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Score big with sport this Summer

How to craft an award-winning sports reputation in your pub or bar ahead of Euro2024





Can you believe (at the time of writing this blog) there’s just 90 days to go until the men’s Euro 2024 football tournament kicks off in ten stadiums across Germany – the first home tournament since World Cup 2006 for the three-times European champions.

 

I remember the massive impact Euro 2020 (which was obviously held in 2021) had on performance in my final year at Stonegate Group. It provided a much-needed windfall for pubs and bars across the business as the country reached for the pints whilst watching England reach their first final since 1966.

 

Spending data from Lloyds Bank showed spending in pubs and restaurants surged during Europe’s flagship men’s international football tournament, rising 52 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. Supporters rushed to supermarkets to buy their match-day essentials in their droves, with overall spending up 26% compared to 2019.

 

The volume of punters increased as England progressed through the latter stages of the tournament with over thirteen million pints of beer sold during the final itself (that’s one thousand pints every single second).

 

Spending was supported by consumers deploying their high levels of savings they had built up since the onset of Covid. England’s men’s team went on to reach their first final of a major tournament in 55 years but narrowly lost out to Italy on penalties at London’s Wembley Stadium, and sadly we saw no improvement on this at the Qatar World Cup in 2022 either.

 

In short, there’s very few events which see the hospitality sector bursting at the seams with spend-happy customers quite like international sporting tournaments. And in the Summer of 2024, there’ll be two – with Euro 2024 and the Summer Olympics in Paris.





 

This brace of summer sporting galas presents enormous opportunities for the hospitality sector. Not only are pubs and bars set to benefit from an influx of sports fans, but restaurants and hotels could also benefit. Many of those finishing their drinks will look for somewhere local to eat. Others may decide to make a weekend of it and book a stay in a hotel or B&B elsewhere in the country.

 

So, to give you the best advice possible, I’ve teamed up with good friend Paul Filler from Magnify Marketing - a sports marketing specialist operating exclusively in the hospitality industry - to share some top tips on how to drive your Sporting reputation ahead of this Summers tournament, over to Paul…

 

Whichever sports marketing report you read; Reputation will be consistently high on the priority list of sports fans choosing their venue for the big match. Sports reputation is one of the critical drivers of customer attraction to your venues, and if built correctly, it can be the best salesperson you ever had over the next 90-days.

 

You can see that during major tournaments, which are usually televised on terrestrial television, lots of people will see this as an opportunity; however, the venues with the reputation will always be the first choice…always…

 

Reputation is built over time; it can’t be built off one good game. It’s the consistent delivery, built over time; sorry, but there are no quick wins; reputation is all about the hard yards, which is why it's so special when you have it.

 

Venues that have built it benefit—Stonegate Groups multi award-winning pub, The Famous Three Kings in London, is a prime example.

 

Yes, they are busy for the big games, but it’s the less well-known fixtures that they have built their reputation on. These fixtures consistently deliver a regular group of fans to their venue every week and as a result they are now packed for every televised Juventus game. How many pubs can say that?

 

Another legendary venue is the Fuller’s Pub, The Cabbage Patch in Twickenham:

 

·       Is it the first choice for Rugby fans in the area? YES

·       Is it the closest pub to the stadium? NO

·       Has its reputation been built up over the years? YES

 

Stuart and his team deliver a wonderful experience for every big game, and fame has rightly followed. But you don’t need to be located close to a major stadium to have a reputation that drives your sales.

 

People enjoy sports best when they are with like-minded people. Niche sports reputation can increase through word of mouth. An excellent shared experience is the best one you can have. And that is true for sport in pubs.

 

It's as much about the people you are with – Shared experiences.

 

My top tips for building a sports reputation are as follows.

 

·       PLAN – By being ready, you will consistently deliver the best version of yourself for your sports experience.


·       PROMOTE – On social media, at a minimum, you should talk about sports three times per week to get any cut through. If you're looking for pre-bookers for noteworthy events, you need to do this two months out.


·       EXECUTION - Deliver the best sports experience you can – sound, music – deliver an event relevant to your customer base and show you’re the best locally.

 

·       BE CONSISTENT – It’s no good only to be great when your inhouse sports expert is on duty. Your customers don’t ask to see the rota, and practices should be in place, so a minimum standard is always achieved.


·       BE PATIENT—Reputations, like Rome and the Tottenham Stadium, are not built overnight. Don’t press the panic button too early. What can start as a couple of people in a corner watching the cricket can be a full pub for the final.




 

In conclusion, hosting the perfect sporting event in your pub requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a commitment to creating an unforgettable experience for your customers to build your sporting reputation.

 

It’s the hard yards that count, and you get these by constantly creating an inviting atmosphere, delivering a high-quality product, investing in your technology, fostering a sense of community, and continually evaluating and improving your approach. You need to deliver a sporting experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

 

To quote the infamous Stephen Cooper, Head of marketing for Sport at Stonegate group, "to be a great sports pub, you must first become a really good pub".

 

If you need the help of Magnify Marketing to drive your Euro2024 strategy, please visit www.magnifymarketing.co.uk or email office@magnifymarketing.co.uk


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