Restaurants and pubs feel benefits of Rugby World Cup, Cardlytics data shows


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 1.6m 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)