As the much anticipated Six Nations gets underway, it’s pubs that have proved the big winners in the contest of Europe’s top national rugby teams.
According to Star Pubs, the pub arm of HEINEKEN UK, total sales across the opening weekend were up a staggering 42% as rugby fans flocked to the best place to watch live sport, their local pub.
With Ireland showing their dominance against France in the opening game on Friday, and England, Wales and Scotland all playing on Saturday afternoon, the great British pub proved to the best place for a slice of the action.
With afternoon and evening games on the Saturday, the data suggests that punters chose to spend much of the day in their local, with sales of food up by nearly a third.
And in terms of drinks, sales were up 43% with pints being the drink of choice with an uplift of 14%.
It was alcohol free beer though that proved to have the biggest change versus the year before, with a massive increase of 49% versus last year’s Six Nations opening weekend.
Ex-England International and World Cup winner, Rocky Clark MBE, says:
“When I can’t get to the game in person, it’s my local that I head to to watch the game. The atmosphere, the tension, the drama and the feeling of togetherness from the other fans can only be felt in the pub.”
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs says: “There is no doubt that the local pub is the best place to watch the games, and whether you fancy a couple of pints, some food or just there to soak up the atmosphere, it’s clear that the Six Nations has given a much-needed boost to the great British pub.
“As the men’s tournament progresses, and then the women’s tournament, we expect to see even more people visiting their local to watch the games throughout February and March.”
With the tagline ‘Ruck n Roll’, Star Pubs have created kits for pubs to use to encourage people to watch the rugby in them. This includes outdoor signs, posters and plenty of bunting.