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Restaurants and pubs feel benefits of Rugby World Cup

6 minute read
Figures show that Rugby World Cup proved a boon for leisure and travel industries
Findings also highlight rugby fans’ most-loved brands


19 November 2015: Spending in the leisure industry increased significantly during the Rugby World Cup (RWC), new data released today has shown. Trains and cab services also benefited from the tournament, which was the most watched in World Cup history according to organisers.

Spending on restaurants and takeaways increased by 17% in the seven-week period during the RWC, compared with the previous seven weeks. Curry houses and Chinese restaurants led the way, with spending surging by 33% and 30% respectively.

Among rugby fans (measured as those either spending money on RWC tickets or merchandise, or with individual rugby clubs) there was an even greater increase (21%) in spending on restaurants and takeaways. Meanwhile spending in pubs, which does not include those specialising in food, leapt by 7% among rugby fans.

Rail services saw spend increase by 5%, while spending on taxi and chauffeur services increased by 15%. Rugby fans led the way with taxi and chauffer services, increasing their spend by 25%. Spending on the fashion industry saw a slight increase, rising by 4% in the period.

The findings come from Cardlytics, an advertising and technology company specialising in card-linked marketing, which has tracked the spending behaviour of 1.6 million banking customers to analyse shopping habits during the Rugby World Cup.

Jill Dougan, UK Managing Director of Cardlytics, said: “These findings show the impact big calendar events can have on consumer spending. With more people eating out and looking to spend money, there’s a huge opportunity for brands, particularly those that resonate with the event’s audience, to engage with customers.”

The findings also shed light on the brands loved by rugby fans:

  • In fashion, City suit shops were among the most popular stores for rugby fans:
  • Rugby fans are over 7x more likely to shop at Thomas Pink than the average shopper; over 5x more likely to shop at TM Lewin and more than 5x more likely to buy from Charles Tyrwhitt
  • Other fashion brands ranked highly include Gant (5x), Banana Republic (4x), Barbour (4x) and Jack Wills (4x)
  • Sports brands are also hugely popular among rugby fans. They are 22x more likely to shop at Canterbury of New Zealand and just under 9x more likely to spend at Under Armour
  • For grocery, rugby fans favour Waitrose, which is 3x more likely to receive custom from the group. Online and convenience is popular too, with Ocado (2.5x), Co-operative Food (2x) and Sainsbury’s Online (2x) also performing well.
  • When eating out, the likes of The Hawksmoor (6x) and Gaucho (5x) rank highly, followed by Cote and Browns (both 4x). Meanwhile, the West Cornwall Pasty Company leads the way among quick service restaurants (4x), followed by Crussh (4x).


*Cardlytics does not have access to any personally-identifiable information such as name, age, gender, address etc. All customer level data remains behind bank firewalls.

**Based on a sample displaying close-to-median spend and removing any socio-economic bias related to discretionary income

Notes to editors

The figures are based on the spending data of 1.6 million UK bank consumers. Spend was tracked during the seven-week period before and during the Rugby World Cup. Adjustments were made to the seven-week period before the Rugby World Cup to account for the change in spending patterns brought by the bank holiday.

Rugby fans are identified as those who have either spent money on Rugby World Cup tickets or made purchases in Rugby World Cup shops or with individual rugby clubs.

About Cardlytics

Cardlytics is an advertising & technology company and the leader and pioneer in Card-Linked Marketing. Through partnerships with nearly 400 financial institutions, including Bank of America, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and many others, the company has insight into consumer purchase behaviour, capturing spending across all stores and categories. Cardlytics’ patented technology allows advertisers to make a direct connection to millions of active buyers through multiple digital platforms, including their online banking and mobile banking applications. Cardlytics is headquartered in Atlanta, with offices in London, New York and San Francisco. The company is funded by leading investors in Boston and Silicon Valley, as well as a strategic investment from the world’s leading loyalty company, Aimia.

Media Contacts

Headland Consultancy

Tom James

+44 207 367 5240


Jessica Vallance

+44 207 367 5247

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