AFL offers opportunities to win with consumers in the On Premise

In an exploration of Australian sports viewing habits in the On Premise, CGA by NIQ’s OPUS research shines a spotlight on the AFL (Australian Football League) as one of the central drivers for visitation and engagement.
Download more information about OPUS here
Download more information about OPUS here

As the AFL season progresses, the findings underscore the significant opportunities for brands, operators, and suppliers to harness the power of live sports events for richer consumer experiences.


The data reveals AFL’s unique position on the Australian sporting calendar. Not only tops the charts as the most-watched sport in venues for almost half of consumers when out for drinks, but it’s the overall preferred sporting choice in general, with more than a quarter (26%) favouring AFL over other sports. This is contrasted with Rugby League with more than a third (17%) watching when they’re out.


Moreover, almost half of consumers specifically go out for a drink while watching the AFL Men’s Grand Final, with a similar interest shown in AFL Men’s events overall. These occasions draw crowds into RSL clubs and sports bars, with more than two thirds of consumers opting for pubs and almost half for bars or late-night venues, signalling diverse venue preferences among AFL enthusiasts.


For all these reasons, the findings are crucial for the On Premise, affirming the undeniable link between sporting events and consumer engagement. Additionally, the survey further reveals half of AFL viewers are more likely to plan and book their visits in advance. This pre-planned approach is a compelling indicator for operators to tailor their offerings and ensure an optimal viewing atmosphere, a key factor in extending post-event duration of visit and spend.


So, which drinks are scoring big amongst sport-loving Aussies at large? There’s a major preference for local/domestic beer (44%), followed by wine (24%), and craft beer (19%), stressing the importance of curated drink selections to complement the live viewing experience.


With average drink consumption at five drinks per visit, mostly on weekends, the survey highlights a meaningful opportunity for targeted marketing strategies and On Premise activations to supply to the live sports viewer’s demands.



James Phillips, Client Solutions Director  – ANZ said:The game is indeed changing when it comes to sports viewing, and the latest OPUS survey underscores the power of live sports, particularly AFL, in creating vibrant On Premise experiences. For this reason, it’s now necessary for brands, operators, and suppliers to understand and cater for the nuanced preferences of sports viewers. While the market remains competitive, the hospitality sector can tap into new levels of engagement, loyalty, and growth by aligning their offerings with these insights.


The upcoming OPUS survey takes a deep dive into consumers’ On Premise behaviors and opinions on key topics, delving into the On Premise live sports viewers, reinforcing why suppliers and operators should be targeting activity around sporting occasions, helping to identify the key sporting events for activations, and how a well-defined live sport occasion strategy can pay dividends.


To learn more, get in touch with James Phillips here, or download more information and examples of the data and insights included in the OPUS survey here.

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