You thought the Super Bowl brought in big money? When it comes to worldwide interest, that little contest is a Sunday-afternoon Pop Warner game when compared to the World Cup. According to an article in Clickz, the World Cup has accounted for more internet traffic this year than the Super Bowl, Olympics and Tour de France combined. And, oh yeah, it hasn’t even happened yet. This means people in your city are going to want to watch the games, and your business - especially if it’s a bar, restaurant, clothing retailer or even a gym - is in a great position to capitalize.
Run a social media contest
Since half the bar will be on their phones anyway, offer up some contests so at least they’re Tweeting about your business while they’re at it. Assign a hashtag to your bar’s watch parties like #billsbarWCinsanity or #BillsBarLovesSoccerOnceEvery4Years. Then put fliers on your menu telling customers to Tweet and tag their selfies with said hashtag, and give away a prize to whoever’s got the best. It’ll get people talking about your bar and hopefully get their friends to show up too.
Offer different menu items depending on who’s playing
While your chef may be hard pressed to come up with any zany Cameroonian food, there likely will be something he can make from countries like Italy, Colombia, Brazil and others. You’ve got plenty of options and it might even draw in people who wouldn’t normally be attracted to what your restaurant does. OTC, for example, a Miami restaurant known for sort-of “foodie” cuisine, is broadening their base and offering brats with mustards for Germany games, a burger with pork and beans for USA games, bacalao croquettes for Spain and a rotating pasta special for Italy.
Get creative with your drink specials
Every bar in your city is probably offering half-off drinks for 90 seconds after US goals. But most Americans won’t have much interest in going out to watch games that don’t involve the USA. However if you give them cheap drinks, well, who doesn’t have an interest in cheap drinks? An open bar for the rest of the night if you’re there when Croatia upsets Brazil? Nobody’s doing that. Or unlimited beer for a flat rate, that varies with whether South Korea wins or loses? Sure. Whatever it is, you’ll need to set your bar’s specials apart, so get creative.
Get on your delivery game
The World Cup watch party is one of the great infrequent American traditions, right up there with voting and caring about figure skating. Cooking for the World Cup watch party, however, isn’t. Which is where you come in. For restaurants, staffing extra during a US game is a no-brainer, but think about the demographics of where you live. Is there a large Mexican population? Or British? Or people who jump on the Brazil bandwagon because the US lost? You’ll NEED to have your full squad of delivery people on hand for those games too, and if you’ve got a delivery app or online ordering capabilities, make sure you’ve staffed enough people to process those orders. There’s nothing worse than ordering a pizza and not getting it until injury time in the second half.
Market to a Hispanic audience
This will involve more than writing “Viva Mexico!” on your restaurant’s chalkboard. Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in the US, and are also far and away the most passionate about soccer. So hire someone - if you don’t have anyone on staff - to create some marketing materials and post to your Social Media in Spanish. If you advertise, focus heavily on Spanish-language publications. Also, take some time to analyze the culture of whichever Latin American countries have populations in your area, and figure out what specials might appeal to them. Finally, utilize employees you have who may be bilingual. Promote all you want, but if Spanish speakers come into your restaurant and can’t order, they may not stay.
At some point in this World Cup, there will inevitably be some guy sitting at a bar on his fifth Stella Atrois, listening to the girl next to him say “Omigod that Cristiano Ronaldo is sooooo hot!” and thinking to himself “Gosh, I really need to try and look like Cristiano Ronaldo.” And this is when he looks down and sees your flier on the bar saying “Work out like a World Cup player! The Soccer Pro’s workout only at Jeff’s Gym!” And there you have yourself a new customer. Even if you’re not well-versed in soccer training techniques, do some research and put together a group fitness class or a personal training program associated with soccer. According to the Altrincham HW blog, if you drink 4 pints of beer every night for the 25 nights of World Cup, you’ll consume 24,400 calories. And people are gonna need somewhere to burn that off.
You thought you were clever ordering 150 Wayne Rooney England jerseys, until you realized he’s pretty much the Richie Incognito of soccer. Do some homework as to which players and countries are popular in your area, even if it’s something as simple as searching names on social media or looking up popular Google searches nearby. Also, stocking plain shirts in national colors for low prices is a great way to capture the “only going because my friends are going but I don’t want to look left out” market. Because when a guy is pretending to love Brazlian soccer to impress a girl, he still may not want to shell out $75 for a jersey.
Don’t Break the Rules
Even though FIFA isn’t exactly Disney, and probably not coming after your corner bar for using their logo, still be careful. Make sure you’re not using any of the trademarked phrases found here. In addition, none of your signage, decorations, marketing materials, ads, social media promotions or online content should include the official World Cup logo, mascot, trophy, poster or slogan “All in one rhythm.” You also cannot post a match schedule with your own logo. Surprisingly, some countries’ soccer logos - like the three lions of England - are trademarked. So be careful what you do, because nothing will ruin your World Cup high like a lawsuit from FIFA.
Image courtesy of hin255 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net