Scotland are on the up, England are beating all-comers, Wales are fresh from victory over South Africa and Ireland had a cracking autumn.

The French can beat anyone on their day and Italy, well, Italy will be looking to improve.

The fact is that at the start of the Six Nations, most teams will fancy their chances of a successful campaign.

Those dreams can be in tatters when St Patrick's Day rolls around.

The good news for pubs is, just like March 17, the tournament is a reliable driver of trade.

Like many things, it's something of a numbers game so here we take a look at the figures behind the Northern Hemisphere's annual try-fest.

 

The pubby numbers...

 

40% - The sales increase recorded at Star Pubs & Bars outlets on Six Nations weekends last season compared to similar weekends without rugby. Jerry Shedden, Heineken on-trade marketing director, says: "The opportunity big sporting occasions bring for pub and bar operators is clear when you look at the sales uplifts achieved during the Six Nations."

 

£700 – The incremental spend pubs receive on Six Nations days, according to research by sports pub finder MatchPint and beer flow monitors Vianet.

 

6,000 – Guinness activation kits produced to help pubs make the most of last year's tournament. More of the same will be delivered this year as the brand enters its fourth year sponsoring the tournament.

 

15mins – The average length of time longer than football fans that rugby fans stay in the pub for, according to MatchPint.

 

12 per cent – That's how much more, on average, rugby fans spend pet visit to the pub compared to their round ball counterparts. MatchPint founder Dominic Collingwood says: "Whereas football fans have to reach out each week to find mates in tow, there are only a handful of big rugby games a year so fans tend to make the occasion more of an event. Advertising rugby packages - such as lunch and three pints for £20, or taking table bookings is a simple but effective way of serving this desire."

 

160,000 – The number of pints sold at Twickenham the last time England hosted Ireland, roughly two per head for every man, woman and child (though the latter probably didn't quite manage two full ones).

 

 

 

And some rugby ones...

37 – Tournament wins by Wales – more than any other nation
18 – The amount of times England have played Italy
0 – That's how many times Italy have beaten England
9 – Tries for Shane Williams against Scotland in the Six Nations – more than any other Welshman
51 – Wins for France against Ireland. The Irish have won 30 times.

 

Six Nations Fixtures

Round 1

Feb 3 Wales v Scotland, 2.15pm
Feb 3 France v Ireland, 4.45pm
Feb 4 Italy v England, 3pm

Round 2

Feb 10 Ireland v Italy, 2.15pm
Feb 10 England v Wales, 4.45pm
Feb 11 Scotland v France, 3pm

Round 3

Feb 23 France v Italy, 8pm
Feb 24 Ireland v Wales, 2.15pm
Feb 24 Scotland v England, 4.45pm

Round 4

March 10 Ireland v Scotland, 2.15pm
March 10 France v England, 4.45pm
March 11 Wales v Italy, 3pm

Round 5

March 17 Italy v Scotland, 12.30pm
March 17 England v Ireland, 2.45pm
March 17 Wales v France, 5pm

Fixtures are on all on BBC or ITV

 

 

Tips on driving big rugby match sales

  • Get your staffing right – no one wants to wait at the bar for hours on end at half-time.
  • Draught beer is your advantage over the at-home experience – nothing beats a perfect pint and if you offer this consistently, your customers will return time and time again.
  • Forget food at your peril – create match day food & drink deals and make sure the chef is prepared.
  • Social awareness – run competitions on your social channels before matches to raise awareness about what you are doing
  • Keep it lively - Pre and after match entertainment, such as live bands will keep your crowds in for longer at both ends of the day

Tips provided by Heineken and Sky