Converting rugby into pints in pubs

There’s nothing like a sporting tournament to bring the punters into their local, and this year licensees will have a number of events to capitalise on.

shutterstock_rugby players in scrum
The first of these will be the return of the Six Nations tournament, as Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy slug it out for the top spot.
Brewers say the tournament, which kicks off in February, will present licensees with a great opportunity to attract additional customers through their doors – provided they are properly prepared.
Establishing an outlet as a rugby venue is essential, according to Katerina Podtserkovskaya of Guinness owner Diageo GB.
“Make sure consumers know your pub is a rugby pub,” said Podtserkovskaya.
“Achieve this through using point of sale to drive visibility both inside and out, and advertise fixtures ahead of time to ensure footfall and build association between rugby and your pub.”
She added that tools such as social media can also be particularly useful in promoting any offers to customers, and in keeping a venue’s profile high for the duration of the tournament.
Preparation is absolutely essential to making the most of any sporting event, according to Andy Maddock, managing director of Caledonian Brewery.
“Planning for these events is key,” said Maddock.
“Begin advertising well in advance so that both regulars and non-regulars can plan their visit to the outlet.
“Offers and promotions will help entice impulse visitors as well as pre-bookers.
“That offer doesn’t always have to be money off, but must be a ‘hook’ to bring them to your outlet.”
Clearly, the presentation of the matches themselves is also crucially important, and  Podtserkovskaya advised licensees to screen every match, ensuring customers have a clear view of the venue’s screens.
“Making sure you have clear lines of sight to screens and keeping the paths to the bar clear is essential to keep viewing at its best,” she said.
Serving the right drinks is also important, of course.
Describing the Six Nations and the Euro 2016 football tournaments as the sporting highlights of the 2016 calendar, Nicola Henderson, trade marketing manager at Tennent Caledonian Breweries, said brands with a sporting pedigree will be essential.
“These are two huge sporting events that publicans can capitalise on by ensuring they’re on top of the basics and stocking great products with a strong association with sport,” she said.