By Rob Cressy
Founder, Cress Media

How would you like to increase the engagement and exposure for your sports bar during March Madness just by using a cell phone and capturing the atmosphere at your establishment?

March Madness is one of the most glorious times of the year for sports fans. Excitement and camaraderie are high, unforgettable moments and upsets take place, and generally everyone is out to have a good time.

That means there’s a huge opportunity for sports bars to create positive brand interactions with their sports fan audience, in an authentic manner, while also increasing overall brand awareness.

The way to capitalize on this opportunity is by creating reaction videos.

So what exactly are reaction videos & how do you create them?

When a crucial play or moment in a game happens you capture the reaction of your audience on video when it happens.

At Bacon Sports, we’ve been creating reaction videos around major sporting events to great success for years.

At our Awesomest NFL Draft Party we captured Browns fans reaction to Johnny Manziel getting drafted. This resulted in over 35,000 views.

At our USA World Cup Watch Party the crowd went bananas when USA scored vs Ghana. This resulted in over 17,000 views.

During the NCAA tournament two years ago, Georgia State made a big comeback and nailed a buzzer-beater three to give them the Cinderella victory. This resulted in over 2,000 views on YouTube (and we weren’t even in a sports bar for this.)

Do you think having an additional 35,000, 17,000, or 2,000 views showing fans having fun at your establishment would be good for business? I do.

There are two simple ways that you can create bar reaction videos.

1. Use Facebook Live

This one is a no-brainer. Capturing the electric atmosphere as it is happening at your establishment is authentic, fun, and creates a positive brand interaction. Facebook also gives more organic reach to Facebook Live videos, which is nice.

What I recommend is if a game is close in the final minute, have your manager, hostess, or someone behind the bar grab their phone, log in to your brand Facebook page, and start a Facebook Live stream.

Make sure to give the stream an intriguing title that sets the stage for what could happen.

From there get a good camera angle, so that you are prepared in the event something awesome happens.

One of two scenarios is likely to unfold:

  • A huge upset or buzzer beater happens and you are able to capture your patrons going nuts. In this event I recommend walking around and getting up close reactions of the people who are most passionate. Capture and celebrate that moment with them. Ask a question. Give them a high five. Embrace the madness.
  • A buzzer beater doesn’t happen but you are still able to capture the crowd having fun. In this scenario you still get a victory as you are able to show what it’s like during March Madness.

2. Use any camera

Since most cell phones have a pretty good camera, you are fine filming the bar reaction this way. I recommend filming horizontally so that you are able to capture more of your establishment. Horizontal videos are also more natural to the viewers eye and looks 100x better on the web.

Because you won’t be streaming live you can be a little more proactive on when you turn the camera on to try and capture a good reaction. You could do this at the end of the half of every game, on top of the endings of close games, etc. You can keep the footage that is good and discard the footage that is not.

The important part here, if you are using a camera you need to get the reaction video up on your Facebook page/YouTube channel ASAP. The sooner you do the more awareness you’ll get since people will be searching for this within 24 hours of the game. It’ll be more relevant that way.

Since I’ve seen the success of reaction videos first hand, I would make this something that you do every day during the NCAA tournament. Not only will you separate yourself from all of your competitors who are not doing this, but you’ll have awesome pieces of content that you can use to remarket to your audience for the rest of March Madness — as well as future events.

Being able to relive an experience via video is much more impactful and content rich than other forms of marketing. It’s something that fans at your sports bar are more likely to share and tell their friends about. For the ones who weren’t there, it gives them an idea of what they are missing.

It’s content like this that can make your social media and marketing pop.

If you are interested in talking more about how I can help with your sports fan engagement and content creation give me a shout at