Pubs And LAD Brands Score Rugby World Cup Boost

The group stages of the Rugby World Cup have given Britain’s pubs and suppliers a boost to sales, with an even bigger uplift the quarter-finals at the weekend.

CGA by NIQ’s On Premise Measurement service shows average sales by value on matchdays were 16% higher than the equivalent days over the rest of 2023—though trading was also inflated by good weather during much of September and October.

As is usually the case during big sporting tournaments, the Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) category felt the biggest benefit, with average sales up by 22%. This was twice the growth in spirits (+10%) and soft drinks (+11%), while wine sales (+1%) were virtually flat.

England’s first three matchdays, against Argentina, Japan and Chile on Saturday 9, Sunday 17 and Saturday 23 September, helped to generate uplifts of 12%, 17% and 11% against the average on comparable days this year.

Games involving Scotland and Wales also triggered double-digit increases—especially on days when they were both in action. Uplifts peaked at +22% and +24% on the double-header days of Sunday 10 and Sunday 24 September. The final day of the group stages for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, on Saturday 7 October, generated a 17% upswing.

“The World Cup and better-than-usual weather have been a powerful combination for pubs and LAD suppliers since early September,” says Paul Bolton, client director, GB Drinks at CGA by NIQ. “The timing of games during afternoons and evenings has been ideal, and success for England and Wales has extended matches into celebrations. It’s a reminder that sports fans are some of the most loyal and highest spending visitors to the On Premise, and there will be more great opportunities to capture their interest this weekend. Understanding and engaging them now is also likely to reap benefits in brand and venue loyalty well after the tournament finishes.”