Ireland’s rugby fans flock to pubs and bars as Six Nations gets into full swing

The Six Nations rugby tournament provides significant opportunities for drinks suppliers and operators to target key consumer segments in Ireland’s pubs and bars, new research from CGA by NIQ indicates.

CGA’s exclusive On Premise User Study (OPUS) highlights the attraction of pubs and bars to people wanting to watch games with friends and family. It shows three quarters of Six Nations fans typically watch live sports in pubs and bars—19 percentage points more than the all-consumer average—and two thirds do so at least monthly. Well over a third (38%) of all those identifying as sports fans say they typically watch rugby union in the On Premise.


CGA’s data provides many more insights into the role of sporting occasions like the Six Nations, highlighting that:


  • Six Nations fans are heavily engaged in the On Premise. Nearly half (48%) visit pubs and bars at least weekly, and they spend 27% more per month than the average visitor.


  • Domestic beers are the most popular drinks choices of Six Nations consumers, who are also more likely than average to drink stout and imported beer.


  • Leinster and Belfast have the highest concentration of Six Nations fans in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively.


The research flags the key factors behind Six Nations fans’ decision-making in the On Premise for suppliers to track, including the popularity of location and atmosphere when choosing venues. It also provides valuable insights into the demographics of sports fans, who are most likely to be male and aged 35 to 54.


Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland, said: “This year’s Six Nations has reminded us of the huge popularity of the On Premise among Ireland’s sports fans. Pubs and bars create experiences and memories that can’t be achieved anywhere else, and after closures and restrictions during COVID-19, consumers have been making up for the time they lost there with fellow fans. With two matches to go for Ireland and a Six Nations Grand Slam a real possibility, venues should look forward to two more bumper weekends of trading in March.”


CGA’s OPUS survey provides suppliers with many more expert insights into Irish consumers’ engagement with sporting occasions and the channels and drinks they choose in Ireland’s On Premise. OPUS is complemented by market-leading sales and outlet data that provides an unrivalled holistic view of Ireland’s On Premise. To learn more, email Sian Brennan at

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