On Wednesday night I was forced to watch what I was told would be “an amazing football match”- Chelsea V Arsenal in the Europa League Final.¬†After what seemed like an age of negotiating to watch it in a pub (I saw that as a compromise, after all, watching tv sports in pubs and bars is far more fun), we ended up watching the game at home due to a very early flight I had to catch to New York yesterday morning.

Why all this context?

Well, to me, big sporting events belong in a pub. The camaraderie created by supporting your team, the atmosphere created by a group of like-minded people in one place all cheering on a group of over-paid but somehow still revered men kicking a ball one way, then the next- all of this is why I watch tv sports in pubs and bars, on the rare occasions I do.

Anyway, I lost the argument but it’s worth noting that 42% of customers have watched sports in a pub/bar in the last 3 months, proving that it continues to be a key part of a pub/bar offer for many customers.

With the rise of experiential venues it would seem that customers are increasingly looking for more than just good food and drink from their pubs and bars. Whilst it will be tricky for everyone to become a Flight Club or Junkyard Golf, it does bring into focus the value that televised sports can have in creating a destination for customers.

On the cusp on “Super Saturday”, you don’t need me to tell you that the televised sports calendar is a jam packed one, with multiple sports across the globe providing a constant stream of opportunities for pubs and bars to bring in the crowds. Furthermore, customers (unlike my family) see the value in watching tv sports in pubs and bars, rather than at home. Atmosphere and occasion are important- embracing this and maximising the moment are key in creating an environment that drives customers out of home and into your venue. One of the companies which know the true value of tv sports in pubs and bars, is one that we know well at KAM Media – Match Pint¬†work with thousands of UK pubs and bars to ensure they reach out to consumers looking to watch all kinds of sports.

And it seems I’m not alone- 57% of those we questioned as part of our Ontrade Outlook 2019 research report told us that “atmosphere’ is the reason why they would rather watch tv sports in pubs and bars than at home- and if you want to know WHY- just look at the chart below.

Ontrade Outlook 2019 report extract. TV sports in pubs and bars.And what about licensees- do they see the value of sport in their venues? According to research, they certainly do- over 55% have told us that they believe sport to be a bigger opportunity than they are currently taking advantage of.

Ontrade Outlook 2019 extract. TV sports in pubs and bars.As you read this email, I’ll most probably be just going to bed after my first night in New Jersey. I’m spending a long weekend here, splitting my time between exploring Manhattan and staying with my oldest friend in New Jersey. We have plans that include a foodie walking tour of the East Village, a night out that revolves mainly around cool cocktail bars and a day of sports where I’ll attend my first baseball game.

I look forward to sharing my NYC finds with you in next week’s blog- as always, recommendations always welcome!