It’s March and spring doesn’t feel very close, but we’ve got an idea about how to warm it up. Why not promote some NCAA Football? What? NCAA Football? It’s not August.

Actually, the spring is one of the most entertaining peculiarities of NCAA Football — the Spring Games. There’s a bunch of fun rituals that surround the games and if you are a fan club location, this game is essential for driving some cheap traffic in April or May.

There are a total of 130 NCAA FBS teams and each of them has a spring game featured on their calendars. Unfortunately, they aren’t all televised, but the bigger programs do air on their various conference based networks. Think the SEC Network, where you will see South Carolina, Arkansas and Florida’s spring game live, including on campus programming. The middle-tiered teams will have a stream available and a tiny few will have nothing at all.

But, don’t fret, there’s a lot of opportunity in the NCAA Spring Football schedule.

It Won’t Do Much for You, If You Don’t Turn It On

Sports bars can grow their business with NCAA sports viewing parties

That’s why we built out a simple schedule you can reference to know exactly when these games air and what channel they are broadcast. They will be on your SportsTV Guide daily guide pages where the broadcasts are available, and we will list all the spring game streaming feeds on the Streaming Events tab.

With the schedule in hand you can now target the schools you think you have the best chance to attract to your place for their Spring Game. Once you have chosen them, it’s time to see if you can get them in your building.

Generate New Traffic with a Fan Club Offer

NCAA Alumni Group Events

Each of these games are a great way to entice a new fan club to your restaurant. You start with the included schedule for all of the games. Then you pick the dates you want to book and go looking for a fan club to court. You do that by trolling Facebook groups that are in your area supporting your target school. You can also search #hashtags associated with the teams on Instagram and Twitter.

From there you have to develop an offer.

The offer is really dependent on how much you want to bribe the group to meet at your place. You might consider throwing in some free food for the group based on a minimum attendance. These events always lure new people to your location. So, the way you treat them for that will impact if they return on their own. These fan clubs can be real long term revenue creators. We all know the value of a regular, but they must have a first visit to your restaurant. Fan club events give you a chance to make a great first impression.

Download the 2019 NCAA Spring Game Football Schedule

East | Central | Mountain | Pacific

Mine Your Own Business

Sports bar NCAA football spring games

Mine your own business means, the best resource for finding potential alumni club is with your existing traffic. You have the schedule, so publish it to your guests and call on them to take advantage of your fan club offer. If they are a regular at your location they likely are a sports fan that cares about their college team. They are the ones who can also introduce you to whoever organizes for their group. Be assured, the people organizing are always looking for a great spot to host events.

Signage with a contact person’s name or beer company banners can always do a good job of informing your guests that NCAA Spring Football is taken seriously here. If you have access to digital signage, make sure your offer is there. Treat it like you are selling a fantasy draft package, because the interest is there if you make it simple enough to enjoy. Besides Millennials like to do things in groups and are looking for experiences as much as they are looking for food value. Consequently, NCAA Spring Football is an intuitive choice to market to that age group.

Does This Apply to Guests that Don’t Support a Specific Team?

NCAA Spring Games football

It’s fairly clear that not every guest that visits your place to consume sports is an NCAA football fan. In fact, it’s safe to say that most aren’t. Consequently, finding a way to make NCAA Spring Football relevant to non-aligned guests can be a bit of a trick. Here is where gamification can be very helpful. You can achieve this by providing a prize and creating some game rules. They don’t have to be complicated and actually should be anything but. However, they do have to be relevant and easy to explain.

For example, why not reward guests with a chance to win a prize with some perceived value? Start by printing a signup card that guests can complete to enter the contest for that prize. Each time there is an NCAA Spring Football game that you are featuring, you distribute the cards to every guest that visits. Include a spot for them to provide email address and phone number for notification. This allows you to build your email contacts list in a way that also delivers potential value to the guest.

You can also give them a bounce-back of some sort (free soda/half price appetizer) so no one leaves without winning. While you aren’t strictly speaking promoting NCAA Spring Football, you are giving value to your guests and building your marketing tools in one fell swoop.


You shouldn’t need any motivation to leverage sports to grow your business, but there is plenty of it when considering NCAA Spring Football. Consider marketing to these games as a first step to building a healthy and sustainable alumni or fan club program. Any chance you have to provide a call to action in marketing your business represents a powerful opportunity to grow.

So, check out the game schedule and invite your guests to choose you for their fan club or just to meet some friends and catch a game. Either way, you’re giving them what they want and that’s how to win in today’s restaurant business environment.