Home' Australian Hotelier : AH MARCH 2016 Contents 16 | MARCH 2016 AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER
lenty has been made of the emphasis placed
on sport in Australia. The term ‘sporting
nation’ is bandied about frequently, but the
stats do indeed suggest that the majority of
Australians love watching professional sport.
The Global Sports Media Consumption Report
of 2014 stated that 74% of Australian adults, or 13
million people, follow a professional sport. Of these
13 million, 96% said that they watched sport on TV,
with the average consumption time for watching sport
on television being 2.9 hours per week.
With high-quality home-entertainment systems
now becoming more easily accessible and more
popular, it’s up to hotel operators to provide patrons
with the atmosphere, food and beverage specials and
promotions that would persuade them to choose the
pub over staying at home.
PLAYING TO THE CROWD
The most basic step is to know your crowd. Find
out what your demographic is and what sports are
popular within that demographic. This may be quite
specific, or in the case of The Game Sports Bar in
Perth, it can be quite varied.
“We have all ages come in for the AFL, NBL and
Super Rugby. We have a massive Irish following for
the UFC, and EPL attracts English, Scottish, Irish and
most other Europeans,” says manager Ben Maher.
Once you know which sports and leagues are
popular, a great way to lock in crowds is to invite
supporter clubs to make your hotel their official base.
This has worked particularly well at The Game Sports
Bar. The venue is the home to supporter clubs for four
EPL teams, three AFL teams, the New Zealand Club
of WA, and the South African Supporters Club. They
also have similar relationships with different mixed
martial art clubs in Perth, to help promote the venue
when a boxing or mixed martial art event is playing.
A GREAT DAY OUT
Promoting sport at your events is essential to get
patrons in attendance. Social media avenues such as
Facebook and Instagram are great ways to engage
and alert your patronage of upcoming matches,
but an alternative is apps like Drinking Buddy, that
specifically alert people about promotions at pubs
in their area or any they have chosen as a favourite,
generating interest and driving traffic to your venue.
Apps like this can tap into a wider audience than
a hotel already has with its ability to cross-promote
on the app and website. The Morphett Arms Hotel
recently listed their WWE Royal Rumble party on the
app, which Drinking Buddy further promoted on its
e-newsletter and social media, targeting wrestling fans
specifically. The event was a success with over 100
attendees at the pub on a Monday morning.
Hosting in-house promotions during the sporting
match itself is also a good way to get your customers
coming early and staying longer – and can also increase
the likelihood they will be back for other events.
Promotions can include food and beverage specials,
half-time entertainment and competitions. At The
Pineapple Hotel in Brisbane, they recently promoted
the Superbowl – which is becoming increasingly
popular with Australian viewers – by offering an
American-themed menu and special pricing on
American beers. They also raffled off limited edition
NFL jerseys and footballs. At The Game Sports Bar,
external food trucks were hired to add to the stadium
atmosphere, barbecues were fired up for 'tailgating',
and burger specials were also on the menu.
At The Wharf Hotel, AFL Grand Final day is the
biggest day of the year, and Casey Andison, marketing
and promotions manager, ensures that the hotel takes
full advantage of the event. “We’re pretty lucky –
we have an option to extend our trading area to an
open-air space right on the river just below where
The most popular sports
to watch in Australia are
AFL (7.8m viewers),
cricket (7.4m viewers),
and tennis (6.8m
66% of sports lovers seek
out news about
While 96% of fans watch
sport on TV, 62% also
watch some online, and
41% of fans also watch
sport on their
Australians spend on
average 1.6 hours per
week consuming sport
news and clips via social
SPORTING MATCHES ARE GENERALLY DAYS WHERE YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO TOO MUCH TO GET A DECENT CROWD
IN YOUR VENUE. BUT ACTIVATE THESE DAYS PROPERLY AND YOU CAN GET THE SPORTS FANS COMING BACK
REPEATEDLY, STAYING LONGER AND SPENDING MORE.
Private booths are available
at The Game Sports Bar
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