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4 Steps to Throwing an Awesome Fantasy Football Draft Party at Your Facility

Alex Keller
Aug 6, 2019 6:00 AM

Looking for ideas on how to throw an awesome fantasy football draft party at your facility? You’ve come to the right place!

Before we get started, don’t forget to check out the article I put out last week: How Fantasy Football Can Help You Create a Create Customer Experience. It’ll help create some context for today’s article.

Now, let’s get started!

Fantasy Football Draft Party = Extra Revenue

Every league starts with a draft, and that event can be capitalized on for a nice burst of revenue from the end of July through August. 

This is a simple, single event that could be a great fit for locations that aren’t even sports-focused. Now, I’m not saying that you need to rethink your entire business like a sports bar, or gastropub. In reality, these leagues tend to dissipate past the draft as championship hopes dwindle.

We’re going to focus on creating an awesome fantasy football draft party that will rebook year after year, and visit your location in between. 

Keeping reading to discover your 4 steps to throwing an awesome fantasy football draft party.

1. Target via Marketing

We highly recommend all facilities set up both Google and Facebook analytics on their website. 

If you’ve done this, you’re going to love the tips that this section provides. If you haven’t set up these accounts yet, reach out and let us help you get started.

Facebook and Instagram

You want your call-to-action or online booking solution to find these individuals on social media. 

Imagine your customer scrolling through instagram and there is your logo letting them get booked right from their phone. They may even screenshot the ad and send it in their league’s group chat to get all the clear. Everything is set! 

For your online booking portal, simply create a party option that your guests can choose and book. Or, you might consider selling tickets to your various draft parties in your online store.

Targeting

Advertisements can be expensive, so how do we target these guests?

Let’s use what we know of this demographic with Eazl’s Rule of 80 to create our audience in the Facebook audience insights tab.

Step One: 

Input “Male,”  and an age range of 25-39 to match our information from the FSGA. 

Step Two: 

We’re going to target a single interest, so it has to be good. We’re going to shoot for Eazl’s Rule of 80 - meaning 80% of the related categories should be aligned, and the affinity scores of related pages should be 80x. 

Let’s try “Fantasy Football.” 

IMG

Yikes ! We’ve got a foreign language and soccer included here. These categories don’t exactly seem related, and we may wind up advertising to a wider range than intended.

So, let’s get a bit more specific: Try “DraftKings” as an interest. This is the popular betting platform that allows you to play “daily leagues.” 

This works much better, and all the affinity scores below show 80x or higher. Sometimes marketing the interest itself casts so wide a net that you get an audience that likes Fantasy Football. What we want in specific advertising is an audience of people that play Fantasy Football. 

Step Three: 

Create an ad and link it to your online booking platform. Target this audience on an “X Miles from Address” basis. Make sure all local suburbs are included in your range.

2. Let’s Talk Food and Drink

Whether you serve food or order in, this is going to be a simple yet crucial aspect of an awesome fantasy football draft party.  

We’re not talking about a complex menu or expensive palette. You’ll be serving simple foods with a high mark-up. So, what typical foods would you expect to see at a football watch party? Here are some ideas that I hope to see at mine this year:

  • Beer Cheese + Pretzels or Chips
  • Wings
  • Pizza
  • Cookies or Brownies

Any Fantasy Football Draft Party veteran will tell you this shouldn’t be a wild party, lest you should mess up your entire draft strategy.

With that said, it is definitely a social gathering for old friends or coworkers. A completely dry affair would be a hard-sell to many of these groups, so keep that in mind if your location doesn’t serve alcohol. 

I recommend a 2-drink token system to check that box, but cull any truly rowdy behavior. If they want more they can purchase it, and you’ll profit from that. 

3. Peripherals!

Providing an amazing customer experience is going to involve certain materials that your guest might not have thought of.

For example: the first year I broke out a draft board for my league was a watershed moment for us. Let’s talk about some simple best practices for items that are going to come with your party offering.

Draft Boards

Take it from me -- if a draft board is on clearance, then you’re purchasing last year’s information. Rosters changes rapidly in the offseason, and you want to make sure your board is up to date. 

Apart from that, you need to ensure there is some color but not too much detail. 

This example is beautiful, but almost too detailed. You want the player stickers to separate positions by color. 

