May 17th was the big fixture in every hospitality owner’s calendar. And while some pubs and venues have enjoyed a rather cold pre-season of terrace and beer garden service, it’s this date and move to allow pubs and bars to open at full capacity that is the real moment for businesses to start recouping the losses from a year that has hit hospitality hard.
It’s not the only big date that hospitality industry has been counting down to though as England prepare to play in this summer’s big football tournament, kicking off on June 11th. It’s no secret that England loves football and fans have been starved of the atmospheric match day experience for some time so the reopening of pubs is timed perfectly with the big return to international tournament.
The nation needs a reason to celebrate and escape the worries of the past year and what better way than cheering on Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and the rest of the squad as they compete to bring football home.
The value of an England run this summer for pubs and bars cannot be understated – England’s semi-final run in 2018’s big football tournament boosted the UK economy by 0.6% and the hospitality industry was a major beneficiary of that. Had England made it to the final, it’s predicted that figure would have reached £1.7 billion. It’s possible that opportunity is even greater this year as we come out of the lockdown restrictions and with the nation ready to spend big on celebrations.
Traditional sports pubs and bars have already seen sell out bookings for the key England matches – leaving the unprepared punters scrambling for options. For venues that do not typically have a sports offering or limited screens, there is a real opportunity to upgrade spaces with new technology to bring in these consumers for a piece of the trophy.
In the past, to be a sports venue you really had to invest and design the space fully for that purpose. But as innovation in projector technology has evolved to now offer picture quality on a par with screens, there are new options for landlords and business owners who want to dip their toe into offering sports entertainment without committing to big investment or changes from their core offering.
LED projectors are now available in Lazer 4k UHD – offering a vivid and sharp displays for football fans to catch all of the action. The clear benefit of projectors is that they are designed for portability, so provide a temporary way for owners to upgrade on match days without the need for big installations or changes to overall venue design.
The sports entertainment opportunity is not just for June and July – with a full summer of sport taking us through to big rugby competition in the autumn. That being said, it would be a bit of an own goal to miss out on the immediate opportunity. Especially as all live England matches will be played on terrestrial TV – so rather than a pricey sports pub package from commercial providers, owners just need to pay the government license fee of £159.
It’s impossible to predict the outcome of this summer’s tournament for England – but there’s one prediction we can make… Hospitality is ready for a much needed boom and the summer of sport is set to make it happen.
Credit: Eleanor McBryde, General Manager IT Solutions at LG Electronics (LG.com)