Bowling, according to PR Newswire, is America's No. 1 participatory sport. And with more than 4,000 bowling alleys in the United States, competition can get tough. Bring bowlers to your alley with upbeat and engaging promotions that build your business -- and your alley's reputation as a place people go to have a good time.
Involve Local Sports Figures
If your town has a Major League Baseball team, college football team or city hockey team, perhaps a team member might be willing to make an appearance at the alley to promote a wholesome, family-oriented activity like bowling. If not, ask to borrow the mascot for a few hours and have a photographer on hand to take souvenir shots of kids with the mascot.
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Have Theme Nights
Make a weekly schedule of theme nights. Themes can attract crowds on slow days. You might consider hosting an '80s or '90s night that features music of that time and encourages bowlers to dress the part. A movie theme is another option: Play the movie if you have the space, give a discount to people who dress up as a movie character and decorate the alley to complement the theme.
Tap Into Social Media
Engage bowlers by featuring them in your social media marketing. Have bowlers post photos on your Facebook page or tweet them to you. On Twitter, share what customers have shared with you by retweeting messages. At the end of the day -- or week -- issue a coupon for a free game of bowling to whoever has the best photo.
Bowling bingo is a way to combine two traditional activities. Bowlers play the game by checking moves on their bingo card. They might attempt a "Big Four" (a 4-6-7-10 split), a spare or a strike. The Professional Bowlers Association has a comprehensive list of moves you can include on your cards, or you can download some from the Internet. You could provide winners with free passes for bowling, T-shirts with your logo, free food if you serve it or even a free ball.
Leagues attract serious and recreational bowlers seeking camaraderie, entertainment, money, competition and exercise. Sponsoring a league gives you a chance to connect with your customers on a regular basis and promote your business. You can fully sponsor a league or cover whatever costs you can. Provide clothing with your logo to spread your name. Offer discounts on equipment, travel money or tournament fees.
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- Professional Bowlers Association: Bowling Lingo
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- BCM Magazine