Sports pubs’ beer sales rise following opening Lions Test

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Powerful drivers: Beer sales rose for sports pubs that screened Lions match (image: Getty/AnthiaCumming)
Powerful drivers: Beer sales rose for sports pubs that screened Lions match (image: Getty/AnthiaCumming)

Related tags Public house Beer

Publicans who opened their doors early to show the opening British and Irish Lions Test match reaped the benefits, with beer volumes up 4% compared to the same Saturday last year.

The much-anticipated first Lions Test versus the All Blacks, which kicked off at 8.35am on 24 June, was a winner for many sports pubs, with analysis by Vianet and MatchPint showing the average sports pub poured 415 pints on the day.

The figures have been described by the two companies as a “significant statistic”, when compared against the same Saturday the previous year, which featured a bumper line-up of sport – including Euro 2016 matches and international rugby.

Powerful drivers

Vianet product manager Mark Fewster said the company’s insight consistently shows that sporting events are among the “most powerful drivers of beer trading peaks”.

“With the morning kick-offs for these matches in the UK, there is a real opportunity for pubs to get customers in early and keep them in venue once the final whistle has blown,” he said.

“With two further Tests to come in the Lions series, it’s vital that operators have the right focus on their range and overall beer quality management, whatever the match result. This will help ensure that customers receive the very best experience when in their pub – win, lose or draw.”

Beer v food

While many outlets opening early would have benefited from an uplift in food and coffee sales given the early kick-off, Vianet data revealed pubs also saw beer sales rise during match time – seeing a 240% uplift versus sports sites that didn’t show the Lions match.

MatchPint head of operations Robert Stewart added: “Our data reveals the continued popularity and interest in top-class international rugby among sports fans, and the fact they are keen to head to the pub for the shared viewing experience no matter what time kick-off might fall.”

The Lions Test series in New Zealand continues over next Saturday on 8 July with matches kicking off at 8.35am UK time.

  • Pubs looking to make the most from their sports offer are being offered a great opportunity to learn more at a fantastic event, put on by MatchPint and The Morning Advertiser​, on 13 July in London. For more information click here​.

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