Meet the GBPA nominees: Best Sports Pub sponsored by Sky

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Great British Pub Awards 2017: The winners will be revealed at the Hilton on Park lane on 7 September
Great British Pub Awards 2017: The winners will be revealed at the Hilton on Park lane on 7 September

Related tags: Great british pub, Best sports pub, Alcoholic beverage

Up next in our previews of the finalists in this year’s John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards are the nominees in the Best Sports Pub category, sponsored by Sky.

This category is open to pubs for who sport is a key part of their offer and site success.

Champs Sports Bar and Grill, Sheffield

Established in 1996, this veteran Sheffield-based sports pub offers sports fans the full range of experience with more than 30 HD TVs filling the bar, catering for fans of all stripes, alongside a great range of food and drinks.

Having been a finalist in the competition for the past two years, Champs is hoping to make it third time lucky this year.

Clever marketing is the cornerstone of this business and one scheme particularly caught the judges’ eyes – a promo that saw the pub offer free drinks for children for two hours before a Sheffield Wednesday or Sheffield United game, and for two hours after. The business says this has helped to transform the atmosphere by making it much more family-friendly on match days.

A further focus on Spanish football with beer and burger deals has helped boost business on quieter Sunday nights.

Corey’s Sports Bar, Tamworth, Staffordshire

This Tamworth-based business boasts a 600-capacity venue with more than 30 screens and three large projectors of sports. An upstairs mezzanine hosts six pool tables and a 5m-long bar offers an extensive range of beers and spirits.

All of that adds up to ensure sporting events feature a vibrant atmosphere, with the pub taking great pride in creating a fun, family-friendly sports bar run with great enthusiasm.

It’s not just the physical sporting world this pub focuses on – the virtual world is also part of the mix, with the pub running an evening in which the venue was taken over by gaming chairs and a Fifa computer game tournament.

The pub is also working on inviting footballing stars and boxing legends into the pub to raise funds for charity.

Famous Three Kinds, Fulham, West London

Defending champion from 2016, the Famous Three Kings has not stood still since its success in last year’s competition. It has developed and expanded its reach and sport offer.

Seeking to build on its reputation, this is a business that offers a huge range of sports programmes, offering a little of something to all supporters, and attracting fans from all over the world.

To back this up, sports are broadcast in multiple languages, including boxing, Danish handball, American NFL, Slovakian and Finnish ice hockey, Welsh rugby, and Italian, Spanish, French and English football. With 17 TVs, three projectors and six magic sound zones, customers are unlikely to miss any action.

This pub boasts a great atmosphere and, on big sporting occasions, sees customers line the street to watch through the windows.

Greenwood, Victoria, Central London

One of the newer kids on the block, this London-based offering from the ETM Group, certainly has impressive stand-out appeal.

Built within the Novus development next to Victoria Station, this is a pub that is already creating waves. It aims to appeal across the gender spectrum, not just the usual sports fan crowd.

The 11,000sq ft pub, restaurant and sports lounge is split over two floors and, as well as featuring a large central bar and plenty of seating, the spacious ground floor also features a brow and lashes bar, and barbershop, as well as an 80-cover outdoor seating area. Upstairs, a premium, mezzanine lounge features a bar with plenty of draught and bottled brews along with five big screens showing sport, day and night.

The Lion Treorchy, South Wales

This Welsh-based business is home to four pool teams, four darts teams, two football teams, a cricket team, and a tennis club. The Lion also sponsors a pool league, two rugby teams, the county veterans’ rugby team and regularly buys kits for the boys’ football team. It’s fair to say sport is in its DNA.

Those looking to catch an event are in luck, with nine screens and a large projector on hand to show a wide range of matches, which often sees the pub showing up to five live sporting events at any one time.

The pub isn’t afraid to take advantage of any sporting opportunity, and last year enjoyed great success during the Euros, tapping into the home side’s performance. The pub promoted itself as #RhonddaFanZone, and despite the Rhondda area having over 80 pubs, the Lion Treorchy packed the fans in.

The Thirsty Bear, Southwark, London

With eight well-positioned televisions and a projector, you’re guaranteed a good view at this cental London operation.

For people who really don’t want to miss a minute of the match, the Thirsty Bear has catered for that, with a beer tap on the table, allowing customers to pour their own pints, and order food and other drinks using an iPad menu, without leaving their seats.

The iPad doubles up as further viewing devices, with customers able to monitor the score in other matches and catch up on the latest sporting news as well.

The set-up is certainly working for the pub, as it regularly finds itself fully booked ahead of major sporting events or matches. The installation of the iPad system and the taps at the tables have also given the business a huge boost, with the pub claiming trade has increased threefold.

 ​Tickets for the Great British Pub Awards can be bought by phoning 01293 846508. For more information about the event visit its dedicated website.

Related topics: Sport

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