The world of sports – from off base to on the ropes to the gloves are off – is absolutely full of idioms with multiple levels of meaning. So much so that they’re deeply entrenched in North American English. So it would make sense that sports bars, being places for fun and entertainment, might play upon these idioms when choosing a name.
Not so. A review of the names of the “101 best sports bars in the U.S.” reveals that not only are the great majority of bars not using idiom-based names, most are using names completely devoid of any sports reference at all. Among the top 10, for example, we have names like Rock Bottom American Pub, Half Moon Sports Grill and Santisi Brothers. There are only three names in that group with sports references: Heroes in Mobile, Alabama, Blue 32 in Scottsdale and The Boardroom in San Francisco.
I am sure that the bars without sports-related names are doing fabulously well – otherwise, they wouldn’t be in the top 10. But if you were opening a sports bar today, which do you think would be the name that saves you the most on marketing? Rock Bottom or Heroes? Half Moon or Blue 32?
I say Heroes and Blue 32, names that give the public an immediate sense that this is a sports bar, instead of a moniker like Rock Bottom, which helps you in no way whatsoever make a decision as to whether to go there if you want to watch the game.
Second Base, the new name chosen by bar turnaround tough guy Jon Taffer in Sunday’s season finale of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, is an absolutely brilliant example of using a sports idiom to convey that yes, this is a sports bar – and just as important, that yes, this is a sports bar that used to be a sleazy bikini bar called Extremes, but has cleaned up its act while acknowledging its raunchier past with some lighthearted and sexy humour.
What do think of the name? Could Taffer have done better? Or imagine you’re about to open a sports bar and you want it to have a fun name – one that will tell people it’s a sports bar and thereby save you money on marketing. What would you call it? (try to keep it reasonably clean)
See a sneak peek of Bikini Bust here:
Bikini Bust Sneak Peek
Get More: Bikini Bust Sneak Peek
My other Bar Rescue blogposts: