Fans Return To Pubs And Bars As Premier League Kicks Off

As the new Premier League season kicked off at the weekend, CGA’s Consumer Pulse research suggests the Euros tournament may have helped to remind people of the pleasures of watching sporting events in the On Premise.

CGA’s survey of visits in the first ten days after ‘freedom day’ on 19 July found that just under a third (30%) of consumers watched sport in pubs and bars during that time. More than half (54%) of the 38% cohort of consumers who typically watch sport out-of-home did so—as did 7% of those who don’t normally do so.

CGA’s research has shown how the involvement of England, Scotland and Wales in the Euros gave On Premise venues showing games a valuable lift in drinks sales in June and July—though the impact was muted by the COVID-19 restrictions in place throughout the tournament. England’s progress in the Euros will have helped to stoke interest in the new Premier League season starting today (13 August). Nearly two thirds (64%) of those who watched the Euros in the On Premise, and have since returned to watch sport out-of-home, said their Euros experience made them want to watch sport in venues more often.

Football fans will now be able to watch games in the On Premise without restrictions for the first time in 16 months, and venues showing the Euros appear to have done a good job reassuring customers that it is safe to do so. Nearly three quarters (73%) of those who watched the Euros out, and who have since returned to the On Premise to watch sport, said they felt safe during their visits—four percentage points more than the average for all consumers visiting after 19 July.

One in five (22%) consumers told CGA’s latest survey that they intend to watch some of the new Premier League season in the On Premise, and with another 17% yet to make up their mind, there is an opportunity to grow that number significantly in the next few months.

After an entire season lost to closures or heavy restrictions, the return of the Premier League is another welcome step on the recovery journey for drinking-out venues in the On Premise,” says Rachel Weller, CGA’s director of consumer research and marketing. “The Euros will have left many football fans itching to get back to watching games with friends, and this is a great moment for operators and suppliers to sustain the momentum and tempt them back to pubs and bars. With the return of fans to stadiums, local venues will likely also see the benefit from increased footfall in these areas.”