Guinness is urging licensees to launch their St Patrick's Day celebrations early to receive a double trade boost.
St Patrick's Day falls on Tuesday 17 March but Guinness producer Diageo believes hosts should kick-off the celebrations the previous weekend (14 and 15 March) and take advantage of sporting events such as the Six Nations rugby and Liverpool v Manchester United.
Diageo is distributing 26,000 promotional kits and, following licensee feedback, has brought back its Shamrock based hats, which will be accompanied by glow sticks to give away to customers.
There will also be Guinness branded posters, staff T-shirts, bunting, flags, drip mats and inflatable Guinness pints.
Licensees will also be provided with a customisable flyer, CD and suggestions for Irish-themed food menus.
Guinness is tying St patrick's Day in with its own celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of a 9,000 year lease at the St James Gate brewery by Arthur Guinness.
"2009 is the 250th anniversary of Arthur Guinness signing the lease on the St James's Gate brewery and this year St Patrick's Day will be bigger and better than ever," said Guinness marketing manager Paul Cornell.
"We need to drive footfall back into outlets and give people an amazing experience. Guinness and the trade can capitalise on established events such as St Patrick's to ensure people celebrate in pubs and bars.
"This year St Patrick's Day falls on Tuesday, March 17th so we're advising licensees to take advantage of this double-win opportunity by putting up their kits early and starting the celebrations the weekend prior, March 14th and 15th, when there are some great sports matches to show in-outlet.
"This gives pubs the opportunity to drive sales across the weekend, on the day itself and throughout the week."