Buffalo Wild Wings among the first to catch March Madness

It’s time for March Madness — and Buffalo Wild Wings is trying to present itself as the “voice of authority” over all the basketball action.

With #WingWisdom, the chicken chain is now calling itself “B-Dubs,” inviting fans to its outlets to watch the games — and more. B-Dubs promises (threatens?) to touch on sports, food, fandom and “everything in between” across television, social and digital, as well as in-restaurant activations and on-site Final Four experiences.

“We view ourselves as the sports fans’ biggest fan and want to be known as a voice of authority among them,” Bob Ruhland, Buffalo Wild Wings’ vp of marketing, told Digiday. “To be genuine and authentic as such a voice and weave yourself into the fabric, you cannot just ambush events.”

The heart of the campaign  is the Tournament Tracker microsite developed by digital agency space150, a one-stop shop for all March Madness action. It will provide fans with a real-time feed of game scores and schedules, customer reaction GIFs to major moments, bespoke B-Dubs commentary on games and aggregated social media content from diners around the country.

The first TV spot debuted on Friday, highlighting the different experiences that fans encounter while they enjoying the NCAA tournament at a Buffalo Wild Wings as opposed to watching it from home. Another eight spots will run online and on TV throughout March with explainers on the proper way to fill out a tournament bracket and what the Sweet 16 is, for instance.

Buffalo Wild Wings is also extending the #WingWisdom conversation across its social channels. For example, an interactive video will provide tips and advice to show how fans can “call in (not) sick” so they can watch.

#WingWisdom is the first campaign from creative agency TBWA/Chiat/Day for Buffalo Wild Wings and is the latest in a series of initiatives that the company has recently undertaken to position itself as the “ultimate sports experience” destination. The brand is leveraging new technology in restaurants, rolling out innovative social campaigns, and partnering with key sports partners in pursuit of this goal. CBS Sports and TBS Sports will, for example, air “Basketball Wisdom” studio segments featuring the campaign hashtag #WingWisdom, in which fans can listen to expert analysis.

“Buffalo Wild Wings isn’t a traditional sports brand like an energy drink or a shoe company,” Rick Utzinger, creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day, told Digiday. “So while it is a challenge to make them an authority in the space, it isn’t impossible because the brand has always had sports in its DNA.”


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