Who is today’s sports fan?

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Sport savvy: showing a multitude of sporting events can boost a pub’s profits, says MatchPint’s Dominic Collingwood
Sport savvy: showing a multitude of sporting events can boost a pub’s profits, says MatchPint’s Dominic Collingwood

Related tags: Football, Sport

Millennial customers are a promiscuous bunch, but pubs that show sport can capitalise on more than football.

MatchPint co-founder Dominic Collingwood outlined the benefits available to pubs that offer a variety of sports at the MA500 business club meeting in Edinburgh earlier this year.

He said: “Sport is worth £83,000 a year in incremental wet value (according to CGA) and £40,000 of that is football.

“While football is 62.1% of pubgoers’ favourite sport, 44% of football fans are interested in watching rugby union in pubs.

“Some 16.4% of Millennial football fans want to watch NFL at the pub. The modern football fan, especially the Millennial wants to watch a broad range of sport.”

But it isn’t just a sporting event on its own, which can pull the punters in. Pairing with food can offer pubs another way of tempting fans to stay longer, according to Collingwood.

Capitalising on all sport

Sport in pubs:

62.1% of pubgoers’ favourite sport is football

44% of football fans are interested in watching rugby union in pubs

16.4% of Millennial football fans want to watch NFL (American football) at the pub

57.3% of Millennial football fans want to watch boxing at the pub.

11.8% of Millennial football fans want to watch NBA/MLB (American basketball and baseball) at the pub.

69% of sports fans visit two or three different pubs for live sport

Only 11% visit one pub for all sport

Just 7% are under 35

Figures from a survey of 1.5m sports fans that use MatchPint and includes 2,000 pubs from MatchPint and CGA.

He also told delegates how ensuring they show all sports instead of just football is something operators need to do.

He said: “Paying for Sky and BT but only showing Premier League football is like buying a keg of beer and selling 35 pints then throwing the other 53 in the bin.

“We would never do that with a keg of beer, but we do spend £20,000 on Sky and BT content then throw the rest in the bin.”

However, when it comes to marketing, Collingwood urged operators to think outside of the pub to show customers what sport they show.

He added: “Some 80% of fans look for a website before visiting a new pub. If all prospective customers are going online to check us out before they come and we aren’t indicating that we take sports seriously online, they will jump to the conclusion that we don’t take it seriously in the pub.”

But it isn’t just a pub’s own online presence that is important to customers but their own social media too.

Social savvy

Collingwood told operators to create a strong social profile as 73.5% of consumers have Facebook, 71% of 18 to 24-year-olds use Snapchat on a daily basis and on average, consumers spend 220 minutes looking at their phones.

Using big screens to show the sports offer is also important to consumers in order to make those visiting the pub come together.

Pubs should also tap into the online betting market, Collingwood advised, as 60% of sports fans will make a mobile bet in a pub this year - and this rises to 73% for those under 35.

But, by giving fans the opportunity to watch a game until the end by getting involved in the betting in the pub, this could make drinkers stay longer.

Collingwood added: “If you can give someone the opportunity to watch sport until the end, that’s an opportunity for another pint at least.”

Related topics: Sport

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