“Whether it’s British or worldwide, everyone loves sport, it’s something that we’ve all grown up with and have such a passion for,” according to Ben Kelly, marketing manager at Belushi’s, whose flagship London Bridge site is a first time finalist at the Great British Pub Awards.
The venue’s general manager Alex Philiotis adds: “Sport definitely brings people together.
“We’ve had so many different events where there are people supporting different teams but they sit here and have a great time together.
“They meet here but they don’t know each other then, all of a sudden, they’re friends and enjoy a drink together after the game.”
- 128 Premier League games exclusively live plus so much more. Call Sky on 08442 411 490 today for the best deal for your venue
The right mix
According to Matthew McInerney of Barratts in Northampton, which made it’s GBPA debut by making last year’s ‘best for sport’ category final, his venue has reaped the rewards of creating a community hub offering comprehensive sporting coverage. “We'll always do everything we can to get every sport on for everybody and that’s been a great success for us over the years,” he explains.
What’s more, Mark Joseph of the Foundry in Aberdeen states that showing sport can have a knock-on effect for the rest of the business. “Football’s always going to be the main one. We’re absolutely packed for Aberdeen games, Liverpool, Man United, Celtic and Rangers.
“They come for the sport and they’ll come at the weekend to eat and later for a disco.”
Get the food offer right
John Connolly of the Sandon in Liverpool – birthplace of both Liverpool and Everton football clubs – explains that getting your food menu right is key to a successful sports offer.
"Traditionally, food and sports have always gone together, so food is served three to four hours prior to all the games,” he says.
“Typical food that goes with sporting matches is your grab-and-go-type food. It’s very important to us and it’s a great source of income.
“They [customers] want a great atmosphere, they want something pleasant to drink and they want some food to go with it.”
Invest in tech
Connolly adds that splashing the cash on venue upgrades can have an impact on a site’s bottom line. “What's given us the greatest return is the installation of new TVs and new audio equipment,” he explains.
“There’s nothing better than the build-up to the games. People come in very early just to watch – Sky in particular – because they get a real close build-up to all football matches. The atmosphere rises from a very slow beginner to a very high crescendo.”
Atmosphere is key
“Over the years we’ve built up a really good reputation for showing live sport – it’s all about atmosphere,” Philip Cutter of the Gardeners Arms in Norwich, also known as the Murderers, adds.
“The pub is unique in the way it’s laid out – we can show lots of different events at the same time in different areas and they don’t impact on each other.”
Laura Gorf of Elevens Bar and Grill in Cardiff – opened in partnership with Gareth Bale and SA Brain – adds: “Sport for us is at the heart of what we do and we want to be the best that we can be.
“Our aim was to have this family-friendly atmosphere – we want to make sure we’re welcoming everybody, even though we are a sports bar. When we do have those major events on, the pub fills up and the atmosphere is just electric.”
128 Premier League games exclusively live plus so much more. Call Sky on 08442 411 490 today for the best deal for your venue.
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