How can hospitality venues capitalise on the upcoming sports summer of 2024?  

Score This Summer: Make Yours the Venue of Choice for the Summer of Sport

We’ve seen sports viewings in the UK spike in the last year, with women’s sports – particularly football – seeing exceptionally high interest. A record-breaking 46.7 million people in the UK watched women’s sport on linear TV in 2023!  

Sports viewing now has a far broader appeal with female and family audiences growing creating game-changing shifts in consumer behaviour. With the cost-of-living crisis meaning that event attendance is becoming out of financial reach for many of us, the next best thing is to enjoy watching sports events in a public setting for an injection of social atmosphere blended with a great food & drink offering. 

The forthcoming Olympics and the Euros ’24 will provide the perfect opportunity for hospitality venues, that don’t typically show sports, to use these occasions to create a strong Pre-bookable Reason To Visit (RTV). 

With spending budget more precious than ever, consumers need a justification or ‘reason’ for spending. Creating an exciting Reason To Visit event wrapped around sporting events will support both the visit value and justification factor.  

Free-to-air events such as the Euros ’24 are a great way for venues to test the sporting appetite of their core guest profile, without the financial risk of tying into a costly sports package.    

Bums Top Tips: 

  • Long-term resilience: If you don’t typically show sport in your venue, we would recommend aligning your marketing and sales strategy to your core guest profile. Avoid ‘short-term wins’ that could come if you prioritise footfall driving sports events that may disrupt your long-term core business.  
  • Lead time: If you don’t typically show sports in your venue, allow a much longer lead time to market your sporting events. Consider how you will reach outside your usual core guest database.  
  • Pre-booked Value! For key-interest England games and for venues with premium semi-private areas, consider offering a pre-bookable package that includes table service, some great F&B and the best screen views. Creating a small selection of drinks & food packages to offer for pre-booked value rather than charging a flat deposit will have more VFM for the guest. 
  • System Optimisation: Ensure you add your new sporting events onto your websites and booking systems with the option to pre-book in advance with a package available online. Making the pre-booked option a slick and easy guest booking journey will be key to driving the success of the event. A Bums on Seats Health Check can help you spot gaps in your systems.
  • 3rd Party support: Consider using a 3rd party platform such as Fanzo (formally Matchpint) to reach sports fans that may have not heard of your venue. The platform works by providing you with access to over 2million sports fans signed up to Fanzo. It also lets you select the fixtures you will be showing and linking these in one click to your website and social media.  
  • If it’s not on social media it didn’t happen… when your venue is full with infectious atmosphere, make sure you get some great footage to drive the FOMO on your social platforms and to use for marketing future events. 

Looking for some support to turn your venue into a go-to spot for the summer? Contact the Bums team to optimise your sales strategy for the summer of sports.