We know that pre-pandemic 54% of GB consumers watch live sports – equating to a whooping 26.1m consumers – and that four in 10 of consumers go to pubs and bars to watch sport, so with sport occasions back under way, there is prime opportunity to consider how best to deliver great experiences, welcoming atmospheres, quality drinks and perfect serves.
Atmosphere and location both play a pivotal role for consumers who watch sports in on-trade venues. While location won’t always be in your control, operators can make a venue a destination of choice by considering screen placements and visibility, clear demonstration of safety and cleaning policies, and utilising special deals to drive consumption in venue both during and post-match.
The drinks range has also been identified as an important factor for consumers, with 30% listing it as a deciding factor when choosing which venue to go to watch sport. Therefore, it is important to make sure that expectations around the drinks range is met, adding to the best all-round sporting experience.
Key moment to drive sales
Rugby is the second most popular sporting occasion after football and represents a key moment for publicans to drive sales. Upcoming rugby occasions for operators to tap into include the Autumn Internationals (30 October to 27 November) as well as the ever hotly anticipated Guinness Six Nations early next year. Arguably synonymous with occasions like rugby, Guinness is a brand that many consumers will expect to see in a venue showing sport. Beer drives the total beverage alcohol performance on match weekends, and stout along with ale are the driving categories. To deliver beautiful quality and perfectly served Guinness, operators can always discover how to book a free Guinness quality check from a Guinness Quality Technician, and also get guidance on the Guinness 7Cs, here.
Inclusivity within a drinks range is also an important consideration, and we know that low and no beer options have been steadily growing for a number of years. Newly available since September, Guinness 0.0 taps into the increasing demand for high-quality and great tasting no and low alcohol options. Boasting the beautifully smooth taste, perfectly balanced flavour and unique dark colour that Guinness is known for, Guinness 0.0 offers Guinness with everything except alcohol. With discerning consumer expectations for experience and taste, it is vital to incorporate low and no alcohol options that deliver taste assurances that ensure repeat orders and future visits.
To promote a sporting occasion and drinks range, publicans should consider both how to maximise social media channels but also classic PoS materials. Sporting consumers frequently look to social media for recommendations of outlets and brands, meaning an online presence is key to tap into this market. In fact, 70% of consumers who visit the on trade to watch live sports, get some or most of their information on new outlets through social media.
We also have clear evidence that PoS activating outlets have been able to engage powerfully and effectively with key consumers and drive revenue. Previously, we have seen outlets that incorporated Guinness Six Nations PoS sold on average 201 more pints of Guinness than outlets that had no PoS2. Both PoS and social media can be really invaluable tools, not only to drive sales in the moment but to signpost a venue ahead of time as a venue of choice for a sporting occasion. They can also be invaluable tools to highlight food and drink offers, driving sales before, during and after matches.
For more information and advice on how to bolster your Guinness offering book a free Guinness quality check on 0845 751 5101 or head to https://gb.diageo-one.com/.
 CGA Brandtrack Analysis: 2021 Sporting Opportunity in the On-Trade. Feb 2020. Sample size: 5095
 CGA Brandtrack Analysis: 2021 Sporting Opportunity in the On-Trade. Feb 2020
 CGA 3rd Space Analysis – Diageo 2019