Summer sport presents a host of opportunities for retailers who are on the ball. Lee Graham guides you to score more sales.

What should I do to appeal to sports fans?

Despite a lack of major sporting events this summer, there are still plenty of opportunities for retailers to use sport to drive sales.

“Big sporting events are always good news for the convenience sector, and this summer’s line-up of events is no exception,” says Clare Vintner, head of customer marketing at Molson Coors.

“Retailers can make the most of sport by getting their offers right, such as linking beers with crisps and other snacks on a multi-buy deal,” she adds.

Twenty-eight per cent of shoppers say they may buy a different brand if it’s on a multi-buy deal, and 35% say they will try a new brand if a deal makes it cheaper than their usual choice.

Angela Daulby, channel director of Kepak Convenience Foods,agrees that multi-buys are key. “When shoppers are planning an occasion, they’re looking to buy food and drink together,” she explains.

Food that is quick to prepare becomes more attractive when big sporting events take place, as consumers don’t want to spend time away from their guests or the TV screen.

Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, says: “Arranging a night in with family and friends to watch televised sporting occasions is becoming increasingly popular, and has created a significant opportunity for retailers to cater for groups socialising at home.”

Good shop layout is essential to driving sales ahead of a sporting event. “Retailers should make sure chilled alcohol is easy to find for busy shoppers that are stocking up before a big sporting event,” says Vintner.

You should make sure you use posters outside your store to promote sporting events, such as the Lions Tour or Wimbledon.

What brands are promoting sport this summer?

Brands running sporting campaigns include Evian, official water supplier to the Wimbledon Championships.

Last year, Evian launched WimbleWatch, an online round-up of events in which celebrities, bloggers and tennis fans commented on the previous day’s play.

Bryan Martins, marketing director at Danone Waters, says: “This year, we’ve set out to make the campaign bigger, with an investment of £1.9m to support marketing activity – so retailers are encouraged to stock up in preparation.”

Earlier this year, Monster Energy launched a new black grape flavour in partnership with Lewis Hamilton. “To support this, Monster Energy has brought back its Ride Along competition for the third successive year, offering a chance to win a track day with the star,” says Burgess. Retailers can promote the campaign and new flavour with PoS.

Meanwhile, Doom Bar from Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery, owned by Molson Coors, will be front-of-mind for rugby fans as it has become an official sponsor for the 2017 British and Irish Lions’ Tour to New Zealand.

Retailer view

“We do lots of displays for sporting occasions. You’ve got to understand what’s on at what time of the year. If there’s something hitting the TV, make sure you’re maximising your products; that’s the simple science of it. You don’t do it all the time because it gets too much, so you might just want to stick to what’s happening in the local area.

“Recently, Coventry City were in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley, so we worked with a supplier to take out an ad in the local press and push a featured product. That kind of thing really works.”

Paul Cheema, Malcolm’s Store (Nisa), Coventry