Stonegate predicts £6m sales uplift from World Cup

Stonegate, the operator of over 700 managed pubs and bars across the UK, has released data that reveals the group anticipates a sales uplift of over £6m throughout its pub estate over the course of the FIFA World Cup (commencing 14 June). The business anticipates that the pub sector could be a major beneficiary of a World Cup windfall.

The business took sales data from 427 sites across its estate which screened the European Championship in 2016 and identified a total uplift of £5 million for that tournament. They then multiplied this by their current game time average sales growth of 8.1% which revealed a potential total uplift of over £6 million.

Stonegate aspires to be the UK’s leading provider for the sports-led occasion and entice customers into their pubs and bars nationwide to watch their favourite teams and athletes by creating a welcoming and lively atmosphere that is the closest thing to being in the stadium. Stonegate’s pub estate shows all major sporting events – ranging from Premier League matches to more niche occasions like WWE’s Wrestlemania or the

NFL’s Superbowl – and enables customers to watch every screened game through a combined Sky and BT subscription. Stonegate recently showed the WWE’s Wrestlemania event at some venues and this saw a sales uplift of £1,446 per pub, nearly twice as much as the nearest football match.

In recent years, Stonegate has invested significantly in its sports offer and remains committed to continue to innovate and evolve the customer experience. The Group has installed stadium-style seating in some sites, developed a Food and Beverage offer emphasising sharing through beer towers and platters, as well as providing table-service to ensure that customers never miss a minute of the match. Waiting staff kitted out in referee uniforms adds to the fun and authenticity of the occasion! The business also offers pre-booking, enabling customers to secure a table without any fuss to cheer on their favourite teams.

Stonegate has further enhanced its reputation for sports-led entertainment most recently through its acquisition programme. The Group acquired the Walkabout brand in 2016 and secured the Sports Bar & Grill venues last year, both of which have further consolidated Stonegate’s sporting credentials in this field. Furthermore, the Sports Bar & Grill bars mean that the business now has several premium sports-focused bars in some of London’s biggest transport hubs, including Victoria and Waterloo stations, which are perfect for sports fans heading to - or returning - from a game.

Stonegate has a broad offer for sports fans. The Group’s top ten sporting events in the last 12 months in terms of sales uplift per pub and footfall shows that the most recent Anthony Joshua boxing match was the biggest draw for the business. The fight led to a sales lift of over double the next biggest sporting event, Roma vs. Liverpool in the Champions League.

Stonegate’s work to cater to more niche sports has also seen significant returns – though showing these sports are yet to be rolled out across the whole estate. For example, those pubs which screened this year’s Superbowl experienced a sales uplift of over £1,300 per pub and an increase in footfall of nearly 230 people per venue.

Simon Longbottom, Chief Executive of Stonegate, said, “Our aspiration is for our bars and pubs to be the best place for the UK’s sports fans to cheer on their favourite teams and athletes. We have a proud track record of innovating our customer offer to ensure that they never miss a minute of the match and can celebrate their team’s triumphs. This summer’s World Cup is set to be a bumper tournament for Stonegate and we believe we will see a significant sales uplift for the business.

“We hope that everyone enters into the spirit of the tournament and World Cup fever takes hold. We know from 2016’s European Championships that even if England suffer an early exit, football fans will keep following the tournament and be on the hunt for pubs and bars to experience the atmosphere and excitement of the knock-out stages.

“There’s nothing better than meeting up with friends and celebrating sporting success in a welcoming environment. This is exactly what we aim to give sports fans at Stonegate and our offer isn’t just limited to football. We work hard to cater for all sports – whether that’s boxing or more niche sports, such as wrestling and American football. We will continue to develop our sports experiences in the coming years as we work towards our aim of becoming the UK’s leading provider for the sports-led occasion.”