Sports pubs looking to benefit from British & Irish Lions Test finale

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Volume uplift: customers stayed at pubs longer to fully celebrate the Lions victory on 1 July
Volume uplift: customers stayed at pubs longer to fully celebrate the Lions victory on 1 July

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Pubs opening early for the British & Irish Lions third Test on 8 July will be hoping for another weekend of strong beer sales, after soaring drinks sales for the previous two weekends of rugby matches.

With the Test series level at one win each, the Lions will have all to play for when the final match against New Zealand takes place this Saturday (8 July), with the game kicking off at 8.35am UK time.

Last Saturday’s (1 July) win by the Lions saw beer volumes in sports venues rise by 8% during match time, compared to the weekend before (24 June) when fans filled pubs to catch the first Test that was won by the hosts.

It seems customers stayed longer to fully celebrate the victory last weekend, according to beer quality and insight expert Vianet and MatchPint.

Publicans who showed the opening Test match​ on the 24 June still reaped the benefits of opening early – despite the team’s loss – with beer volumes up 4% compared to the same Saturday last year.

Fantastic victory

Vianet product manager Mark Fewster said the company’s insight showed that the Lions’ defeat in the first Test “didn’t deter fans” heading to the pub to watch the second match.

“Operators that opened up early saw the benefit of the fantastic victory with a healthy uplift in beer sales,” he said.

“With the series decider on Saturday, it’s more important than ever that operators focus on their beer quality management so they can deliver a great customer experience whatever the match result.

“Hopefully, pubs will be celebrating a Lions series victory and a further boost in beer sales.”

Capitalise on the result

MatchPint head of operations Robert Stewart added: “The data shows how important it is for operators to capitalise on the result – the win visibly extended the length of time people spent in venue after the game.

“After last Saturday’s thrilling victory, and with it all to play for in the deciding match, we fully expect interest to soar.”

The sample comprised more than 700 sport pubs that promoted the match on the MatchPint platform.

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