|Friday Night HS Football Player|
Now September is the start of Junior Soccer, Junior Football, Junior Lacrosse, Friday Night HS Football, Saturday, Sunday and Monday Night College and Professional Big Screen Hi Def TV Football Games, Sports Bars, Home Chores like raking leaves and getting the house all winterized; Family Entertainment Centers like Dave and Busters and Lucky Strike; and restaurants, row upon row; not to mention extended shopping hours on Friday and Saturday nights as well as Sundays.
Did I miss anything? Probably 100 other competitive venues all looking for the consumers' precious discretionary dollar
Sometimes we forget about all this competition and complain that the bowling business is dying. No, it is not dying; it just isn't competing as well as it could.
Here’s an example of how I see centers competing
For those of you in states where “Friday Night Lights” is more religion than Sunday church, you know how tough it is to compete with HS football.
But what have you done to compete?
Here’s what I have seen. Don’t even acknowledge that HS Football exists. Just keep promoting your cosmic bowling at the same old price; cut price from Saturday’s cosmic special or your regular Friday special; host a two for one entry fee; offer free pizza with four or more people; and so on. All great promotions. All great ideas, but they don’t work.
What to do?
First, acknowledge that the cosmic program IS AN AFTER HS FOOTBALL PROGRAM and make sure your content specifies that cosmic bowling is something to do at your center after the game.
Second, be part of the game; distributing coupons to people in the stands or parking lots, be in the weekly “Program.”
Third: sponsor a weekly scholarship of $100 for the athlete who achieves_________________.
Fourth; make sure very cosmic Friday night is a fund raiser for various schools and a percentage of the bowling revenue (i.e. 10%) will go to the football team.
Fifth, Offer two free games to all students if the team scores over X# of points (certain restrictions apply and they have to come to the center to show their student ID in order to get their free game coupons and give you their email address.)
Sixth, during the season, host a couple of fun events at the center comprised of 2 cheerleaders and two football players per team. Winning team gets $100 in funds towards the football team’s kitty and the individual winners get $50 in free bowling (certain restrictions apply and they have to come to the center to show their student ID in order to get their free game coupons and give you their email address.)
Seventh, communicate this in school paper on school Facebook pages, weekly football programs, email your 14 to 21 yr. old list (those born from 1994 to 2000) or your 35 to 44 female parents who would be more likely to have kids in HS and promote at local merchant stores. What store doesn't want to promote the local HS football team? As a sidebar this is also a good way to get a short season league going with the stores to raise money for the football team. J
Eighth, in today’s society, especially if you want to reach this target audience, this segment of Millennial Generation (those born from 1980 to 2000 don’t get turned on by price specials, but they do get turned on by an AUTHENTIC CIVIC EFFORT to do good work for their benefit and will respond with positive word of mouth if you are, as the Beach Boys once said, “Be True To Your School.”
P.S. For further clarification of this new generation, please read or refer to “Millennials Rising” by Neil Howe and William Strauss.