Fifty pubs around Britain will be renamed The Three Lions as part of Carlsberg's innovative 2016 Euros campaign, designed to support licensees by engaging with football followers of all types, from the fervent fanatics to those only lightly interested.
As part of its 'If Carlsberg Did… Substitutions' campaign, expect to see pubs called The Red Lion take a patriotic turn, with temporary pub signs on the outside and banners and POS on the inside. The official sponsor of the Euros for the eighth time, along with traditional advertising – POS kits and a succession of hoarding ads – Carlsberg's 2016 campaign sees a shift of media-usage, with digital hogging some of the budget previously devoted to television exposure.
Past experience shows that the Euros will add £60m into pub coffers, with 12m people likely to visit pubs over the month-long period, resulting in as much as a 60% increase in rate of sale on certain big matches, such as England vs Wales on 16 June.
But giant telly screens everywhere will not be right for everyone. When it comes to football, drinkers divide into four types, says Sarah Allaway, category development manager at Carlsberg and chief consumer analyst. On the 'win or die' side, there are the Fanatics and the Fans, for whom the football is everything, while those less interested but who still want to be involved in the moment split into Followers and Flirts, who want to join in the experience, but also appreciate other creature comforts, such as food and a comfy seat.
What's right for one pair won't suit the other, says Allaway. The intensity of a roomful of fervant fans glued to the screen is likely to alienate those who prefer to chatter, she says. And, while normal advice would be to zone your gaff to cater for both needs, the enormity of the Euros means this might not be either possible or sensible.
Instead, play to your strengths, flag clearly the course you are taking, and make the most of the pre- and post-match occasion, she advises. 'Remember that the match is only part of the day,' says Allaway. ‘Research shows that 35% of those watching will be going out for the whole day. They’ll want to keep the spirit alive after the match.'
Smartphones have changed the game landscape this year. 'The average football fan is likely to look at their smartphone 150 times a day,' says Darren Morris, Carlsberg marketing controller. 'Social media provides the new watercooler moment instantly rather than after the event'.
Howerver, instead of purely broadcasting information, Carlsberg's goal is to involve the fan as well as to share the moment. Carlsberg's online Premier Sports Club is being relaunched as a digital support tool with some exclusive content, and supporters will be able to vote for the official Carlsberg Man of the Match for each game.
For those not in the pub world, how can you ensure you don’t lose out? With matches scheduled at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm, there are opportunities both before and after. Stay in touch, make it clear what you offer, dial up the food offer, and react to the result, whether positive or negative, with your memorabilia, advises Allaway.