(Photo caption) David with friends at Claudia’s in Portland during the 2011 season opener!
So the next big question is what if you are a Chargers fan in say Dayton, Ohio or Philadelphia and you want to start a Chargers bar. You may think you are alone, but remember there are San Diego Ex-pats that have had to move around country for work and family. There are Chargers fans who never lived in San Diego looking for Brother/sisterhood. There may be closeted Rivers’ fans just waiting for a spot to gather and sing along to our wildly out of date disco fight song.
Portland’s Claudia’s sports pub started with two guys watching a Tube TV together in the corner and in three years built it up with almost zero effort.
Remember if you want to ensure turn-out you have to provide an experience the Charger fan can’t get at home with NFL Sunday ticket.
> Wear Chargers gear – Gotta be able to recognize each other so you know to high-five when Rivers gets us in the endzone.
> Introduce yourself to other fans. It is basic but you build up your crew by being friendly and welcoming. Make small talk before the game and during breaks about the Chargers. At the end of the game tell them about your online group. Oh yeah…
> Start a Facebook group, A Twitter, A meet-up group or anything like this. Communicate between games you become a tighter group. Let’s say you live in Indianapolis and a Bolts fan moves to the city. A google search can grow your group.
> Get Pumped. High fives on scores or first down can be fun. It is something you don’t get at home. Fun is infectious. When the team is winning the bandwagon should always be ready. After big wins in Portland we used to sing the fight song together! I know it’s cheesy, but it is also fun.
Lets say you got a dozen people but you are worried about turn-out. Here are some next level things you can do. Talk to the bar staff and the owners (not on a Sunday when they are busy). Stop by or call on a weekday when they are bored. Find out ways you can work with them.
> Food and drink specials with Chargers themes. Offer to print the menu for the bar with your groups contact info on it.
> Play the Chargers fight song on TD’s. You can do this by setting up speakers to a phone in a pinch. If the bar has a DJ give them a disk. If they are too busy have someone offer to do this. This creates a fun atmosphere.
>Raffle prizes Give away tickets for each game attended and give a prize out at the end of the year. You might be able to get better prizes. Hit players and Charger PR staff on Twitter.
> That might work better if you raise money for a Charity. So do that raise money for one of the player’s foundation.
Facebook has several local and national Chargers groups. It is a great place to start. If you don’t use Facebook you can use other social media but I highly suggest this approach! Feel free to post comments with your ideas right here on BoltBlitz! Update us with results!
David Agranoff is a die-hard Chargers fan but also the author of 3 published horror fiction novels including the Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting the Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf-Reich. Follow him on Twitter @DAgranoffauthor