3 Reasons Why You Need To Go Big On The Autumn Internationals This Weekend
By Kyle Fullerton
October 31, 2018

It’s time for international rugby fans to get excited again. For the first time since the summer tours, rugby is back. There are some mammoth fixtures in this year’s Autumn Internationals including ties against the All Blacks for England and Ireland, ties against Australia for Wales and England and an all British clash between Wales and Scotland. This year more than ever, you should really be going all out for the Autumn Internationals in your pub and we’ve listed out 3 reasons why.


There's A HUGE 12 Months Of International Rugby Ahead


If you didn’t know already, there’s a HUGE 12 months of rugby coming up with the 6 Nations in February and the Rugby World Cup next September. The Autumn Internationals are the first chance to set the tone for the next 12 months and establish or solidify your reputation as the go-to pub to watch rugby.


MatchPint data shows that 93% of sports fans will go back to a pub they’ve previously visited when selecting a venue to watch sport, so now is the time to give those first timers an awesome experience to get them coming back to your pub again and again over the next 12 months.


We know that the key pull factor for fans choosing the pub over the sofa to watch sport is the atmosphere and social aspect. That’s why we recommend committing to decorating your pub with home nations flags, adjusting the layout of your pub if needs be to give good unrestricted views to as many fans as possible and to try and zone your pub to accommodate the ability to have 2 different games on at once, while not sacrificing the experience of one set of fans.


Rugby Fans Spend Way More Than The Average Punter


Anecdotally, lots of publicans tell MatchPint that they don’t feel like that rugby draws the same interest as regular football in their pub. However, our data shows that due to it’s less frequent nature, rugby fans really do splash out when its back on TV.


MatchPint data shows that international rugby draws a much older and affluent demographic than football. This demographic spends more than 17% per visit than the average sports fan in pubs.


MatchPint and Vianet also monitored the sales uplift that the 2017 Autumn Internationals provided pubs, finding during the first weekend that pubs showing England vs Argentina sold 15% more beer than those that didn’t. Encouragingly for the popularity of rugby, the data also showed that pubs showing the Autumn Internationals in 2017 saw a 4% year on year increase in sales. With a packed 12 months of international rugby, we’d only expect that number to increase again.


So, if you’re not a traditional rugby pub or if you’ve only ever stuck it on in the background, this data should give you enough reason to think seriously about cashing in on the opportunity you have to make more money per punter that comes in through your door.


It Fits Perfectly Into Your Regular Football Schedule


Now if you’ve got this far and you’re still not convinced you should be showing and shouting about the rugby this weekend, it must be because you’re a die-hard football pub. The fantastic news for you, is that all the biggest fixtures are at 2:30 or 3pm on a Saturday, meaning there’s no clash at all with any regular football you’d be showing. The few games that are at 5pm also don’t clash with any big Premier League fixtures (only Spurs vs Crystal Palace and then an international break the following weekend).


The Autumn Internationals is also incredibly accessible for pubs that don’t have a Sky Sports subscription, with only the England games being shown on Sky. Ireland games will all be on Channel 4, while Scotland and Wales games are all on BBC 1 or 2. Last year’s data showed that there’s a huge appetite for these fixtures with terrestrial only pubs still making a 2% sales increase year on year.


You’d better have a seriously good reason to show Soccer Saturday over the rugby come 3pm this Saturday.




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