By Andrew Starke

Today (Sep 9) sees the much anticipated kick-off of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand with publicans around Australia expecting big crowds for live games over the next six weeks.

Favourable kick-off times and the form of the Wallabies have created high expectations amongst local fans, especially in traditional rugby heartlands, and savvy venues have been quick to turn this into a marketing opportunity.

NLG Hotel Group general manager, Alistair Flower, said the pub operator had big plans for the event with its Willoughby Hotel an official Heineken RWC HQ live site.

The hotel will be showing every game live with its second level dedicated entirely to the tournament.

“We have strong ties within a number of local Rugby communities, all of which are reporting a real excitement for Friday’s Rugby World Cup kick off,” Flower told TheShout.

“The recent form of the Wallabies, coupled with the ideal game times hint to strong, in-venue support, for World Cup games.”

The mounting interest in the Rugby World Cup has been evident throughout the TriNations series with FOX SPORTS Venues experiencing record audience numbers in recent weeks.

Director of Chalk Hotel in Brisbane, Jason Titman, said the rugby showpiece was a great opportunity for the industry to showcase itself and get punters back out spending.

“There is no doubt it is very important to create a real hype around watching World Cup games in the venue to get the atmosphere,” he said.

“At Chalk we are working with Diageo to really capitalise on the money Bundaberg Rum has previously invested in rugby and we are working with CUB on pushing their beers.

“There is some in-venue promotions happening around supplier products and we are doing up promotional material to drive trade on-premise.”

Sydney’s Merivale Group will have premium sports bar, York 75, and traditional pub, The Royal George, heading its World Cup campaign.

York 75 boasts 20 screens, including two 3D screens, in-house sports betting and a TAB, booth seating fitted with private LCD screens and a full wait service.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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