The NBA is Cooking Up a Buzz in Pubs, Bars & Breweries

Cooking Up a Buzz

We hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July Weekend! Last year we saw the COVID-19 pandemic halt sporting events, along with everything else. This year, with seasons in full-swing and with attendance, sports fans seem to be more excited and engaged than ever before. The NBA has been cooking up a buzz this post-season, with incredibly close series and games that come down to the wire every night. The finals are incredibly exciting, and whether you’ve been following all season or just tuning in now, we are all in for a basketball treat! Jumping on the NBA band-wagon as a pub, bar or brewery owner is a great idea right now to get customers in to watch while eating and drinking!

Tomorrow is Game 1 of the finals (Suns vs Bucks) and it isn’t just Phoenix and Milwaukee residents who are excited – NBA fans from all across the country will be tuning in! At UBMe, we are excited to give our tips for increasing sports-fan engagement at your local pub, bar or brewery! There are a few key items you’ll need to pull off the perfect event.

Pick a Team

If you’re actually in or nearby Phoenix or Milwaukee, you should DEFINITELY be hosting events centered around the Suns or Bucks. There will be at least 4 games, although I am predicting 6, so that’s a lot of events you can host and customers you can bring in over the next few weeks!

Special Menu Items

Creating a special menu item or cocktail is a great way to get fans engaged in ordering from you as well. A ‘Sunny’ sampler could go a long way! Play on the team names and see that item become an instant hit over the next few days! Our featured image actually includes a great tasting example from one of our clients, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery in Buffalo, NY!


Grab some green or orange and get fans in the spirit! By adding a few touches to make the fans in your bar feel like they’re on the court, you can build life-long customers!

Contests & Prizes

We all know someone who has a basketball hoop. Ask to borrow it and host a pre-game shoot off or knock-out game! Limit the number of entries to the first 15 people and offer a gift card prize to the winner and runner-up. Now, not only will customers arrive even earlier but they’ll bring some friends and family to watch them compete!

Long-Shot Guest

Is there a local, retired NBA player that lives nearby? Yes, this is a long-shot (no pun intended) but it doesn’t hurt to reach out and ask if they’d like a few rounds and some food on the house! You never know who you could get to show up!

Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement is a great way to cook up some appeal to your bar or pub. It’s a great idea to take photos when you have an event going on to use later on social media, such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. At UBMe, we also recommend to get some custom hashtags going as well. By having your customers use feature hashtags, you’re actually generating more business through your customers, which is awesome!


Similar to ‘contests and prizes,’ you could invest in a jersey of choice and host a raffle! This can be done both online through social media as well as in-person. Whether you decide to sell raffle tickets or make it a social media challenge (example: if the post is re-shared, the user gets a raffle) is up to you, but it is a great strategy to get your name out there!


Putting on events should be enjoyable for you, so make sure that you don’t lose sight of that. While it can be exhausting to host on top of running your venture, it will all be worth it. By putting in time and energy to creating an engaging atmosphere that goes above food and drink, you are creating a broader sense of community. At UBMe, we are all about community. Combining the food and event space within the restaurant industry is the key to building up communities. UBMe actually began in the event space and with the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioned into the restaurant industry. We offer free, online ordering systems for restaurants, as well as automatic order printing. You can sign up for your free demo here.

Bringing in new customers and providing existing customers with a great time is exciting, and we hope this list has generated some great, NBA-centered ideas for you. These ideas can be applied to any sporting event, so make sure to reference them as the seasons change! We can’t wait to see you bring these ideas to life, so make sure to tag our Instagram!

Finally, have fun planning your next event! Make sure to promote it and above all, enjoy it!