From Red Zone to Roses

How a local sports bar capitalized on a cult following and became Reno’s headquarters for The Bachelor

Bully’s Sports Bar has been a staple in the Northern Nevada community for over 25 years. With jerseys and sports paraphernalia surrounding the dozens of flat screen televisions on the walls, plus an extensive menu with all of the classic pub fare your heart could desire and beers the size of your face, it’s about as classic sports bar as it gets. 

On a typical Monday night, there are crowds of men wearing NFL jerseys of every color enjoying copious pitchers of beer with the tv screens that wrap around the entire restaurant locked on Monday night football. That all changed last Monday night when over 100 women flocked in, ordered buckets of White Claw, and saw every tv screen tuned to one show: “The Bachelor.” 

Now I know what you’re thinking… A Bachelor watch party at a sports bar? 

That was the gut reaction most people had when the idea to host a premiere party at a sports bar was in its infancy. Until the data made a case for it.

“The Bachelor,” a show that has been on since 2002 and is just beginning its 24th season, is only growing in viewership. 

Last season’s finale recorded an average rating of 2.3 in the key demo of adults 18-49, and just over 8 million viewers, and that’s just the accounting for the dedicated crowd that watch live. 

The Bachelor: Bully's Sports Bar
Photo Credit: ABC

The show has a cult following of fans called “Bachelor Nation” who go beyond just watching weekly. They live-tweet, they participate in fantasy leagues, they listen to dedicated podcasts about the show, breaking down all of the drama that unfolds between the hours of 8 – 10 p.m. every Monday night. And Bachelor Nation is just as intense and fanatical as any sports team following. 

Recognizing that there was no other place in town offering Bachelor Nation a place to watch their favorite show with other fans, Bully’s Sports Bar took a chance and transformed one of their seven locations into the Reno Bachelor Nation headquarters. 

There was not a single empty table in the bar. 

While tuning every one of close to 50 televisions in the bar to “The Bachelor” might seem radical, it brought in record numbers of customers, not to mention multiple TV stations that wanted to cover the spectacle. It was just unconventional enough to cut through the clutter and reach a brand-new group of people who may have never stepped foot in a Bully’s before that night. 

By capitalizing on the relevancy of “The Bachelor,” Bully’s is now not only known as Reno’s favorite sports bar, but also as Reno’s only Bachelor headquarters.