Digital boost for sports bars

Licensees scrum down for training at Murrayfield

Rugby stars Gregor Townsend and Chris Paterson participated in a Q&A with operators

MAXIMISING venues’ online presence was the order of the day in Edinburgh last week as licensees from across the country descended on BT Murrayfield for a one-day training course run by BT Sport in partnership with Google Digital Garage.

The training, held on Monday October 1, provided operators from a mix of pubs, bars and hotels with tips on how to make the most of the internet as a tool for generating footfall.

It covered methods for using live sport and social media to drive potential customers to venues’ websites and then engaging them with compelling content when they click through.

And the home of Scottish rugby was  an apt setting for the day as Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and the country’s all-time top scorer Chris Paterson were on hand for a Q&A with those in attendance.

Licensees were also encouraged to undertake individual face-to-face mentoring sessions with trainers from Google to help them with areas of online activity they wanted to hone.

BT Sport announced the UK-wide initiative as part of a broader support package for pubs, that also includes free monthly POS materials, after a survey in which a majority of licensees said they would use social media to promote sports events more if they knew how to make the most of it.

Ed Cracknell, head of marketing at BT Sport, said operators would be able to use the transferable skills they learned on the training course to promote any event they host in their outlets – be it sport, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or  Christmas.

Anna Kearney, digital trainer and team leader at Google, told SLTN that the training session could help operators drive in extra custom.

She said: “Licensees are constantly having to put on different hats [to run their websites] and they want to make that journey as simple as possible, so giving them more understanding about how things work helps make their businesses more visible and easier for people to find.”