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08 Mar 2023

Midweek sport proving invaluable for ontrade, finds KAM

Midweek sport proving invaluable for ontrade, finds KAM

As the UEFA Champions league kicks off again, new research from KAM, in partnership with BT Sport, has found that showing live sport can be a more important driver of footfall for pubs during weekdays than at weekends.

The research showed that 43% of sports fans say watching live sport is the main reason they go to a pub mid-week whereas at the weekend there are many other factors at play. Although still a significant reason to visit, with 35% saying live sport was the biggest driver at the weekend. 92% of sports fans said that showing live sport during the week positively influences their visit frequency to a pub.

Katy Moses, Founder/MD KAM: “Midweek trading has made the headlines recently, as operators explore options to reduce opening hours and therefore associated costs, and understandably so. But If operators are looking at ways to pull people off their sofas and into venues in the week, then the opportunities to attract sport fans and associated spend during traditionally quiet mid-week times is huge. The research highlights that showing mid-week live sport should be looked at as a vehicle for driving true incrementality and also loyalty.”

Phillip Thorley Director of Thorley Taverns: “Sport during the week gives customers a reason to come out and visit. It gives our customers a compelling reason definitely helps.”

Alasdair Collis, Director of Commercial Customers, BT Sport said “In tough economic times every penny spent counts. The more insight we have and that we can offer into consumer behaviour, the better we are able to help our customers keep the drinks coming and the tills ringing. This report illustrates just how key live sport is to driving footfall and incremental spend for pubs during what can be, quieter midweek evenings.”

The KAM research suggests these mid-week visits aren’t cannibalising weekend visits either – that they are additional visits as opposed to the repurposing of social spend, with 74% saying visiting the pub for sport midweek doesn’t affect visits at other times during the week. And sport fans are very valuable customers, 85% said they spend more on drinks in pubs when watching sport.

Research shows midweek sports drives footfall into venues in both city centre and local settings particularly following the increase in numbers of people working remotely. 85% of office workers said live sport influences the time they spend in town/city centre pubs as it attracts them to visit as part of the after-work occasion and 91% said the same for local/community pubs as an opportunity to get out the house after working from home.

Showing live sport can also play a part in driving loyalty and repeat visits; 73% of respondents said if they have a positive experience watching sport in a pub then they are likely to re-visit for non-sport occasions. 75% said they’d stop going to their local if it stopped showing sport.

The research suggests that football is by far the biggest footfall driving sport to pubs, of those who watch sport in a pub, 89% do so to watch football. Rugby is the second most popular at 32%. 62% say they support a 'Big 6' football team hence why the Premier League and UEFA competitions are key to attracting fans.

Matt Jagger, Marketing & Guest Experience Manager, Punch Pubs: “Sport is one of our key drivers as part of our rhythm of the week. Premier League football is a really big draw to our pubs, and outperforms other major sporting competitions, including international tournaments like The World Cup & The Euros. Add to that the midweek fixtures in The Champions League & Europa League, and there is almost wall to wall sports for fans to enjoy in the comfort of their local.”

Katy Moses, Founder/MD, KAM: “It’s not news that the hospitality sector is facing unprecedented challenges from all angles at the moment, but despite pressures on the bottom line there is a great opportunity to look to grow the top line. With sport driving additional custom over the season as well as the halo effect of repeat visits and loyalty, live sport can be a game changer for many pubs, especially during the quieter mid-week days.”

The full whitepaper can be downloaded here:

Catch the KAM team at HRC 2023: 

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