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Pubs and bars set for Euro boost as fans prefer going out to watch games




CGA by NIQ's latest BrandTrack survey indicates that nearly half (46%) of British consumers plan to watch the Euro 2024 football tournament with two in five (40%) of those planning to watch matches in pubs and bars.


 The tournament is likely to bring a surge in footfall for pubs and bars screening the matchings, as more than three quarters of consumers (79%) expect to go out to pubs and bars more often while it’s on and just over two thirds (70%) saying that going out to see games is better than staying at home. 


Further research from CGA, in association with Sky Business, reveals that consumers watching games spend an average of36%more than those who don’t visit pubs and bars for live sport and nearly nine in 10 (87%) sports fans will stay longer in a venue if sport is on—and nearly as many (83%) will spend more on drink and food on these occasions than on non-sporting visits. Showing sport can also boost loyalty, as 89% of sports fans are more likely to revisit a pub or bar if they know games are screened.


However, venues will need to offer some compelling reasons to attract people out to watch games as the BrandTrack research shows that 44% of those who plan to stay at home are doing so because they think they will have a better atmosphere, while a fifth (21%) say they’ll stay at home because they don’t want to spend too much.


CGA’s trading data shows match days at the last Euros and World Cup triggered big uplifts in trading, with LAD (long alcoholic drinks such as lager and beer) sales 14% higher on 2022 World Cup match days than on the equivalent days in 2021 although good value—including through deals and promotions—will be important to tempt people to pubs and bars.


The scale of the Euros boost will also depend on how far England and Scotland progress. While previous tournaments have triggered big sales spikes on England’s match days, games involving other nations do not significantly impact trading. 


Violetta Njunina, client director at CGA, said: “Euro 2024 brings some great opportunities for pubs, bars and drinks suppliers—especially as this will be the first major football tournament that is free from COVID restrictions for six years. But it’s important to remember that while many consumers are eager to watch the Euros, many are still affected by the cost of living crisis, while others aren’t interested. For all venues, balancing the needs of these very different consumer groups, and finding the right formula of value and atmosphere to tempt sports fans out of home, will be crucial.”

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