What lessons can pubs learn from the 2017/18 Premier League season?
By Kyle Fullerton
August 10, 2018

With the start of the Premier League just around the corner, this is the first of a 2-part article series aimed to help you nail this upcoming season. MatchPint have crunched the numbers and are sharing what we learned from last season and what’s new in the 2018/19 season.


The 2017/19 season saw Man City walk the league with a record points total, Arsene Wenger say goodbye to Arsenal and Burnley make it into Europe for the first time in 51 years. But what did we learn as pubs?



You Only Get One Chance at First Impressions


The opening weekends of the season provide pubs the best opportunity to attract new customers. A combination of new season optimism and the return to habit of watching the match in the pub every weekend has funs hungry for a new, regular venue.


Last year’s fixture search data showed that interest in the Premier League fluctuated greatly across the season. Unsurprisingly the peak time for searches came in the first few weeks of the season, however, it all followed a general decrease in interest as the season progressed.


Therefore, it’s crucial that your pub is offering the best fan experience as possible in the early weeks of the season as this is your chance to secure new punters as regulars for the season. MatchPint data shows that 93% of fans will go back to a pub they’ve previously watched sport in, so putting on a great show is a worthwhile investment.



Know When People Are Searching & Look Your Best



Doing a great piece of marketing is only half the battle, getting people to see that marketing is the real challenge. MatchPint’s search data shows that 49% of fans make up their mind on where to go 1-5 days before the fixture, so just advertising on the morning of the game isn’t enough.


Football fans’ searches peak between 4pm and 7pm, with social media interaction peaking between 1-5pm. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you’re scheduling posts to go out between 4-6pm in the lead up to big games to have maximum impact.


One direct quote from a fan, “If a pub doesn’t take their sports offering online seriously, I doubt they will when I’m there.”, so treat your online presence exactly like your in-pub experience.



Cross Promote to Your Loyal Football Fans



The football season should be your bread and butter, but it’s getting more of your football regulars in for events such as Boxing and NFL that can turn a good year into a great year.


 Last year’s fixture search data on MatchPint showed that, despite a total increase in searches of 18%, interest in football relative to other sports, is decreasing. 2 years ago, football fixtures accounted for 48% of all MatchPint searches but that has since decreased to 43% and then again to 37% in the following years.


 The growth in interest in boxing, NFL and other niche sports has been a big factor in this. It’s imperative to engage your key football crowd and get them back into the pub for the other biggest non-football events.


The importance of this is further verified by data showing that fans tend to spend 15% more during a visit when watching boxing than when watching football, so you can no longer rely on purely football to be a great sports pub.





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