- Purchase season tickets to the local team – This could be somewhat expensive, and unless you find creative ways, you won’t necessarily get a good return on your investment. Then again, some carefully placed marketing pushes could turn that investment into profit. If you are a car dealership, you could put everyone that purchases a car into a drawing each week to win the tickets for that upcoming game. Or in the same scenario, use it as a way to draw people into your dealership to just do a test drive. It could be used at a bank for new members, insurance agent for rewarding clients for safe driving, used in a cross-promotion for reducing your companies waste by seeking suggestions from customers through your web page for the best idea for reducing your waste, and the most commonly used way to take out a big client to try and seal that deal. Let’s go back to the cross-promotion idea. Not only would this situation get your customers involved with the company, feeling they are a part of something, it will also show you are committed to saving the planet’s resources. Both are a win.
- Using sports analogies – This one can be used for explaining how your business model works to the customer, showing associates that work for you what you are trying to do as a team, or really anytime you are trying to convey a message that is hard to spit out the words in plain English for the topic. I’ve used so many sports analogies to explain things in my days that I think I should just write a book. Even though it seems cheesy, using these sports analogies to explain my message to my audience (1 or 100) has been pretty successful in having them actually comprehend what I was trying to tell them.
- Football pool sheets – You can offer football pool sheets for your customers to fill out during game day. As an example, they can all pick the winners, with the top scores winning something that’s related to your business. There are many ways to do this, but of course the easiest is to let everyone fill out a sheet with each game, circling the winners. Find your imagination, and do this with all sports. Do something fun like randomly pass out numbers to each table for a car in the NASCAR race, and then the winner gets something. Not only will this be a good way to keep customers entertained, it will more importantly potentially keep them in the seats purchasing more items from you.
So there you have it, 10 ways to utilize sports to improve customer traffic to your local business. This is a very small list compared to all the options out there. You can do anything from the list, including football pool sheets in your establishment, but whatever you do keep it fresh. Leave a comment with your best idea for attracting more customers to your business through the use of sports. It’d be a good way for others to get some ideas from your comments.