This month’s Greene King Leisure Tracker has found that over a third of British football fans intend to watch at least one game of the European Championships in a pub this summer, making it the preferred destination for those wanting to watch the drama unfold outside of their own home. This trend is driven by young fans between the ages of 18 and 24, with 60% of them planning to cheer on their team from a sociable and communal pub setting during the tournament.
This month’s tracker also demonstrates that the value of the pub as a sports venue is based on the great atmosphere that it offers. Over a third of all respondents answered that the atmosphere in the pub was important – more than the pub’s location, the quality of the viewing and even the availability, variety and cost of the food and drinks on offer.
Given the timing of many of the matches, several respondents commented that they would like their employer to allow them to watch the games during work hours. For the England-Wales game, scheduled to take place at 2pm on 16 June, more than double the number of respondents said they intend to watch the game in a pub than those that plan to watch it in their workplace, indicating that the pub remains a venue of choice for fans regardless of work hours.
In April, the average British household spent £206 on out of home leisure, a £10 (5%) decrease month-on-month. This was due to a stronger March due to this year’s Easter date
This was also a £9 (4%) decrease in overall spend year-on-year driven by a £10 (12%) drop in spending on Other Leisure. Spend on Drinking Out remained unchanged and Eating Out increased £2 (2%)
While this Eating Out increase appears modest, viewing these figures in the context of Easter shows that Eating Out performed well. This April (a non-Easter month) saw spending on Eating Out surpass that of April 2015 (an Easter month), illustrating the growing trends towards Eating Out.
Year-on-year, spend on Drinking Out is unchanged, and while the figures themselves do not appear particularly positive at first glance, the fact that spending on Drinking Out has kept pace with the Easter month of April 2015 represents a strong performance.
Year-on-year, spend on Other Leisure declined significantly, with the GB Average falling by £10 (12%) year-on-year and £5 (6%) month-on-month.
This year’s Grand National was held in April and we can see the impact of one of the country’s biggest free-to-air sporting events with spend on Gambling increasing by £1 (10%) month-on-month.
Commenting on this month’s Leisure Spend Tracker, Fiona Gunn, Greene King group marketing director said: “With such a large proportion of the British population planning to enjoy games in a pub alongside friends, family or colleagues, it is clear that it remains a well-established social venue for Brits. The importance of the pub’s atmosphere highlights that the character of the pub remains at the forefront of consumers’ minds when deciding where they will watch the upcoming games.
“At Greene King, we are pleased to see that the popularity of the pub as a sports venue remains high. To ensure we offer football fans the most optimum viewing experience possible, we have invested in creating a great atmosphere across our pubs by decorating the pubs with flags and bunting and offering quizzes, games and competitions before, during and after screenings of the games. We look forward to welcoming all customers to our pubs for this exciting tournament!”