What to Watch: Fall & Winter Sports
Can you believe that we’re already into September? Time is flying, and it’s bringing us fall and winter sports. College football, professional football, professional basketball, professional hockey, the Major League Baseball playoffs… It’s an exciting time that presents ample opportunity for marketing, promotions, and packing your bar full of sports fans of all kinds.
While NCAA football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, and MLB are the first sports that come to mind for many Americans, there are several sports out there with big followings. Become the home for these sports, provide a social space for these fans to enjoy their matches, and you’ll not only create customer loyalty, you’ll leverage an additional revenue stream. Embracing soccer, rugby, cricket, various international baseball leagues, and other sports and games people love will give you the edge over your competition.
You’ll want to consult your cable or satellite TV provider to learn more about their sports packages and schedules, of course. But to get you started here’s a list of sports and their most recent champions. We probably don’t need to tell you but just in case, “football” means “soccer” outside of the US.
Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany. It just so happens to be the football league that boasts the highest average stadium attendance in the world.
Most recent champions: FC Bayern Munich
The National Rugby Championship, also known as the NRC and the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship, is Australia's national professional rugby union football competition.
Most recent champions: Brisbane City
Premier League is an English professional league for men's association football clubs. This league is the upper echelon of the English football league system due to it being England’s primary football competition.
Most recent champions: Leicester City FC (also known as The Foxes)
Primera División (also known as La Liga and La Liga Santander) is at the top of the Spanish football league system.
Most recent champions: FC Barcelona
Top 14 is a French rugby union club competition.
Most recent champions: Racing 92
The English Premiership (also known as Aviva Premiership Rugby), is comprised of 12 rugby clubs.
Most recent champions: Saracens FC
Here’s one basically all set for marketing and promotions: Guinness Pro12. Also known simply as Pro12, this is an annual rugby union competition made up of 12 professional clubs from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
Most recent champions: Connacht Rugby
NCAA Football. Who doesn’t love or at least appreciate college football?
Most recent Division 1-A champions: Alabama Crimson Tide
The NFL is back!
Most current champion: Denver Broncos
Just about all of us have at least attempted bowling. The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) has several events scheduled from now through November, including the Wolf Open on September 21 and the Bear Open on September 28.
An annual continental football club competition, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League is one of the most prestigious world tournaments, and the most prestigious club competition in Europe
Most recent champions: Real Madrid
Do you have guests interested in arm wrestling? Then the World Armwrestling League, also known as WAL, should be on your radar. The league not only features men and women competitors, it’s also split into left arm and right arm divisions. There are two events scheduled for September 16 and 24, and one on October 1.
Most recent champions: Travis Bagent, Heidi Cordner, Todd Hutchings, Tony Kitowski (who works for Anheuser-Busch), Devon Larratt, Niklas Nannestad, Fia Reisek, Felicia Rydstedt, Barbara Schlegel, and Nadia Wilczynski
The European Rugby Champions Cup is an annual rugby union tournament that’s organized by the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). This cup is the top competition for clubs from countries with national teams that compete in the Six Nations Championship.
Most recent champions: Saracens FC (that’s right – they’ve clinched the title in multiple tournaments)
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments operated by World Rugby. It features national sevens teams, a variant of the rugby union in which teams consist of 7 players who play 7-minute halves (rather than the usual 15 players who play 40-minute halves).
Most recent champions: Fiji (also the 2016 Summer Olympics gold medal winners)
Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (which was formerly known as Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico or LBPPR) is the main professional baseball league in Puerto Rico.
Most recent champions: Cangrejeros de Santurce
Major League Baseball regular season play is already underway. The MLB playoffs begin in October.
Most recent champions: Kansas City Royals
NBA regular season play starts on October 25 with the Cavs taking on the Knicks.
Most recent champions: Cleveland Cavaliers
Have Aussies and Kiwis in your bar? Then consider supporting the NBL, also known as the National Basketball League (NBL). It’s the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in Australia and New Zealand.
Most recent champions: Perth Wildcats
Have hockey fans among your guests? Then you can’t go wrong with NCAA Ice Hockey.
Most recent champions: North Dakota Fighting Hawks (men) and Minnesota Golden Gophers (women)
This season of the NHL is the 100th season of operation and 99th of play.
Most recent champions: Pittsburgh Penguins
Sheffield Shield is an Australian cricket competition contested by teams from the 6 states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia) of Australia.
Most recent champions: Victoria aka The Bushrangers (30 titles)
NCAA Division I Basketball starts on November 11.
Most recent champions: Villanova Wildcats