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Make the Champions League work for you

When it comes to club football it doesn’t get any bigger than the Champions League. It’s the competition every player wants to appear in and, most importantly, win.

Screening the Champions League and tempting customers from their couches and into the pub brings great opportunities and, potentially, even greater rewards. There are multiple games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between now and the beginning of December providing plenty of opportunity to get customers in on those traditionally quiet midweek nights.

 

As Matt Stretton, Deputy General Manager at Soar Point in Leicester told us, making game nights a real event can draw in the crowds, “For major competitions like the Champions League we have a party atmosphere in here,” he said, “If there’s a Spanish fanbase in the pub it can feel like a carnival. They really go to town when they celebrate. It’s brilliant.”

 

BT Sport is the exclusive home of live European club football so we want to help you take advantage and let your customers know that you’re the place to be on Champions League nights. Take in our Twitter tactics to help you get noticed by customers on social media, and also ensure you’re promoting the games inside and outside your venue using our point of sale kit and your chalkboards. You can order a bonus UEFA point of sale pack to promote all European games for a limited time here.

 

This season the competition sees six British sides in action in the group stage, the most since the 2007/08 campaign, when Manchester United memorably saw off Chelsea in the final. This time around, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Celtic will fly the flag for Britain.

 

Some cracking games await all the British teams. Celtic’s opening fixture against the Neymar-injected Paris Saint Germain on Matchday one (12 September) certainly stands out. Liverpool face arguably their toughest opponent, Sevilla, the following night (13 September) at Anfield. Chelsea’s visit to serial losing finalists Atletico Madrid on Matchday Two (27 September) is another to catch the eye.

 

Group H has been designated this year’s Group of Death, as Tottenham Hotspur have to go up against reigning champions Real Madrid, plus Germany’s exciting Borussia Dortmund and Apoel FC of Cyprus. Spurs’ double-header against Real on Matchday’s Three and Four (17 October/1 November) could prove decisive.

 

Other matches not involving British sides to look out for include Juventus’ clash with Barcelona on 22 November and Bayern Munich’s mouth-watering game against PSG on 5 December.

 

But don’t just take our word for it. Over the last two years we’ve been talking to bar managers and publicans who know how to make the most of screening live sport. Their tried and tested tips and ideas for getting customers in on Champions League games might just give you the inspiration to try something new.

 

Encourage your Continental Cousins to come in

Champions League games appeal to fans and neutrals alike so ensure you make your pub the destination of choice for football fans in your area. You might even draw crowds you didn’t expect, something Phillip Cutter Licensee of the Murderers pub in Norwich can attest to.

 

He told us that, “the University of East Anglia has a lot of foreign students, so we’ll have Spaniards coming in to watch Barcelona, Real Madrid and what have you.” Apparently last season’s Champions League final (Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid) saw the Norfolk Spanish Society making the Murderers their home for the night.

 

Promotions

The Black Dog in Manchester hands out free pizza at half time and rolls out drinks promotions including five bottles of Tuborg for £10 on Champions League nights.

 

General Manager James Horrocks spoke to us about the importance of being prepared. He said, “We pay attention to the games, particularly the bigger games. So when we place our drinks orders we’ll look at what football fixtures are on that week to make sure we have enough alcohol in to serve the customers. We offer five bottles of Corona for £12.50 or five bottles of Tuborg for £10 throughout the games. So for big games we need to make sure we’ve got enough of those drinks in and that the bar is fully stocked.”

 

Food

Dan Cramp from The Three Crowns in Leicestershire, celebrated Leicester City’s Champions League adventure by serving Spanish-themed food and drink evening when the Foxes played Sevilla last season. Some clever social media chat and offers on Rioja and Estrella, plus offering a range of tapas, meant the pub was packed.

 

Special treatment

Manchester’s Joshua Brooks bar extends its membership scheme prices for all when it comes to midweek European football. The Sandon in Liverpool offers tickets for its VIP area where table service is in operation; ensuring customers don’t miss a second of the action.

 

Atmosphere

Liverpool’s Camp & Furnace will often screen classic European games before kick-off to get the atmosphere building nicely, and ensure that people come in early to soak it up.

 

Quirky tie-ins

As well as its other European successes, Norwich’s The Murderers runs a last goalscorer raffle for big football games as well as promotions on European beers.

 

The ever-experimental Phillip Cutter says, “We do the last goalscorer raffle tickets for the big tournaments and some one-off big games. It’s quite simple to do. The first 90 people through the door get a raffle ticket. The customer holding the ticket denoting the minute the last goal is scored wins a prize. Sometimes some of the brewers sponsor it. It’s just another fun thing to add into the mix. It ensures people hang around until the last minute – or it gives them a reason to stay anyway.”

 

Fixtures

Matchday One: 12-13 September

Manchester United v Basel

Celtic v PSG

Chelsea v Qarabag

Liverpool v Sevilla

Feyenoord v Manchester City

Spurs v Borussia Dortmund

 

Matchday Two: 26-27 September

Spartak Moscow v Liverpool

Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk

Apoel FC v Spurs

CSKA Moscow v Manchester United

Anderlecht v Celtic

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea

 

Matchday Three: 17-18 October

Maribor v Liverpool

Manchester City v Napoli

Real Madrid v Spurs

Benfica v Manchester United

Bayern Munich v Celtic

Chelsea v Roma

 

Matchday Four: 31 October-1 November

Manchester United v Benfica

Celtic v Bayern Munich

Roma v Chelsea

Liverpool v Maribor

Napoli v Manchester City

Spurs v Real Madrid

 

Matchday Five: 21-22 November

Sevilla v Liverpool

Manchester City v Feyenoord

Borussia Dortmund v Spurs

Basel v Manchester United

PSG v Celtic

Qarabag v Chelsea

 

Matchday Six: 5-6 December

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow

Celtic v Anderlecht

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid

Liverpool v Spartak Moscow

Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City

Spurs v Apoel FC