According to the State of Small Business Report, 57 percent of small businesses anticipate revenue growth in 2015 and the Super Bowl may be the first big opportunity for that growth. There are many ways local, small businesses and those around the nation can benefit from the big game. They may even be the real winners.
With an expected 100,000 visitors and more than $500 million estimated economic impact, as well as over 1 million participants in local events and activities, the Super Bowl can mean big business for small and mid-sized companies near the scene. From construction and real estate to entertainment and hospitality, local businesses often see the biggest gains in the lead up to the Super Bowl.
Even tight-budgeted, small startups like uCool are ponying up to invest on a 15 second Super Bowl spot. According to Adweek, the game maker was a late entrant in the game, and NBC has yet to tell the company what quarter the ad runs.
In 2008, Phoenix brought in $500 million when it hosted the Super Bowl, and Dennis Hoffman, Professor of Economics at the W.P. Carey School of Business, is confident they will bring in even more this year. He also notes that visitors come ready to spend. Game goers are shelling out upwards of $1200 for tickets and are willing to spend even more for the Super Bowl experience.
Last year's Super Bowl in New Jersey saw an interesting split of spending between New Jersey and New York City, but looking at statistics from the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans gives a clear picture of how the event impacts a single host city. According to a University of New Orleans study, visitors who stayed overnight spent almost $149 million directly, with vendors spending almost $74 million, and day visitors spending almost $22 million. NFL affiliated visitors spent around $34 million and members of the news media more than $9 million.
Below are ways local SMBs can prepare for a successful Super Bowl 2015:
Be ready for the surge. Local businesses can expect increased customer interactions and, in many cases, will need to keep careful track of their inventory and plan ahead to prepare for the influx. Some local retailers, especially those with football and Super Bowl merchandise and tailgate supplies may even want to take an almost holiday season approach to their inventory and even adopt Black Friday readiness to make sure stores are running at full steam and don't run out of the most sought after items.
Work together and work smart. Small and mid-sized, local businesses may also want to band together to provide a suite of services to incoming visitors or to big businesses needing local support. Restaurants and hotels can work together with event planners and PR companies for parties and with local retailers that help visitors get ready for the tailgate scene. When working together, it is crucial for small businesses to work as smart and effectively as possible. Setting up basic guidelines can be the key to beneficial and long lasting partnerships, ones that extend far beyond Super Bowl weekend.
A Super Bowl nation. With more than 110 million viewers and an almost national holiday status, the Super Bowl is going to impact all kinds of small businesses across the US. Especially if you're in the chicken wing business -- an expected 1.25 billion wings will be eaten. However, wing sellers aren't the only small businesses that can use the Super Bowl to their advantage and smart small businesses know they need to get in on the action.
Here are a few tips for small businesses around the nation:
Know what Super Bowlers like to eat. The clearest winners nationwide are bars, restaurants, caterers, party suppliers, and supermarkets on what has become the 2nd largest food consumption day of the year. This means they need to be stocked and ready for surges. Inventory management is crucial if you're in the food or football business; especially if you sell football food.
See full infographic here
Gear up social media marketing. Even if you can't afford a $4.5 million Super Bowl ad, there are many opportunities to take advantage of the hype for your own marketing. Try leveraging social media and engaging your fans and audience with game day posts and promotions. Pay attention to trending topics and hashtags to see if any are relevant to your business. A clever Facebook post or a timely picture on Instagram or Twitter could go far.
— Sotrender (@sotrender) January 29, 2015
Take advantage of team building for your own business. An estimated 1.5 million people call in sick on the Monday after the Super Bowl, so why not use game night to build team bonds. Having a fun football watching party could be a great way to bring your employees together and the art of a good party for the summer can easily work in the winter.
As you wait for the biggest football game of the season, make sure to think about how you can use the Super Bowl to kick off your small business this season.o