Big Screen Sports 

With increased costs from having to ‘stock’ Sky and BT Sports and the competing lure of the domestic sofa combined with cheap supermarket ‘tinnies’ how do you get the most out of your televised sports offering? With all the action less than a month away, you need to make sure you take advantage of this major international tournament if televised sports is part of your offer.

As the RBS 6 Nations Rugby Union starts on February 4th running through to St Patrick’s Day with all matches being shown on terrestrial TV there’s a huge opportunity to cash in on this major sporting tournament. 426,000 customers ventured into pubs last Autumn to witness England’s victory over South Africa and recent research from CGA Strategy and pub sports platform MatchPint reveals that pubs screening games enjoy substantial uplifts in drink sales.

The data shows that four in five (80%) publicans think Premier League games shown on Sky have a very positive effect on sales. Impacts tend to be at their biggest on Saturdays, when wet sales are on average 3.5 times larger than during matches screened in midweek. Lager sales see the biggest uplift, rising by 17% during midweek games, compared to 11% for ale.

The research also emphasizes the dominance of football—and the Premier League in particular—in the screened sport market. Football accounts for 53% of sports-related pub traffic, though rugby and boxing events can also have a decent impact on sales. The Premier League accounts for 43% of pubs’ incremental sports-related sales.

Source: CGA Strategy September 2016 & MatchPint

So big screen sport can definitely be a draw for many pubs.

Getting Them In

A big screen or large TV can attract new customers to visit your pub for the first time. You should consider regular advertising to capitalise on this opportunity – use a banner, A-board or chalkboard outside your pub or even an advert in your local newspaper or flyer advertising. For international matches and tournaments show your support for your home team by decking out your pub with bunting and banners.

Posters – place them in your ‘hot spots’ e.g. toilets, entrances/exits, bar area, by your leisure machines and pool tables and next to your big screen/TVs with a clear simple message.

Chalkboards – consider using a professional chalkboard artist/sign-writer to create a focus board for your sports offering. You can (neatly) fill in weekly details on matches to be shown and ancillary offers.

Table Talkers & Tent Cards – Customers waiting for their friends to arrive are a captive audience who will look at the information tent cards or table-talkers whilst they wait. Use your tables/drinking shelves as a way of promoting your televised sports.

Banners – for as little as £30 you can get an outdoor banner indicating you are showing televised sports. Use the official Sky or BT or brewery sponsored banners if you can get them for free (you won’t know until you ask) or have your own personalised banner designed and printed that will make you ‘stand out from the crowd’.

Top Tip – Check with your local council on whether a banner will be permitted within planning rules on advertising from buildings.

A-Boards – if you are permitted their use (check with your local council, who may charge a fee for their use and regulate their use/size etc.) Use a chalkboard artist/sign-writer or get weatherproof poster(s) printed to promote your sports coverage.

Flyers – think about using a reputable flyer distributor to deliver your leaflets to the local neighbourhood. The best use demographic databases to create a distribution list tailored to your target market and GPS tracking of their leafleters to ensure they get delivered.

Top Tip – handing out flyers on the street to potential customers will be subject to regulation, check with your local council.

Newspaper Adverts – although relatively expensive compared to other marketing methods, an advert in your local newspaper might be the best way to get your promotional message out. Try and make it original or even ‘off the wall’ and negotiate a spot in part of the paper where other pubs are not advertising… and remember it’s not just ‘lads’ who enjoy watching sports in pubs… how about in the women’s beauty section or amongst hair-dresser adverts?

Your Big Screen – if your system allows you, use your screen to advertise itself, there are plenty of commercially available advertising packages to be found online where professional, cost effective adverts can be designed to your needs.

That takes care of the real world but what about the cyber-sphere? Promote it on the internet. Matchpint, and, of course, the Pub and Bar Network are all great ways of promoting your sports offering.

Text/Email – if you have been building a database of mobile phone numbers and/or email addresses then let your subscribers now about your plans for the new season and keep them updated on matches you are showing/ancillary offers.

Website – make sure your website is kept up to date with fixtures/drinks offers/meal deals etc

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc – use your pub’s social media accounts to get your message out. For more advice on how to use social media click here

Social Media WiFi – if your WiFi provider allows it, use your public network to promote your sports offering, see this article on how to get the best out of your WiFi.

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