Are you looking to throw a great fantasy football draft party at your FEC?
Well, you've come to the right place!
Every league starts with a draft and this event can be capitalized on for a nice burst of revenue from the end of July through August.
4 Steps to Throwing a Great Fantasy Football Draft Party at Your FEC
This is a simple, single event can 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 a gastropub. In reality, these leagues tend to dissipate past the draft as championship hopes dwindle.
In this article, 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.
1. Target via Marketing
We highly recommend all facilities set up both Google Analytics and their Facebook business page. This way, you can collect the necessary data on party package performance, sales, and more
If you’ve already done this, you’re going to love the tips that this section provides. If you haven’t set up these accounts yet, check out this article on Google Analytics & our Facebook resource!
Facebook and Instagram
You want your call-to-action to be clear, visible, and easy to find. Make sure your "Book Now" button is visible on your website and on social, add the link to your online booking too!
For your online booking portal, simply create a party option for this event that your guests can choose and book. Or, you might consider selling tickets to your various draft parties in your online store.
The point is: make it easy for your customers to book a party!
Advertisements can be expensive, so how do we target these guests on a budget?
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 (located in your Meta Business Manager).
Input “Male,” and an age range of 25-39 to match our information from the FSGA.
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.”
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.
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. What typical foods would you expect to see at a football watch party?
Here are some ideas:
- Beer Cheese + Pretzels or Chips
- 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 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!
Providing an amazing customer experience is going to involve certain materials that your guest might not have thought of.
Let’s talk about some simple best practices for items that should come with your party offering.
If a draft board is on clearance, then you’re purchasing last year’s information. Rosters change rapidly in the offseason, and you want to make sure your board is up to date, so purchase a new one!
Apart from that, you need to ensure it has some color but not too much detail so that it's neat, organized, and can accommodate multiple teams.
Where there’s a winner, there will be a loser. 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.
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.
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 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 draft they’ve ever had. This means you and your team have to take this to the next level!
The first thing on any 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 were 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 winners as if they were a birthday party’s guest of honor
- Trophies with the league name on them
From there, you’re going to ensure this party is an unforgettable experience for everyone involved!
Business television packages are expensive, and if you don’t have this already, we can’t fault you.
If you do have access to ESPN or other sports networks, however, we highly recommend this event to take place in a room with that available. At the very least, a display in the room allows your guests to cast their media.
Keep the Party Room Separate
Football draft parties can get loud and rowdy. It is important that the party be in its own separate area for this reason, especially if you plan on having other guests in your facility at the same time.
This is the crucial piece. People typically start researching online to find out who their next pick should be as the party progresses.
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!
User-generated content, or UGC, is any sort of advertising that your customers provide for you.
So, if you provide an amazing Fantasy Football Draft Party, you probably want their social networks to know they can have this, too!
Here are some ways to promote that behavior:
- Offer one free drink token for each person that posts on social, tagging your location.
- Consider creating a custom draft board with your location’s name/logo at the top. After the draft, people are going to take photos of the completed board.
These and the other special things you’ve done, combined with good internet access, will turn your attendees into evangelists!
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