Return of the Champions League sees 6.6m pints sold

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Boost to trade: 6.6m pints sold in pubs during the return of the UEFA Champions League (Credit: Getty/Anchiy)
Boost to trade: 6.6m pints sold in pubs during the return of the UEFA Champions League (Credit: Getty/Anchiy)

Related tags Beer Sport Finance Cider

The return of the UEFA Champions League helped boost trade across the sector with 6.6m pints sold as the tournament kicked off on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 September.

Figures from Oxford Partnership revealed venues that showed the matches last week served 487 pints of draught beer and cider across each evening in total equating to an income of £2,230 and an additional 88 pints compared to an average midweek evening.

Sales on Wednesday and Thursday last week saw pint sales increase by 29.7% and 26.2% respectively with dwell time up by an average of 10 minutes on the Tuesday, dropping to 6 and 3 minutes on the Wednesday and Thursday respectively. 

Licensee of the Royal Dyche in Lancashire, which was crowned the best pub to watch sport at last week’s Great British Pub Awards​, Justine Bedford said: “Football is the most watched sport in the world, so it speaks for itself in helping bring trade to pubs.

“Sometimes [football matches] can encourage people to stay longer too - if they had no intention of watching but it’s a gripping game, many customers would stay to see the outcome too”, she continued.

Boost sales 

Moreover, Bedford ​described the Champions League as one of the “most widely followed” tournaments in football, adding the matches often take pace during the week, which helped “boost” quieter evenings.

She said: “It’s a difficult time for pubs in the hospitality industry and marketing games like this well will help boost sales.

“Tuesdays and Wednesdays can be quiet days for most, we push a happy hour in between the live games to create more footfall too.

“People are eager to see the English teams do well, and we currently have a Premier Fantasy League set up so most were making sure the players in their team didn’t get injured for this weekend.”

Additionally, the data from Oxford Partnership also showed pubs screening the games on the first day of the tournament saw a 12% boost to footfall compared with an average Tuesday.

Strong footfall 

Oxford Partnership​ added the return of both the Champions League and Europa League meant the trade "saw the benefits of sport in their pubs", describing the boost to sales as "a trend set to continue" as the Rugby World Cup continues. 

The league is set to return on Tuesday 3 October and all UEFA Champions League matches will be broadcast exclusively on TNT Sports. 

TNT sports commercial director Alasdair Collis said: “It is wonderful to see customers returning to the on-trade to enjoy first class hospitality and live sport. 

“The 2023-24 season is already shaping up to be a real winner for licensed venues and we are genuinely delighted to be able to provide our customers with great entertainment and strong footfall.”

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