With NFL Organized Team Activities (OTA) starting last week, we know that the football season is right around the corner. Regular season games will not start until the fall; so you still have time to begin planning ahead for an NFL marketing plan for your food truck. According to many polls, nearly 50 percent of Americans are NFL fans. And guess what…if you target these football fans there’s a great chance they will patronize your food truck.

Just ask Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Subway, Quiznos Sub, and Taco Bell. All of these national restaurant brands have hired football player spokespersons or have developed unique marketing campaigns to draw the pigskin-loving crowd.

Build Your Customer Base By Targeting Football Fans

Here’s the profile of the typical NFL football fan:

  • Male: 71%
  • Men 18-46 – 55%
  • Household Income: $75K+ – 39%
  • Median Household Income: $62,000
  • 4+ Years College – 31%
  • Internet Access – 72%

Of course there aren’t many food truck owners who can hire a star NFL player and run multi-million dollar TV advertisements. However, there’s no excuse for not being able to tap into this predominantly male demographic.

Here are 3 strategies that you can implement to market to football fans:

  1. Name a menu item after the local team’s mascot: Wendy’s did this in its own backyard – Ohio. To attract Ohio State fans, the nation’s third-largest burger chain launched the Brutus Buckeye Burger and offered it through the football season. Think of all the possibilities for your restaurant. It doesn’t even have to be permanent. Maybe you change the name of your most popular item in honor of the most popular team in your area? You can create a limited time offer promotion around it and watch sales soar. 
  2. Accept football ticket stubs as coupons: This can be done at any level, including high school and junior high football leagues. You can even try posting signs at the stadium entrance to drive game watchers to your food truck. 
  3. Wear a Shirt, Get the Special: This is one of those promotions that’s easy for customers to do and let’s them show off their team pride. Offer a standing game day “Sunday Special” but only to those customers who up wearing their favorite team’s jersey or maybe a specific team’s jersey – it’s your call.

Incorporate your Customer Loyalty Program

The easiest and most effective way to incorporate football fans into your marketing plan is through your customer loyalty program. You simply tie your football specials and promotions to customers who have joined your loyalty program. Then, you have direct access to them every week via email or text messaging.

Mid-week you can send an email to all your loyalty program customers and let them know what teams will be playing and your weekend specials.

With Text Messaging you can send a message to all your customers just a couple hours before the game inviting them to your truck for a “last minute” special. Or, you can send a text message at half time inviting customers to join you for a “post-game” celebration. When you have an “immediate” marketing vehicle like text messaging, the possibilities are unlimited.

Rewards and Bonus Points

Depending on the type of rewards you offer in your loyalty program, you can come up with some fun promotions without breaking the bank on discounts and specials.

Here are a few ides:

  • Offer Double or Triple Points on game days
  • Tie reward points to fantasy football league winners
  • Issue Bonus Points or Rewards based on game picks – have customers complete a game day sheet with their picks and give 20 points for every game they pick correctly. Maybe offer triple points if they pick the final score.

These ideas aren’t just limited to football. You can easily take the same concepts and modify them for basketball (especially during March Madness), baseball, Nascar or any sport that is popular in your local market.

RELATED: Food Truck Marketing

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