For the NFL, the preseason is a chance to get their teams ready for the season. The same is true for sports bars and sports-themed operators — and that’s why we love the NFL Preseason.

Starting in early August, there are NFL games available for showing in your locations. This is the right time to get ready for the upcoming regular season schedule by making the preseason work for you. Those of you that want to show the preseason games will have some additional decisions to make. So, let’s get started.

How to Get Non-Locally Aired NFL Preseason Games

The biggest challenge most sports bar managers will experience during the NFL Preseason is that most games are not available locally. Unlike the regular season, there is no NFL Sunday Ticket for the preseason. Your only option is to explore the NFL Game Pass. This is the NFL’s streaming-only product and you will need to determine if their Terms and Conditions allow you to show their content to guests.

If you do choose to purchase and implement NFL Game Pass, you will need to secure a method for showing it on your TVs. This is easy if you have a matrix system where you can just plug in a streaming device (Roku, AppleTV, Playstation, laptop, etc.). However, if your infrastructure is not that flexible you will need a device for any TV that you want to enable for streaming. We’ve created a small guide with more information on streaming and the OTT infrastructure that is available to you.

We cannot tell you what is the best choice for you, but we feel strongly that streaming the NFL preseason is a potent way to differentiate yourselves from your competitors.

NFL Preseason is a Warmup for Guests & Your Staff

NFL preseason is a warmup for fans at sports barsThe preseason is just as much of a warmup for your guests as it is for the NFL and your staff. If you promote that your location will have all the preseason games, you can build the expectation that your place is the one for watching NFL all season. This is also an ideal time to promote to your guests any other marketing initiatives you have available. Don’t let this traffic increase go to waste and promote aggressively to your guests that visit during the preseason.

Whether it’s the easy sell of fantasy football draft events or a more long term program, the easiest audience to influence is the one that is sitting in your dining room or at your bar. That translates to you having an urgency to be ready for the first week of August with your marketing calendar.

It might be a great time to have a full staff meeting. Getting your team on board is a critical tactic to ensuring your football marketing is executed well.

Download the 2018 NFL Preseason TV Schedule

East | Central | Mountain | Pacific

Football snacksStart Prepping for the Football Now

August is still summer and that means you are still in summer mode. It’s a great time to do an operational review to ensure you are ready for football revenue. Start by looking at staffing and make sure you have sufficient staff and they are available when you experience revenue. If you do, now is the time to remind everyone how football runs. For example, if you want your servers to wear team jerseys or to roll out a special football menu, practice it during preseason games nights. This gives you four weeks to get your game together and improve your performance, just like the pros in the NFL.

Have You Checked out the Football Marketing Bootcamp?

Most of you are already football season veterans, but that doesn’t mean a dose of common sense isn’t in order. If you aren’t preparing right now, then you are likely already way behind your competitors. If you need some additional resources, check out our Football Marketing Bootcamp. It offers you insights from winning at fantasy to how to make blow up your social media with football related content. The season is right around the corner, will you be ready?

If you get rolling now and use all your resources from The Rail and SportsTV Guide and you’ll certainly have a head start.

Sports Bars: Football Marketing Bootcamp