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Euro 2024 set to drive footfall to pubs and bars, reveals CGA research

Published:  10 June, 2024

Recent findings from CGA by NIQ's latest BrandTrack survey indicate a significant interest in the upcoming Euro 2024 football tournament among British consumers, with nearly half (46%) planning to tune in. Among these viewers, two in five (40%) intend to watch matches in pubs and bars.

Anticipating a surge in foot traffic during the tournament, more than three-quarters of consumers (79%) expect to frequent pubs and bars more often while the games are on, with just over two-thirds (70%) preferring the pub experience over staying at home to watch matches.

Further research from CGA, conducted in collaboration with Sky Business, highlights the potential economic impact of screening live sports. On average, consumers watching games spend 36% more than those who do not visit pubs and bars for live sports. Additionally, nearly nine in 10 (87%) sports fans tend to extend their stay in a venue if sports are on, with a similar proportion (83%) spending more on food and drinks during these occasions compared to non-sporting visits. Moreover, loyalty is enhanced, as 89% of sports fans are more inclined to revisit a pub or bar if they know games will be screened.

However, venues aiming to attract patrons for the games must offer compelling reasons, as 44% of those planning to stay at home cite a better atmosphere as the primary reason, while a fifth (21%) prefer to avoid excessive spending.

CGA's trading data from previous Euros and World Cups underscores the potential for significant uplifts in sales on match days. For instance, sales of long alcoholic drinks such as lager and beer saw a 14% increase on 2022 World Cup match days compared to equivalent days in 2021. Yet, value-driven offerings, including deals and promotions, will be essential to entice consumers to pubs and bars.

The extent of the Euros' economic boost will also hinge on the performance of national teams, particularly England and Scotland. While matches involving England typically trigger significant sales spikes, games featuring other nations have a minimal impact on trading.

Violetta Njunina, client director at CGA, said: “Euro 2024 presents excellent opportunities for pubs, bars, and drinks suppliers, especially as this will be the first major football tournament free from Covid restrictions in six years. However, it's crucial to recognise that while many consumers are eager to watch the Euros, others are still grappling with the cost of living crisis or lack of interest in the tournament. Balancing the needs of these diverse consumer groups and offering the right mix of value and atmosphere to entice sports fans out of their homes will be paramount for all venues.”