By Barry Janoff
December 12, 2013: Buffalo Wild Wings said today it would switch its soda supplier from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo, which includes Pepsi as the carbonated drink of choice but also extends to such siblings as Doritos, Fritos, Tostitos, Ruffles and beverages including Mountain Dew, Tropicana and Lipton.
Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings, which has some 975 locations nationwide, said it would tap into Pepsi's official alliances with the NFL and MLB to help bolster a sports-activated strategy that includes title sponsorship of the college football Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and an official partnership with the NCAA that includes hoops March Madness and all 89 championships overseen by the governing board of collegiate athletics.
The switch is set to take place in January 2014 and be completed by the spring, according to PepsiCo. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Buffalo Wild Wings and PepsiCo said they plan to "combine the power and excitement of their respective brands through joint marketing initiatives tied to sports and entertainment, opening the door to a wide range of new opportunities that will further enhance the Buffalo Wild Wings guest experience."
"Their NFL sponsorship and relationships with additional sports, entertainment and pop culture icons will enhance our guest experience in the future.”
Buffalo Wild Wings said that what also attracted them to PepsiCo was their extensive beverage and food portfolio.
"We see this as a very powerful partnership in several ways," Sally Smith, CEO for Buffalo Wild Wings, said in a statement. "For starters, we’ll be bringing dynamic beverage brands to our restaurants, including options that our guests have been asking for, like Mountain Dew. We were also drawn to the marketing and promotional strength a partnership with PepsiCo creates, as it aligns well with our guests. Their NFL sponsorship and relationships with additional sports, entertainment and pop culture icons will enhance our guest experience in the future.”
Buffalo Wild Wings is in the second year as title sponsor for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, scheduled for Dec. 28 in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.; and this year expanded its alliance with the NCAA by becoming an official partner and the "official hangout of March Madness,” which also includes marketing, media and activation rights related to all 89 NCAA championships through 2016.
According to Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO for PepsiCo, “This partnership between PepsiCo and Buffalo Wild Wings is a natural fit. We see tremendous opportunities to leverage PepsiCo’s diverse food and beverage portfolio in ways that benefit both companies through exciting new innovations, unique consumer engagement programs, and powerful brand activations tied to sports and entertainment . . . Buffalo Wild Wings [is] an impressive and growing company that has a bright future ahead.”
Buffalo Wild Wings In A March Madness Mood
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