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Industry Updates

Buffalo Wild Wings and DraftKings Reach a Fantasy Football Deal

Buffalo Wild Wings and DraftKings have formed a partnership to run exclusive fantasy football games inside BWW restaurants beginning September 9th and running through the end of the regular season.

Additionally, Buffalo Wild Wings will be launching its first new advertising campaign since being acquired by the parent company of Arby’s in February. The advertising campaign will promote an “Escape to Football” theme with four humorous TV spots depicting people escaping boring situations to visit a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant for “Wings, beer, sports.”

Blazin’ Fantasy Football Games at Buffalo Wild Wings

In a press release issued today, Buffalo Wild Wings announced that it has formed a partnership with DraftKings to host a custom daily fantasy game called Blazin’ Fantasy Football available exclusively to Buffalo Wild Wings customers on Sundays during this year’s NFL regular season.

Games are free to play and will give players a chance to win a variety of prizes such as BWW gift cards, free wings for a year and more.

Four fantasy football contests will be held every Sunday for Buffalo Wild Wings customers. Two will be held for the 1 PM ET game and two will be held for the 4 PM ET game. Each contest will last for half the game and players will draft players for the following positions:

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RBs
  • 2 WRs
  • 1 TE
  • 1 Defense/Special Teams
  • 1 Kicker

Contestants will also designate one of their picks as their “Blazin’ Pick” choice to earn double the points in that game.

Buffalo Wild Wings will also be sponsoring the Thursday Night Showdown each week at DraftKings online. This contest is open to all DraftKings players and guarantees $10,000 in prize money.

New Buffalo Wild Wings Advertising Campaign

Starting tomorrow, you might start seeing some new Buffalo Wild Wings advertisements. A new “Escape to Football” advertising campaign consisting of four funny commercials.

Buffalo Wild Wings Chief Marketing Officer Seth Freeman offered a statement on the new campaign:

“We’ve all been there – it’s game day and we’re stranded somewhere, instead of watching the game live. It’s a painful, almost helpless feeling for any true fan. The new creative celebrates the reality that a game should be enjoyed with friends, surrounded by TVs, great food and cold beer.”

Is This the Start of a Comeback Story for Buffalo Wild Wings?

It’s no secret Buffalo Wild Wings has been struggling in recent years. Arby’s parent company Roark Capital Group completed its acquisition of BWW in February and is set on staging a comeback for the home of beer, wings and sports.

Today’s news offers some insight into at least one strategy Roark Capital will use to make that happen: by more closely integrating Buffalo Wild Wings with the American sports culture.

Forming a partnership with DraftKings is not the first hint we’ve seen of this strategy. Earlier this month, Buffalo Wild Wings confirmed it was actively exploring its options for adding sports betting to the menu.

The deal with DraftKings isn’t exactly a move into sports betting, but it is definitely a step in that direction. DraftKings itself has moved into sports betting in recent months after launching a sportsbook for customers in New Jersey and reaching deals with venues in West Virginia and New York pending regulatory/legal approval.

The deal could also pave the way for a deeper relationship between DraftKings and BWW down the line. When news of BWW’s interest in sports betting broke, a company spokesman told ESPN that they are considering potential sports betting partners.

Partnering with a company already licensed for sports betting (someone like DraftKings, perhaps?) would be the best path forward if Buffalo Wild Wings does pursue actual sports betting. Not only would a partner take care of the difficult and expensive licensing process, but it would provide the restaurant with the technology and know-how to run a chain of sportsbooks.

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