Big game pub habits of sports fans revealed

Customers want different drinks for specific sports – and many avoid alcohol completely

Football fans are more likely to nurse a pint over 90 minutes, while rugby fans are always the first to the bar, right?

Well, possibly, but new research on the pub habits of sports fans shines a light on the subject and could help you decide on those all-important stocking decisions.

According to a survey of more than 2,100 sports fans by online golf shop Golfsupport.com, the drinking habits of fans change depending on what’s happening on the big screen.

When it comes to football, more fans are likely to drink alcohol (98%) than those of any other sport.

This can vary throughout the course of a game, with 35% saying they drink more if their team wins. On the flip side, a third (31%) will also drink more if their team is losing.

Perhaps unsurprisingly beer is the drink of choice among the majority of football fans.

Rugby fans are also more likely to drink beer than anything else, however 19% of those asked said they do not drink alcohol at all when watching their team in the pub.

The growing general trend of customers opting for soft drinks – research by the Office for National Statistics suggests that 20% of the population do not drink alcohol at all ­– is reflected in the habits of sports fans.

According to the survey, more than a quarter of sports fans (29%) avoid alcohol completely during matches.

Those most likely to pass on alcohol are fans of Formula 1 (52%), tennis (43%) and golf (33%).

And when they do opt for alcohol, the choice can vary depending on the sport on show.

Wine is the most popular choice among cricket supporters, tennis fans tend to opt for gin and tonic, while you’ll find whiskey is a popular choice with golf lovers. Meanwhile, cider comes out on top for those in the pub to watch both horse racing and F1.

It goes to show how important it is to have a varied offer of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to cater to a broad fan base of discerning drinkers.

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