While domestic football takes a break after a blistering start to the season, all eyes turn to our international stars as they look to continue the home nations’ strong bids to qualify for the European Championships in France 2016.
International matches are a winner for getting fans into pubs, and home nations games bring in the biggest support of all. With England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in strong positions to qualify, and the Republic of Ireland hot on the heels of the play-off places, support for the home nations is stronger than it has been for years.
Sky Sports is the only place to watch Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and, with England on ITV, Sky pub customers have all the home nations covered across six consecutive days of live action.
The appetite for international football is back in a big way and pubs can benefit from this as fans head to their local. All going well, it could mark the start of the build-up to one of the biggest tournaments ever for the home nations collectively.
Tips to score a big crowd:
- Use your second card: With 46 Euro qualification matches live on Sky Sports in September, use your second viewing card to show more of the games that matter.
- Use your free poster: Visit myskysports.com to download your free PoS to promote the fact you will be showing the action live in your venue.
- Offer incentives: With more Euro 2016 qualifying action in October, run a loyalty scheme to encourage repeat visits from customers.
- Use pub finder: Customise your pub’s profile on the Sky Sports Pub Finder website to make customers aware of the upcoming fixtures you’ll be showing.
- Plan your fixtures: Visit myskysports.com to plan and print the fixtures you’ll be showing, so you don’t miss a match.
Sky Sports pundit Matt Le Tissier feels the home nations are in great shape.
“With the sides in such a good position to qualify, this month’s fixtures are important in keeping that momentum going. The new format means more teams are able to qualify, so who has and hasn’t qualified isn’t done and dusted — and that’s a pretty good thing. This is probably the best chance some of those home nations have had of qualifying
for a major tournament in my lifetime or certainly as far back as I can remember.
“It has been a pretty good campaign so far. Wales have been the stand-out team for me, they’ve been very impressive and done extremely well to be unbeaten because, looking at the group they are in, you wouldn’t have fancied them to qualify let alone top the group. If they continue that form, it will be a big achievement for them.
“With Scotland and Republic of Ireland being in the same group, it has been really interesting to watch. Scotland have the edge at the moment. Gordon Strachan has done a great job and got them into a really good position. Republic of Ireland have made things difficult for themselves but Northern Ireland have surprised a lot of people.
“As far as the home nations go, this is as good as I’ve seen it in my lifetime.”