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On your marks… How to make the most of sporting events

Big sporting occasions offer big opportunities for food and drink retailers to score.


Whether it be a planned night-in watching alone or with family and friends, sporting events often turn into special occasions. And that’s great news for retailers – especially those with a game plan.

There are some big sporting events on the horizon including the UEFA Champions' League, Wimbledon, the Tour de France, British & Monaco Grand Prix and of course the Football World Cup - something to suit all tastes and sporting preferences.

Research1 shows that because of price perception and ranging, most shoppers choose supermarkets when buying for events like this, but independent retailers can do a lot to increase their share…

Partners for Growth RAP member Mandeep Singh of Singh’s Premier in Sheffield, says:

“Promotions based around a sporting event are a brilliant way to create excitement in store. Big sporting events bring people together – families, groups of friends and couples, so the right products and the right themed offer can really boost sales.

Flagging your promotions up on social media is essential though. We offer a prize draw if people like, share and comment on our posts and this really works well to spread the word and bring customers in.”


1. Keep key categories well stocked

Buying habits change slightly depending on the sport, but some categories – crisps, beer, soft drinks, hot drinks, pizza and ice cream – are popular across the board. You need to ensure that you always have the bestsellers available. Other categories you need to keep topped up are bagged snacks, such as nuts and popcorn, confectionery and other alcoholic drinks, particularly wine and cider.
 

2. Increase your range

Bring in new flavours or products within the key categories. 59% shoppers surveyed said range was their reason for shopping at supermarkets rather than c-stores for sporting event-related items.
 

3. Run special promotions

Introduce some cut-price bargains to tempt your customers. 71% of shoppers say price is key to their purchase decision - multi-buys and cross category merchandising are a great idea, as most people will be watching these events in groups.
 

4. Shout about the promotions

Use promotional material outside your shop to lure shoppers in and flag up special offers clearly in store. Around 46% of shoppers reckon promotions would influence them to buy – so make sure they know about your deals.
 

5. Create theatre instore

Build the excitement and encourage extra sales with high-profile in-store displays. Sampling sessions of event-associated products could also be a great way to prompt purchase.

Outside and in-store communications play a key role in maximising sales during events so start planning to ensure success.

 

1 him! Bitesize Insight: Preparing for sporting events