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Autumn Sport Raises the Bar

Now that summer is a distant but pleasant Ashes-winning memory, thoughts are fully focused on the sporting autumn ahead.

Autumn Sport Raises the Bar


The most exciting sporting period in the UK since the 2012 Olympics kicks off this week. As well as the return of the Champions League and the Europa League, the eighth Rugby World Cup – held in England – gets underway on Friday 18 September.

The opportunities for bar managers up and down the country are enormous. Thanks to the biggest shake-up in sports broadcasting in a decade football fans will be looking for new ways of getting their midweek matchday television fix. No longer will they be able to watch the exploits of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and co live on ITV. BT Sport is the only channel showing every match live in the Champions League and the Europa League.

Habits are going to change. This is a chance for your bar to become the first port of call for not only footie lovers, but sports fanatics in general. Between now and mid-December, there will be sporting action taking place almost every night.


 Midweek European football


Midweek European football nights will be one attraction, but with the Rugby World Cup running for six weeks until the end of October, the ongoing thrills and spills of the Barclays Premier League across the weekend and into Monday nights, the climax of the qualification stage for next year’s UEFA Euro 2016 championships and the return of club rugby’s elite domestic league, the Aviva Premiership, the opportunities to extend the appeal of your bar and attract a legion of new customers – potentially regulars – are obvious.

There is a real insight into these claims. An impressive 80 per cent of pubs¹ said that trade increased when they screened European games midweek. Social media activity demonstrates that fans are already looking for new ways to watch European matches this season.

There will be plenty to shout about this autumn – bars that engage with customers (and potential customers) online and on social media, even if it’s just confirming what matches you are screening, should reap the benefits. Being aware when games are on, ensuring that your audio set-up is up to scratch, making sure sight lines aren’t obscured, having enough staff on, thinking about food you might offer, and even ordering extra beer will all pay handsome dividends.


 Rugby World Cup


The fact that the Rugby World Cup is being held in England is another boon. Games are taking place across the country and it has been estimated that the UK travel and tourism sector will be boosted to the tune of £1bn². These fans will be looking for somewhere to watch the matches they aren’t attending during this festival of rugby.

BT Sport will feature many of the stars of the competition when the domestic Aviva Premiership recommences on 16 October. Also look out for the second season of the European Rugby Champions Cup in November when the continent’s top clubs battle it out to be crowned the best side in Europe.

So, with football and rugby matches taking place on most nights you can plan your bar’s activities with real confidence from now until mid-December. Head over to the Promo Kit page to get everything you need for the big fixtures.


12 UEFA Champions League matches will be shown Free To Air on BT Showcase

¹Based on 531 pubs with a Sky Sports subscription, unweighted. Evalueserve/Amethist January 2015.