Headline sporting occasions continue to be key footfall drivers in the On Premise in Ireland

As the iconic Six Nations Rugby prepares to scrum down, CGA by NIQ’s OPUS solution takes a closer look at the value of big sporting events for the On Premise.
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In general terms, pubs and bars dominate the landscape for consumers wanting to go out for live sports in Ireland, with a colossal 92% of consumers opting for pubs and bars both with and without food service, and 40% preferring sports bars.


LADs (Long Alcoholic Drinks) are the most popular drinks type, and Lager (42%) is the most popular category with almost half of consumers who are out to watch live sports. That said, in the Republic of Ireland, Stout is the winning category versus last year in terms of volume sales vs YA to November 2023), largely at the expense of Cider, which demonstrates the impact key sporting activations can have on sales.


Interestingly, the likelihood of a consumer spending over €20 in one sitting is highest when they’re watching live sports (70%) versus any other occasion. This is why sporting occasions remain a priority for brands and outlets, particularly the most popular tournaments, with half of consumers visiting the trade for Premier League Football (51%) and Six Nations Rugby (50%), closely followed by UEFA Champions League Football (40%).


So, it’s more important than ever to understand consumer trends with the Six Nations coming around. This tournament is a prime example of representing many more opportunities besides shifting high volumes of LADs. Furthermore, the Six Nations attracts a much more even gender split by viewership than other top sporting competitions. This opens doors to optimisation beyond the traditional Beer heartland.


Even though value for money remains as important as ever, the data shows consumers are also driven by brand security and quality. For example, Six Nations viewers over-index for Gin, besides for Lager and Stout. Moreover, these consumers are more likely to trade up within Gin, whether they’re celebrating victory for their teams or commiserating defeat. As a result, there’s a compelling window for upselling more premium brands to highly receptive consumers.


Then there’s tournament sponsorships. These brand partnerships have been proven to influence drinks choices during matches, with almost a third of consumers saying they’re more likely to drink a brand if it’s the official drinks sponsor. This further iterates how it’s key to consider major sporting occasions through multiple different lenses to engage sports spectators in the On Premise.


Sian Brennan, client director – Ireland said: “It can be game-changing for drinks brands and suppliers to comprehend the preferences of live sport consumers, especially during pivotal events like the Six Nations Rugby. Understanding shifting tastes and behaviours forearms them to take full advantage of the opportunities. The OPUS Report digs deep into distinctive patterns within specific consumer groups, offering insights into tailoring strategies that resonate with this crucial audience in the ever-changing sporting environment.”


OPUS provides many insights into consumers’ engagement and purchasing decisions in all On Premise channels, plus an expert analysis of categories, occasions and much more. To learn more about CGA’s OPUS solution delivering in-depth insights into consumer behaviour, and explore opportunities for tailored analysis, email Sian Brennan via Sian.Brennan@nielseniq.com.


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