How to engage with Gaelic football and hurling fans in Ireland’s On Premise

Ahead of the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Football and Hurling Championship Finals on January 22, along with Round 1 of the Allianz National Football League kicking off the following weekend, CGA by NielsenIQ’s OPUS (On Premise User Survey) reveals the impact of live sports on Ireland’s On Premise—and ways to engage fans of Gaelic football and hurling in particular.

Viewers of these sports—the third and fourth most watched in the country’s On Premise—are very valuable to operators and suppliers, with a higher than average monthly spend and a third visiting venues once a week.


They tend to be loyal to their local venues and drinks, with nearly three quarters (72%) of Gaelic football fans visiting local pubs to watch sport, and two thirds (65%) of hurling fans visiting local bars—14 percentage points more than the average live sports consumer. These people are more likely to drink domestic beers than imported brands, perhaps because of the unique local appeal of the two sports.


CGA’s OPUS research also pinpoints the demographics and preferences of sports fans in the On Premise. Viewers of both Gaelic football and hurling are more likely than average to be between 18 and 34 years old, and to be living in rural and suburban areas. They also tend to be male, but the gender split for these sports is more even than for sports like football or rugby.


As is the case with most sports, lager is the most popular drink for Gaelic football and hurling spectators, though they also over-index on stout. Vodka and gin are the top two spirits, but one in five fans also buys soft drinks while watching games.


“Sporting occasions give operators and suppliers great opportunities to reach some of the On Premise’s most engaged consumers,” says Sian Brennan, Client Director – Ireland. “It’s crucial to understand the nuances in behaviour between fans of different sports, and the preferences and motivations of Gaelic football and hurling fans in particular—especially their special focus on local venues and drinks brands.”


CGA’s On Premise User Survey provides much more analysis of sports fans in Ireland’s pubs and bars, and is complemented by deep data from the On Premise Measurement Service to help suppliers and operators develop winning sales and marketing strategies. To learn more, email Sian Brennan at

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