Grand Prix racing offers an opportunity to cement consistent Sunday sports trade right through summer with its millions of UK fans.

Over 400,000 people attended the British Grand Prix over the race weekend at Silverstone this July. The UK is the world's third-largest market for the sport and according to FIA figures, the viewership is growing on our shores - perhaps due to the dominance of our own Lewis Hamilton over the previous few seasons.

When coverage of the sport moved to a satellite channel in 2012 there was a drop of 3.8 million viewers in the UK, although a deal to keep some of the races on free to view channels has helped ease that drop in the years since. Next season the sport is set to once again only be viewable to sport channel subscribers - this means that casual fans will once again be out in the trade looking for coverage. Now could be the time to capture this affluent segment of customers. Here are a few things you could do...

Race Tactics

Pit Stop - Consider putting together a food and drink deal for a set price during the action. Twinning something simple to produce like a burger or a hotdog with a craft beer is a great way of enticing in passing trade for a relaxing Sunday afternoon, offering a good Sunday roast paired with a cask ale and big screen sport is always a winner too. Many sports fans will be wishing that they didn't have to cook something when they get home, so a food promotion is just the extra push they need.

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Loyalty - A powerful way of encouraging customers to return for the next race is through a ‘pit-crew’ discount card scheme. These can either be items bought by guests to unlock benefits during the action or given out for free. We've also known venues have great success with stamp collection schemes, how about a mini passport styled book that guests can have stamped for each of the races they attend, what they get at the end is up to you! Our Design Studio team produce thousands of items every year, get in touch with them to find out more.

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Well Oiled  Use chalkboards, posters and displays to promote upcoming races. Exterior signs and banners can be used to promote to the passing trade. Brief all staff on potential upsell opportunities, you can find our Summer of Sport guide to up-selling here, and make sure you brief your staff so they know exactly where they should be and what they should be doing for a slick performance - just like the pit-crew. According to data from Carlsberg, consumers say being able to reserve a table would encourage them to watch sport in the On-Trade, so how about offering bookings to customers for the next race? 

Themed Menu - One of the best ways to improve your drinks sales during a big industry event, such as throughout the Grand Prix season is in the creation of a bespoke occasion based drinks list. This separate focused menu should feature a range of premium bottled beers, simple mixed drinks, premium spirits and sparkling wines. Handing a customer this focused menu, tailored and themed to the occasion when seated or at the bar immediately turns there attention to choosing one of these drinks, serves that should be ones that make you more margin. Remember, the vast majority of consumers have not chosen their drink by the time they reach your bar or take their seat, giving you the opportunity to move them away from considering a draught beer or house wine.

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The Experience - Making the most of sport in the On-Trade is all about providing an experience that can’t be replicated at home. Perfecting the experience relies on a wide range of factors, adding some excitement to proceedings can certainly help. During the race, sweepstakes and themed raffles all help to raise the excitement levels. And what about when the race is over? How about laying on some other entertainment to keep customers in your venue, maybe a Grand Prix quiz?

11% of UK consumers watch Grand Prix Racing in the On Trade.

It’s most popular with typically older more affluent males.

People over 40 have the highest disposable income.


With the championships hitting the likes of the UK, Germany and Belgium, take advantage of our range of Boutique Beers from these famed beer producing nations to promote during the race weekends. 44% of people watching sport in the On-Trade drink lager, but a further 19% Pale Ale and 12% Craft Beers, figures which are growing. Meanwhile, Draught Standard Lager has been falling in the On-Trade with consumers trading up to premium beers.

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It’s also worth noting that the sport takes place on Sunday afternoons, guests may be driving or simply not want to have an alcoholic drink. Ensure you have a good soft drinks range, the market has come alive recently with so many new and exciting products available. The connection the sport has with energy drinks springs to mind, both Red Bull and Monster Energy are involved in the sport.

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A pub doing 6 casks a week that does not range properly is missing out on anything between 71 and 149 pints per week. Seasonal ales have become an increasingly more popular and important part of a good cask range. With a good seasonal ale, the rarity allows you to charge more than the UK average price per pint of cask ale which currently sits at £3.31. Cask Ale enjoys the highest popularity among males over 40. 

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Key Dates

26 Aug: Belgian Grand Prix

2 Sept: Italian Grand Prix

16 Sept: Singapore Grand Prix

21 October:  United States Grand Prix

11 Nov: Brazilian Grand Prix

25 Nov: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (End of Season)

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 Other guides: Football | Rugby | Tennis  | American Football

We hope that you've found our Formula 1 guide useful. Matthew Clark is here to help you in making this Summer of Sport the best summer yet for your outlet, so if you have any questions, comments or require any extra assistance, get in touch with your account manager or contact us here