Inside Buffalo Wild Wings’ Super Bowl Plans


*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

The Super Bowl is used in a variety of different ways by brands looking to capitalize on the attention surrounding the game.

One of the brands known to do this well is Buffalo Wild Wings. Although not an official sponsor of the game, the sports bar chain is always looking to get in on the action.

From a nationwide offering to a partnership with former NFL punter Pat McAfee, we caught up with Seth Freeman, Chief Marketing Officer for Buffalo Wild Wings, to see why moments like these are important for the brand to capitalize on and how sports betting plays a role in everything this year.

On the importance of relevance…

“It’s important that Buffalo Wild Wings is a part of the conversation for every major sporting event, and it goes without saying how big this specific day is for us from a sales and traffic standpoint – being the single biggest by those metrics. But even more so, as America’s largest sports bar, it’s an essential platform for us to be top of mind with consumers, which is why we upped the ante with a potential ‘free wings for America’ gamble. Based on the equity the brand has built in overtime over the years and given the number of overtime games we’ve seen all season, we knew this program would be the perfect fit.”

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On McAfee partnership and sports betting…

“There’s no question we’re uniquely positioned to capitalize on the popularity and legalization of sports gaming. We’re exploring a variety of ways in which we can leverage it to enhance the restaurant experience for our guests. We partnered with DraftKings last fall for a daily fantasy football game and we’re continuing to explore other opportunities as we evaluate next steps for the brand. The collaboration with Pat was born from a combination of his enthusiasm for Buffalo Wild Wings and fit for the Overtime – Free Wings program.”

On impact the new-look restaurants are having on the brand…

“The look and feel of our restaurants is a crucial part of our approach moving forward. We recently opened a handful of concept restaurants that sport a completely new design, including a more dominant bar, free-flowing and flexible seating areas, VIP spaces, stadium-like A/V technologies and a fully enclosed patio with roll-up doors and skylights. Taking our guests’ in-restaurant experience to the next level is a key priority for the brand and we think these updates will help us deliver on that goal.” 

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else.