Although this does separate player position by color, this example is far too plain.

This example is perfect. Great colors all around, and accommodates up to 14 teams.

*Note: click colored text to view examples.

Trophies

Where there’s a winner, there will be a loser.

And in Fantasy Sports, both are important. 

Oftentimes the winner of a league becomes its commissioner next year, and setting aside a trophy for their victory is critical. The trophy doesn’t need to be expensive, unique, or professional. Here is a great example of a winner’s trophy.

On the other hand, coming in last is a mark of shame. Surprise your party with this for their upcoming year and they’ll all point at last year’s loser. 

Timer

The draft doesn’t stop until every roster is filled. Assuming a standard of 15 spots and 10 teams,  that is an hour and 15 minutes of drafting -- provided they stick to 30 seconds per pick.

More than offering the timer, you should suggest using it as a best practice. This is something that should at least be available in the room.

Rewards

Make this experience special to your location. You want them coming back for more than another draft party, right?

Here are some ideas:

  • Provide a gift card as part of the league championship. Remember how I said the winner oftentimes runs the league next year? Get them back in the door with this so you can talk about the next draft party. 

  • Give coupons to your location to all attendees. It could be for an activity or experience, food item: you choose! These could be even be sports related -- for example: how Buffalo Wild Wings giving you 15% off an order from NFLShop.com. 

  • Personalize the experience for your commissioners. Make them feel special!. A simple koozie or other personalized memorabilia commemorating their hard work would go a long way. All it needs to say is “20XX Commissioner,” so don’t worry about customizing these too deeply. 

4. Customer Experience

We want this experience to set your location apart from any other fantasy football draft party they’ve ever had. This means you and your team have to take this to the next level!

First thing on any post-booking checklist should be a call confirming the details of the party. With a fantasy football draft party, you also want to knock out a checklist of questions regarding their league. Here are some great examples:

  • How long has your league been around? Is this new?
  • What is your league’s name?
  • Do you have the team names already picked out?
  • Who was last year’s winner and loser?

  Use whatever information you gather to then customize the party:

  • Placards for Team Owners 
    • “Straight Outta Cobbton” - Owner Trevor Smith
  • Banner for League’s Name (if appropriate) 
  • Treat last year’s winner as if they were a birthday party’s guest of honor 
  • Trophies have the league name on them

From there you’re going to ensure the mechanics of this experience. Some of this could be out of your control, and only the last point is crucial.

Facility Necessities

  • TV Access -  Business television packages are expensive, and if you don’t have this already I can’t fault you. If you do have access to ESPN or other sports networks, however, I highly recommend this event taking place in a room with that available. At the very least, a display in the room allows your guests to at least cast their own media.

  • Party Room is Separate  -  These parties can be loud, and oftentimes inappropriate. You’ll note that I haven’t listed the name of my team or that of the league I play in, right? It is important that the party can’t be heard by other people attending your facility. At the least, try to ensure that music is being played to obscure any of the fouler language. 

  • WiFi - This is the crucial piece. Although my league has a “no electronics” rule in place for drafts, this is non-standard. Starting at round four or five, people typically start researching online to find out who their next pick should be. If you don’t have great signal strength in that room, now might be the time to invest in a signal extender for that area. The Netgear AC750 is my personal choice, and comes at a decent price on Amazon. 

Create Instagrammable Moments.

User-generated content, or UGC, is any sort of advertising that your customers provide for you. We’re much more likely to trust our friends and family than we are a business, right? 

So, you provide an amazing Fantasy Football Draft Party and want their social networks to know they can have this, too! 

Here are some ways to promote that behavior: 

  • One free drink token for each person that posts on social, tagging your location. 

  • The more customization the better. If you call out last year’s loser on the cake -- that's going on social media for sure. 

  • Consider a custom draft board with your location’s name/logo at the top. At the conclusion of the draft people are going to take photos of and with the completed board. 

These and the other special things you’ve done, combined with good internet access, will turn your attendees into evangelists throughout the event. 

Conclusion

Love these tips on throwing an awesome fantasy football draft party? Don’t forget to download a copy of the eBook: Creating Amazing Fantasy Football Parties at Your FEC. Click here or on the image below to download a copy.

Complimentary Guide: Creating Amazing Fantasy Football Parties at Your FEC

 

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