Six Nations kick offs beer and sports venue sales

CGA by NIQ’s latest trading data shows the Six Nations rugby tournament has given beer suppliers and sports pubs and bars a welcome boost to trading.

Across all matchdays, venues showing games generated 28% more sales than on the average equivalent day—double the 14% increase seen at non-sports venues.  


The Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) category enjoyed the biggest upswing, with increases of 35% and 18% in sports and non-sports venues respectively. Stout, with a sales uplift of 85% in sports venues, benefited from its traditional links to rugby—especially as the final match of the tournament coincided with St Patrick’s Day. World lager, cider and cask ale were among other categories to benefit. 


Sports venues also generated double-digit increases in sales of soft drinks (+15%), spirits (+24%) and wine (+15%) over all matchdays, with uplifts more modest at venues not screening games (+7%, +14% and +11% respectively). Here’s how the tournament’s five key weekends played out for sports venues. 


Round 1  

The opening round was also one of the tournament’s most valuable weekends for the On Premise. Total drinks sales in sports venues were up 38% on Saturday 4 February, when England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were all in action.  


Round 2 

The boost to drinks sales was more muted over this weekend, with trading ahead by 22% and 19% on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 March respectively. 


Round 3 

A win for England over Wales helped sports venues to increase drinks sales by 34% on Saturday 25 February, with stout sales (+94%) nearly double the average. Despite only one Six Nations game sales soared 59% on Sunday 26 February—though this day also brought the EFL Cup Final between Newcastle and Manchester United. 


Round 4 

England’s humiliating defeat to France on Saturday 11 March dampened trading, with drinks sales up only 23%. The Scotland-Wales fixture on Sunday 12 March helped to push sales up 15%. 


Round 5 

The final day of matches on Saturday 18 March brought a modest 18% increase in sales, though stout got another boost from St Patrick’s Day celebrations and grew sales by 106%. 


CGA client director Paul Bolton said: “After a tough start to the year for the On Premise, the Six Nations gave sports venues and LAD suppliers a very timely lift. It was a reminder of the power of big sporting occasions to loosen people’s spending and encourage brand trial and loyalty. With Easter approaching it will hopefully act as a launch pad for strong Spring trading.” 


CGA by NIQ’s in-depth sales measurement service helps suppliers and operators predict, track and capitalise on big sporting occasions, with breakdowns by category, channel and much more. To learn more, email 

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