SUMMER OF SPORT OFFERS STANDOUT OPPORTUNITY

New research suggests that 6.9 million UK adults intend to watch the postponed UEFA European Football Championships in a pub or bar.

According to a new report from KAM Media and MatchPint, 56% of UK adults intend to watch at least one of the Euros matches on TV, with 13% of UK adults intending to watch at least one match in a pub or bar.

Despite the Olympics being less of a traditional sporting event to watch in a pub or bar, it still offers an opportunity. 73% of the UK adult population intend to watch some of the Olympics on TV- 9% intend to watch some of it in a pub or bar – that’s 4.7m people looking for a suitable venue.

Sports fans are excited to be back in pubs and bars with 43% saying that ‘watching sports’ is what they are looking forward to the most about returning to pubs this summer.

Blake Gladman, Strategy and Insight Director, KAM Media: “We’ve been getting accustomed to spending our ‘entertainment’ time at home over the last 12 months. However, one of the things that people have found most difficult to replicate is the atmosphere for a ‘night out’. It’s this unique combination of environment and ambiance that makes the pub so special. When you throw live sport into this mix, and ‘big occasion’ live sport for that matter, you really hit the sweet spot. The fact that nearly 1 in 2 say that ‘watching sports’ is what they’re looking forward to THE MOST about returning to pubs this summer, shows the power sport has to bring people together.”

The new whitepaper from KAM Media and MatchPint includes feedback from 618 sports fans and 214 pub operators and found that publicans are backing sports to bring them success this summer. Pubs which already showed sports pre-pandemic are looking to really maximise the summer of sport by showing all the main events; 89% will show the Euros, 83% will show the UEFA Champions League Final, 75% will show the Lions rugby tour and 73% intend to show at least some events during the Olympic games.

Publicans are looking at these sporting events as key pillars of their summer revenue. With 41% saying they believe that the UEFA European Championships will be the most profitable event this summer for pubs.

Dom Collingwood, Co-founder, MatchPint: “Live sport has proved an effective sales driver for decades in the hospitality sector. Whether you were operating a sports bar, showcasing major events, or simply keeping the TVs on in the background before the pandemic, this research makes one thing clear: once the initial honeymoon period of a post-pandemic consumer rush back into pubs and bars dies down, live sport is a standout opportunity for pubs and bars to continue driving sales this summer.”

Blake Gladman, KAM: “Pubs must consider how to cater for larger groups, with easy and quick ordering, table service and sharing platters. Enabling reservations will be key and give customers the opportunity to pre-order food as well as drinks (e.g. beer buckets for the table, etc.) in order to maximise the commercial opportunity.”

The research also flags the opportunity for operators to take advantage of ‘sport at home’ by offering take-aways and ‘at-home hospitality’ options.

Blake Gladman, KAM: “Our recent research, in partnership with Slerp, found that 7.9 million adults intend to have friends over to their home this summer specifically to watch sport. Operators who offer any “dine at home” kits, food delivery, take-away kegs or take-out services should make sure their marketing campaigns align with these sporting events.”

You can access the full research for free here.