With the growing stature of the domestic season, football fans can sometimes see international football as an annoying distraction from the glitz of the Premier League and Champions League. For that very reason, we’ve identified 5 key non-England games for fans of each of the big clubs in England and given suggestions of how you should market the biggest fixture of the 5, to get your punters as excited as they would be for a club game.
In this edition it's Russian Roman's Lads - Chelsea:
Belgium vs Panama - 4pm, Monday 18th June
Despite being in the same group as England, it's likely that Chelsea fans will want to see Belgium do well this tournament. With 2 of their biggest stars as arguably the first 2 names on the Belgium team sheet, you'll definitely want to have the first game of Group G. Really selling this game to Chelsea fans is an awesome way to get people in nice and early for the England game later that day.
France vs Australia - 11am, Saturday 16th June
The first game of the only 4-game matchday is arguably the game of the day. Marketing this game right, especially to Chelsea fans who'll want to see how N'Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud get on, could set you up for an amazing day. Giving people an excuse to be in your pub from 11am until 10pm if they want all four games, you can really cash in here.
Serbia vs Brazil - 7pm, Wednesday 27th June
Willian & David Luiz make up the samba contingent of Chelsea these days and they're sure to feature against Serbia in the final game of Group E. Everyone loves an excuse to watch Brazil, but Chelsea fans should have a real interest with these two and the added spice of coming up against Chelsea old boy Nemanja Matic. Could be a great opportunity to run promotions on any Brazilian beer, such as Brahma, to get people into the pub on a Wednesday night.
Spain vs Morocco - 7pm, Monday 25th June
With Chelsea having a pretty strong Spanish contingent quite a few are likely to feature in one of Spain's easier group games. Alonso, Pedro, Azpilicueta, Fabregas and Morata will all fancy their chances of making the World Cup squad which should make Spain your second nation if you've got a strong following of Chelsea fans. 7pm on a Monday night is a tough gig to try and get interest for, so it's definitely worth trying to have an offer on San Miguel/Estrella, or even better matching it with a food offer on Paella or tapas if you're feeling adventurous!
KEY FIXTURE - Portugal vs Spain - 7pm, Friday 15th June
You should really be showing this one anyway, it's surely going to be the 4th biggest game you show behind the 3 England games. This gives the perfect opportunity to show you're fully behind Spain if you're trying to hook those Chelsea regulars into being Spain fans too. If you offer bookings, be sure to target the FA Cup final in a few weeks and offer people who book for that an opportunity to book for this game. You could even offer a deal of a free round for the final Spain group game if they book for the first 2.
Check in next week where the blue side of Merseyside, Everton, will get the same treatment...
All images - PA