The sofa still remains the main competitor for sports pubs and bars, with 87% of consumers choosing to stay within the comfort of their own home to watch sport.
The latest findings come from research commissioned by Stonegate Pub Company and Molson Coors, which explored consumer habits and concerns regarding sports in the on-trade.
Based on the results, with live sport being a huge focus for the business, Stonegate has developed a six-step process to ensure it wins the war against the sofa, enhancing the viewing experience and enticing sports fans into their venues to watch the live action. Applied to over 770 venues nationwide, Stonegate Pubs are already seeing positive results from the new approach.
According to 36% of consumers, atmosphere is the most important driver when choosing a venue to watch live sport – 35% of people look for ultra HD screens when making a decision and 38% confirmed value for money is what informs their choices.
Almost a third of those surveyed said that the look and layout of the venue would impact their decision (32%), with a quarter (24%) stating the variety of food and drink available is a key factor when choosing a location.
Pre-booking offers another key opportunity, with 14% of consumers now pre-booking before visiting a venue to watch live sports and 71% of them declaring they would likely return to the venue and pre-book again. Top factors encouraging pre-bookings are guaranteed seats (45%), exclusive drinks deals (44%), meal deals (31%) and table service (21%).
While football remains the number one sport for the on-trade, interest in niche sports has grown exponentially and offers an opportunity for venues to differentiate themselves from other sports sites – 70% of UK consumers stated they follow sports such as American football, basketball, darts and women’s football.
The release of these findings coincides with the launch of Stonegate’s ‘We Love Sport’ app, which targets sports fans looking to find the venues across the UK to watch live sports, whilst earning Stonegate loyalty rewards for every visit.