Skip to content

Tapping into Sporting Occasions


Showing sports is a great way to attract consumers into the outlet, with 123 million sport watching occasions per year and an impressive 1.8 million GB consumers watching sport in the on trade per week1.  Sport occasions are a lucrative opportunity for outlets to increase sales, with consumers watching sport staying longer in the venue, consuming more serves per occasion1 and spending on average an extra 7.1% vs. the average consumer2

Beer is the preferred drink for sports-watching consumers in general, but spirits and cider are also popular choices, so outlets need to ensure they are stocking a compelling range when showing sport2. Within spirits gin is the main choice - but whisky and vodka are also popular on these ocassions2. Therefore, it’s important for outlet owners to make sure these options are provided and visible on the backbar and menu2.

Given fans of different sports vary in demographics, the preferred drink choice tends to vary. Beer is the largest sub-category across all sporting types2 but there are nuances between the different sports-watching consumers. Outlets need to make sure they are tailoring their drinks offering to the sporting type they are showing.

For football, beer (specifically lager) is the drink of choice so outlets need to ensure a good range of lagers are on tap for football games whilst for rugby, spirits and cider see a greater preference vs the average sporting occasion1. For the big rugby events such as The Guinness Six Nations, stout is the preferred drink of choice3. Therefore, venues need to make sure on rugby occasions they stock a good range of cider, spirits and stout.  Finally, for cricket there is a preference for cider and spirits but also softs compared to the average sports-watching occasion, so outlets need to make sure they consider the relevant soft range alongside the alcohol offering1.

With many great games and events to come this year, how do you attract consumers to your venue to watch sports? The number one factor in choosing a venue for these consumers is location with one in four consumers preferring to watch at their local2. Thus, outlets need to make sure they are communicating the live sport showing so that consumers, especially locals, are aware of where they can watch.  Sports watching consumers are also looking for an experience in outlet, driven by a good atmosphere and a range of high-quality drinks2. With this in mind, outlets need to make sure they stock a wide range of products relevant to the sport they are showing, offering high-quality drinks and create a great atmosphere for consumers to watch the game.

About the author

Bethan Jones

Bethan is Customer Category Manager at Diageo; bringing data to life to create insight and recommendations to grow the adult drinks categories in the GB On-Trade.

Leave a comment