The field is set, the bracket filled out, now what? Consider this our annual observation that while the tournament is a singular phenomenon in the US sports calendar, it’s also not exactly what we hope in the sports bar biz. The exception, of course, is the Thursday and Friday of the first weekend. With 16 games each day and all 64 teams still hopeful to advance, this can get hectic.
The included downloadable schedule is for the full tournament run. We have the teams and rankings for the Play-in and Round of 64 games. We also include the TV schedule for the remainder of the tournament right through until the final game on Monday April 8th. We will not update this schedule during the tournament but you can get future schedule info by signing up for the SportsTV Guide.
Many operators treat these two days like the celebration it is by hosting them like a Super Bowl. The first step to delivering a special experience for March Madness is by creating a specialized game-day menu. You can also add giveaways and contests which will make a lasting impression on a visitor who at your venue to root for their school. It’s also a great opportunity to promote your other marketing efforts. You’ll have regulars and fair weather fans alike, so use the traffic to your advantage.
Download the 2019 March Madness TV Schedule
Compliments of the SportsTV Guide
If you’re doing a bracket program, check out either Yahoo.com or CBS.com for great group bracket software. You can give guests your URL while visiting, or you can email it to them as an invitation to visit your restaurant (this also means you get their contact info for future mailings). You don’t need much in the way of prizing, just a couple of gift cards or maybe some beer distributor provided schwag.
The tournament itself can be a bit of a mixed bag. The first two days of Round of 64 play on Thu/Fri is outstanding in almost every sports bar in the US. After that the traffic tapers until a pretty strong Final Four and National Championship Weekend. That is unless, of course, your local team gets hot. Then you can see some fairly amazing volume jumps.
What are you doing this year to celebrate the NCAA Tournament? Let us know in the comments and we will feature the ideas in a future blog.
Good luck this week and remember, it’s the tournament that makes March a tolerable month for many sports-themed operators.