SourceLine News & Insights

Convenience store marketing is taking a pretty big swing right now.

Large C-store chains are seeking to deliver more value to their customers than just the promise of convenience. These operations are trying to connect their stores with Americana in the hope that customers will perceive their stores embody mutual values. And it looks to be working.

Here’s how C-stores are pulling it off.

C-stores as Destinations

NACS reports that, while convenience stores have long been road trip staples, research shows they are becoming places that “people go out of their way to visit.” Buc-ee’s, Casey’s, Rutter’s, Sheetz, Wally’s and Wawa all leverage this approach.

According to research from, “destination” C-stores are gaining popularity, with average venue visits on the rise. Buc-ee’s, for example, saw visits per location increase 3.4% from April 2023 to March 2024 compared to 1.8% for the wider C-store industry.

Winning with Sports

Sportscaster Bob Costas said, “the best thing about sports is the sense of community and shared emotion it can create.” C-stores are looking to capitalize on that by associating their brands with teams, leagues and individuals. The roster includes, but is not limited to:

  • Detroit Tigers – Meijer
  • Cleveland Guardians – Marathon
  • Kansas City Royals – QuikTrip
  • Atlanta Braves – Racetrac
  • Cincinnati Reds – Kroger

Many chains have a NASCAR tie-in, and it’s hard to watch a baseball game without seeing the name of a significant C-store or grocery chain that offers fuel. Other C-stores are sponsoring high school and minor league sports teams.

And because it’s an effective way to unite as fans of the same team, build a bond with a local community and stake your territory, sports tie-ins may prove to be a home run for petroleum and convenience marketers.