New Survey Finds “Atmosphere” Most Important In Pub Sports

A new survey has revealed that the atmosphere in a pub or bar on game day is the most important element for choosing to watch sport out of home.

In a new survey, music licensing company PPL PRS found that almost three in five (57%) people are regular sports fans, with one in five (21%) Britons saying they will only tune into the big sports games, like the World Cup.

When asked which sports fans regularly followed, almost two-thirds (63%) of all respondents shared that football is the favourite, with rugby (18%), tennis (16%) and formula one (15%) following.

When asked, 61% of respondents revealed home is the most favoured venue for watching sports games, and when asked why, 80% ranked comfort overall, but having control over the environment was ranked next by 46% of respondents.

But there is one thing that can encourage sports fans to leave their homes to watch a game or a race – even if they’re not the big games.

Other than an exciting game, across the fans who said they would like to watch sports in pubs, stadiums and dedicated sports bars, there was one thing they all looked for when choosing to watch a game or race outside of their home—a good atmosphere.

The top reasons fans will watch sports outside of home:

  • Stadium fans look for atmosphere (81%) ranked second by wanting to be present at the game (42%)
  • Pubgoers also love the atmosphere (66%), but also like that they can order food and drinks whilst they watch (52%)
  • Sports bar fans love the atmosphere too (75%) and ranked the ability to order food and drinks second (45%)

The survey also revealed that sports watchers are not fans of disruptive behaviour from other viewers (71%), ranking it top of their sports viewing ‘icks’. Followed by a tense atmosphere (34%) and a disengaged crowd (31%). This just reinforces viewers want a good audience and a good time when they choose to watch sports out.

Music therapist for PPL PRS, Marianne Rizkallah, shares these tips for retaining a loyal sports customer base in your venue.  “If a business knows a big event is coming up, choose music that heightens excitement – look for a BPM that’s slightly faster than average heart rate, moderate to loud volume, with rises and falls in the music to build anticipation (like when you’re waiting for the drop in an EDM track). As well as this, familiar music that promotes a sense of community will help cohere a crowd around a moment – one obvious example is Sweet Caroline before a big football match, adopted as the fan’s song that everyone can sing along to and feel a part of an experience.

“When emotions are riding high, I think it’s important to acknowledge how patrons are feeling, meeting them where they are before attempting to influence mood to something different. If you have a pub full of supporters of a team who have just lost a match, something like “Why Does it Always Rain on Me” by Travis acknowledges disappointment but perhaps in a more light hearted way, enabling a communal recognising of a feeling. After that, choosing music known to slow our heart rate – with BPM slightly lower than standard heart rate, quieter volume and less ebbs and flows in the music – can help bring the mood towards something more relaxed.”