How to Boost Sales During Football Season

For many sports fan, fall is the coveted season because with it comes football.

Whether professional or college, football brings big crowds to stadiums and gets sports fans into bars and restaurants all weekend long. 

According to Harris Interactive, football is America’s favorite sport. In a survey from the beginning of 2013, football was awarded the title of favorite by 34 percent of adults who watch at least one professional sport. Baseball was the second place finisher with 16 percent reporting it’s their favorite sport.

So how can you take advantage of football’s popularity and boost your sales during the season? Here are a few examples of restaurants and bars offering specials and incentives to visit their establishment instead of tailgating on those Sunday afternoons between September and February.

Football traditions

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What do you think of when you consider going out to watch a football game? Some of the standard food groups that come to mind are pizza, wings and nachos.

Ferrara’s Kitchen & Bar in Boston serves a variety of wings, including buffalo, sweet soy and BBQ at a discounted price of 25 cents per wing on game days. They share this information on Facebook, as you can see in the post below during last year’s NFL season. In my neighborhood, you’d be hard to find a bar without something-cent wings during game time, and it’s rare to find an empty seat when the promotion is running!


Drink specials are especially popular on Sundays, as game watchers want something to wash their wings and pizza down with. Beer in bulk is especially popular, so even if you don’t normally serve beer or sangria by the pitcher, you might make an exception if you start any game day promotions.

Aruba Steve’s in Providence, Rhode Island offers $3 20-ounce drafts and $4 pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s like being in college all over again, but for anyone over 21.

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Special offerings

One way to get people in the door is to offer special items that most other establishments aren’t doing.

Allie’s Donuts creates custom doughnut cakes and this one was made for The Whiskey Republic in Providence, an Irish rock and sports pub. So it’s not only pizza and wings that get extra play on football Sundays; sweet desserts are also included into the mix at establishments that want to bring something different into the mix.

Celebrate with a party

Every football game counts because there are only 16 in a season, compared to some sports that have dozens more. Since fans find value in each game, there’s clearly reason to celebrate!

The Whiskey Republic throws football parties that feel like you were going to a relative’s house. As you can see in the image below, they support their local team (New England Patriots) and bring out the themed props to get fans into the spirit of the game.

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wine and football viewing

ShelaLara Vineyards participates on football Sundays by arranging their usual tasting room into a viewing room. Guests get to watch the game and drink some wine in the process.

Don’t forget the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the biggest televised sporting event. Even people who aren’t fans of football watch the Super Bowl, so it’s a great opportunity to throw a party that gets everyone involved.

We’ve shared some other tips in the past for utilizing the Super Bowl for your small business. How about simply promoting bulk take-out for the day? People love to eat during Football games, but not everybody loves to cook!

One idea that has become wildly popular is mimicking the Super Bowl to some degree. For instance, Animal Planet has the Puppy Bowl each year. There are sponsors of the game and an array of puppies are featured playing, napping and overall being utterly cute. Each puppy in the game is available for adoption.

Of course, you probably don’t have a dozen cute puppies to parade around in a fake football stadium, but you can take the spirit of the game and work with it by hosting a party, offering incentives to buy food, like prize drawings, inviting other local establishments to join the fun and maybe even have a DJ or host to keep the crowd engaged.

Football season flies by quickly, so don’t miss this opportunity to engage your pigskin-loving audience.

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