New season’s greetings

Club football is back with pubs showing it set to benefit

Don’t get caught out of position: well-placed screens can improve a live sports experience

IT’S hard to underplay the significance of live sport to Scotland’s pubs and bars.

Whether it’s a midweek or weekend football match or a major rugby game, sport is a major draw for many customers, so it’s crucial licensees get their live sport offer right in order to benefit.

Craig Straton, national account manager at Sims Automatics, which supplies a range of entertainment equipment including big screens, stressed the importance of bars having quality visual and audio equipment to deliver a superior experience for customers.

“The best way to ensure your premises benefit fully from the spectacle is to ensure the visual screening equipment is up to speed and offering the customer the next best thing to being at the game,” he said.

“Customers will no doubt be picking the venue that offers them the best viewing opportunity and it’s times like this they may pick an alternative to their local if the viewing potential is better elsewhere.”

Customers will no doubt be picking the venue that offers them the best viewing opportunity.

Straton encouraged operators to think strategically about where they place television screens and projectors in venues to ensure everyone gets a good view.

“Positioning is key, especially with smaller screens filling those voids in the bar where you don’t have an open viewing area,” he said.

“For venues with a large viewing area and a ceiling height to accommodate, the introduction of big screen projectors – with screen sizes of up to 9ft and HD ready pictures – are making headway in the market again with fantastic success and response from customers.”

With such a broad range of televised sports and, in particular, football games  broadcast live, pubs and bars which can screen two or more simultaneously are at a natural advantage.

“Pubs that choose to take advantage of multiple viewing cards, which Sky Sports offers for free to its customers, can show a range of sporting events alongside each other,” said a spokesperson for broadcaster Sky.

“Showing more than one sport or fixture at a time will help a venue to cement its reputation as the go-to sports bar in the region.”

Be different – you need to have something that separates you from the rest.

Standing out from the pack has never been as important either as more and more operators screen live sport in their venues.

Dave Wilson, director of audio and visual company DizzyFish, said it is vital licensees can differentiate their outlet’s live sport offer from their competitors’.

He said: “Be different, you always need to have something that separates you from the rest. So showing related films, having gaming tournaments surrounding a live sporting event provides something a bit different, is quirky and it gives your premises character.

“The offering of live sport is common in many premises and is a fairly uniform experience, however it is everything around it that makes the difference – from visual and audio quality to providing a comfortable atmosphere to adding more value for patrons in term of the experience around the event.”