The World Cup is, without question, the single biggest sporting event to bring customers into British pubs.
The market researcher Mintel suggests that 75% of the adult UK population will watch this year’s tournament, and that 20% of those who did so in 2010 watched games in a pub. This figure rose to more than four in 10 among men aged from 18 to 34, and a third of all those who watch World Cup matches are people who don’t normally watch football, confirming that the tournament brings more potential business for pubs than an average Premiership Super Sunday.
Figures from the Centre for Economics & Business Research show that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa contributed more than £1bn to the UK economy.
Beer was one of the main beneficiaries, with Kantar Worldpanel figures showing that sales were up by 13.2% over the period of the tournament, more than crisps, pizza, soft drink and barbecue sales.
Neither was beer growth confined to England — the only home nation to compete in the tournament, as it is again in 2014 — with double-digit growth experienced in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
With this year’s tournament taking place in Brazil, arguably the most famous footballing nation of all, there’s an extra frisson of excitement. Brazil play Croatia in the opening match on
Friday, June 12, the first of 64 matches — including the final on 13 July — all on free-to-air TV.
Though there are some late-night games, match times are relatively kind to the pub trade, with the entire knockout stage based on 5pm and 8pm starts (UK time).
Jennifer Anton, UK marketing manager for official sponsor Budweiser, says: “One of the most exciting things is that the kick-off times couldn’t be much more suitable to the UK. “People will be going to the
pub for early games or staying out a little longer to watch the later ones.”
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