Euro 2016 is only 5 weeks away and will cap off an extraordinary sporting season and summer. We've seen Leicester crowned champions of England and Tyson Fury becoming Heavyweight Champions of the World, what money on Northern Ireland winning the Euro’s?
There are 51 games to feast on between France kicking off on the 10th June against Romania and the final in the Stade de France a month later. With 1 in 5 pubs expecting sales will be boosted by over 20% this summer, the time to start getting the word out is now. That's without even considering Fury vs. Klitschko II, Wimbledon plus the Rio Olympics as well.
15th May brings the climax of the EPL season, followed by the Europa League final on the 18th, FA Cup final on the 21st before a Madrid derby in the Champions League final finishes off the month with a bang. If you can whip up a great the atmosphere during this month’s showpiece games, it will only serve to remind punters that you are the place to for big football games come Euro 2016.
We have put together a little guide below on what you can do to ensure you have a bumper summer of Sport.
When to Start?
As mentioned above, your customers will already be deciding where they are going to be going to watch their first game of Euro 2016. That means that it is extremely important that you are already telling customers that you are showing the Euros. This means putting up Euro specific POS and posters, have something like "Showing all EURO 2016 gmes live here" on chalkboards or other spaces that will engage with your customers.
If you have special POS, like bunting, flags etc., get these up around your venue to help build the party atmosphere early. Consider organising a pub sweepstake, fantasy football, or first/last goalscorer competition. Customers can get involved for a small fee and by offering a prize such as a bar tab, you can help make every game just as important regardless of who is playing.
Try to make sure that your social media channels have content relating to the Euro's and engage with your customers by asking them questions or getting them to tag a mate. Using hashtags or official names can be a good way to try to reach out to new customers. The most important thing is to make sure that the content is interesting and relevant. Another good tip is to include some humour into your posts. Update your profile pictures and cover photo with some tournament imagery.
Bookings are a great way to ensure your venue is going to be busy before the day has even arrived. If you are going to have a dedicated part of the pub for bookings - communicate that the first to book will be guaranteed the best view in the house. For the big matches (like England vs Wales on 16th June) it is worth taking a deposit or card number to make sure that they show up. The key to taking bookings is ensuring that you are extremely quick to respond to any requests (whether it is a yes or no), if it is a no it is worth suggesting an alternative game that they could watch.
All of the Euro group games are already in the fixture feed on MatchPint, so ensure that all of the fixtures you are showing have already been updated. If you are running any promotions during the tournament communicate these to your customers and make sure your staff know what to do to activate them. Schedule some social media posts to go out, which will have our redesigned imagery, for the matches.
Get the staff excited about the tournament - it is going to be busy, but it is an opportunity to get behind the home nations and have a fantastic summer of sales. As mentioned above, so many of you expect this summer to be extremely important from a sales perspective. If the staff are excited about the tournament this is going to convey to the customers and it will help get them pumped about watching games at the pub. Maybe put some incentives toward the bar staff to ramp up some competitiveness.
The summer of sport is a great chance to build up a reputation as one of the best places to go to watch live sport, thereby helping moving into the new season (which starts less than a month after the tournament!). Try to enjoy it, put on a good show and don't forget about the other great sport that is also on this summer! Do all this and you should smash it.