A frequent question we field from sports-themed operators is how to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The time where counting on HD TVs and the NFL Sunday Ticket as that difference maker is long past.

So, what is your next move if you want to truly separate your operation from any other competitor? It’s all about the content. In recent posts, we have reviewed what we believe are the three best options for alternate content available today: streaming sports, gaming entertainment and digital signage.

An effort to implement any of these options will bear fruit, but you have to execute well or it will just be another thing you tried. That’s why we are offering this implementation guide. It includes a checklist of items you must consider and address to successfully execute a new media program and turn it into a point of differentiation. Let’s get started.

Planning & Execution

Clichés like “plan your work, work your plan” exist because they are actually true. Planning is a way to avoid error, correct action, and smooth implementation. That is why any new media you deliver will rely on you planning assiduously. The place to start is invariably with your motivation. Once you have established why you want to add new media content to your sports bar, then you can focus on which alternate best fits your motivation.

For example. If you have a slow night that could use a new theme or activity, then gaming is your best option. It allows you to promote the activity as the call-to-action (CTA) and invite traffic on a revenue period that is falling short. However, if you are looking to drive customer behavior regarding specials, events or new products, you’ll likely favor digital signage. This allows you to control the messages your guests view. There is definitive evidence that digital signage is a powerful tool in driving adoption and trial by guests present in your location.

Motivation must be determined while simultaneously determining your audience and how they impact your new media placement. For example: If you are in a big city and sports-themed, then OTT streaming sports will likely offer you the ability to show more obscure games. This will attract folks that seek lesser available programming. In fact, you can leverage this by surveying your guests and created a persona that you are attempting to attract. This way you can test your hypotheses regarding the content and the guests it will attract.

Once you have established your motivation and audience, then you must determine what you can spend to implement. With the costs defined, you can then calculate what you must gain in sales to ensure a return on your investment (ROI). This analysis includes what your expectations are for sales increases minus the costs. If the number if above zero, then you have a return. Don’t forget to include COGS as a part of the expenses for any increased sales. Fixed costs don’t change no matter how many guests visit, so they don’t factor in the analysis.

The Implementation Process

The outline below is a quick review of the process for determining what new media you are attempting to implement. It is intended to aid you choosing which of the new media choices is most aligned with your current marketing and growth goals, and subsequently allow you to begin your own implementation. Follow it and you can quickly eliminate the choices that don’t match your goals and focus on what does. Good Luck!

  1. MOTIVATION: Why do I want to implement new media?
    1. Streaming Sports
      1. Because there is demand for these less available events
      2. I want to further the claim that we show everything
    2. Gaming
      1. My guests are very interested in gaming and I want to deliver that experience
      2. I have a slow night that I think will build based on my demographics if we add gaming to our entertainment
    3. Digital Signage
      1. I want to add interesting content that also features our internal marketing
      2. I can sell outside ads to create revenue
  2. AUDIENCE: Who will this implementation speak to?
    1. Look at your customer demographics
      1. Create personas to help you humanize who you are selling to
      2. Match the program to the audience (ex: Millennials and gaming)
    2. How does it fit with your overall marketing message?
      1. If you are more bar than sports bar then maybe digital signage is a better fit
      2. Sports bars may consider the OTT programming to prove their dedication to sports
      3. You are speaking to Millennials and younger already (gaming?)
  1. FINANCIAL: What is the budget and return expectations
    1. There are expenses associated with any new media implementation
      1. How much do you want to spend on a program?
        1. Streaming content subscriptions
        2. Digital signage provider
        3. Gaming consoles and game rights need to be factored
      2. Cost Benefit Analysis
        1. Define what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are for each implementation
        2. Project the results you need to justify the expense and that is your minimum performance expectation
      3. ROI
        1. Return is calculated as the difference between expenses and expected sales growth from a specific implementation
        2. Use the zero sum ROI as the minimum performance you require to justify implementation of a new media program
  2. IMPLEMENTATION: How do you get it rolling?

To learn more about implementing new tech at your restaurant without it disrupting your team and guests, check out our free ebook and webinar — Implementing New Tech Without Disruption.