By Barry Janoff
March 6, 2015: Buffalo Wild Wings, a national NCAA partner and the designated "official hangout of NCAA March Madness," is unveiling a multi-layered campaign, "#WingWisdom," which it said "brings to life the company’s unique take on sports, food, fandom and everything in between."
The effort launches to support college hoops regional tournament championship games now through March 15, Selection Sunday on March 15 and the 2015 Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, which begins with the First Four first round on March 17-18 and concludes with the Final Four April 4-6.
"#WingWisdom" includes TV, Internet, social media, in-restaurant activations and on-site experiences in Indianapolis, where the Final Four and Championship Game will be played in Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Nowhere is sports more alive than at Buffalo Wild Wings and we wanted to leverage one of the biggest events on the sports calendar to bring our brand to life in new and unexpected ways,” Bob Ruhland, vp-marketing for Buffalo Wild Wings, said in a statement.
An intro spot breaking March 7 on TV and online, “Pizza To Your Home,” and eight more "episodic" commercials launching throughout March Madness star actor/comedian Steve Rannazzisi. They will spotlight the "different experiences that fans encounter enjoying the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at a Buffalo Wild Wings versus watching from home."
#WingWisdom commercial themes include the proper way to fill out a tournament bracket, the NCAA Sweet 16, bandwagon fans, overtime and the finals.
Buffalo Wild Wings said it would extend the reach of the #WingWisdom conversation during the tournament via NCAA March Madness broadcast partners CBS Sports and TBS Sports with “Basketball Wisdom” studio segments during which on-air talent will "offer fans their expert analysis and insight related to upcoming games."
Online, Buffalo Wild Wings will launch a Tournament Tracker featuring a real-time feed of final game scores and schedules, commentary on games and social media content from fans.
In addition, the brand is creating a "socially shareable invitations" so that people can invite their friends to enjoy March Madness in Buffalo Wild Wings locations, with an interactive video offering tips and advice as to how they can “call in (not) sick.”
Within its restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings has developed a series of basketball-themed mini-games and a bracket challenge competition available through its GameBreak gaming platform "to test the skills and knowledge of NCAA basketball fans."
Throughout the tournament, customers in Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants can compete on the GameBreak gaming platform to achieve “B-Dubs Baller” status by earning points through such virtual games such Shot Clock Shootout, Protect the Paint and 360 Spin Master. Participants will compete for over more than 1,000 prizes, including a “B-Dubs Baller Weekend” at the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston. (Details here.)
"This enables us to engage in relevant and meaningful conversations with fans, no matter where they view or talk about sports, with our own unique point of view.”
This new platform enables us to engage in relevant and meaningful conversations with fans, no matter where they view or talk about sports, with our own unique point of view.”During Final Four week and weekend in Indianapolis, Buffalo Wild Wings activation will include presence within its four area restaurants and in the Buffalo Wild Wings Sports Lounge at the NCAA March Madness Music Festival and the Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One.
Buffalo Wild Wings said that additional spots would air following the tournament "that put a spotlight on menu items, from wings to beer that guests can enjoy every day at B-Dubs."
According to Ruhland, “’#WingWisdom’ represents our attitude, philosophy and brand. This new platform enables us to engage in relevant and meaningful conversations with fans, no matter where they view or talk about sports, with our own unique point of view.”
NCAA marketing partners include Corporate Champions AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola; and Corporate Partners Allstate, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Burger King, Enterprise, Infiniti, Kindle Fire, Lowe's, LG, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Reese's, Unilever and UPS.
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