By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com
December 16, 2013: Earlier this year, in anticipation of the college basketball men's and women's tournaments and related national interest, the NCAA added a marketing partner and official designation to its roster, signing a deal that made Buffalo Wild Wings the “official hangout of March Madness.”
The multi-year deal. which encompasses all 89 NCAA championships through 2016, enhanced and expanded Buffalo Wild Wing's already prominent presence in sports.
The Minneapolis-based franchise is in its second season as title sponsor for the college football Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Dec. 28 in Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz., between the Big Ten’s Michigan Wolverines and the Big 12’s Kansas State Wildcats, broadcast live on ESPN).
A "Team Up for Kids" initiative supports youth sports in underserved communities. Through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Buffalo Wild Wings has been "creating and enhancing flag and tackle football and cheerleading programs through grants that increase opportunities for kids to participate in team sports at Clubs across the country."
BWW unveiled this month that it was switching from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo as its soda supplier. The deal also extends to sibling brands such as Doritos and Mountain Dew, through which Buffalo Wild Wings plans to capitalize in its more than 975 locations on PepsiCo’s relationships with such major sports organizations as the NFL and MLB.
Buffalo Wild Wings' first go-round as the NCAA's "official hangout" for March Madness came with a multi-platform campaign that included TV, Internet, social media, a bracket app, and activation rights that BWW said would increase over the next four years. In addition, Buffalo Wild Wings said it would "create consumer promotions and interact with fans" at key NCAA events such as NCAA March Madness, including the NCAA Men’s Final Four and national championship, which the company cited as being "historically top drivers to Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants."
According to Kathy Benning, Buffalo Wild Wings evp-global brand and business development, “We love that we’ve become the destination for fans across the country to share in that excitement. With our social atmosphere and every game on our wall-to-wall flat screen TVs, Buffalo Wild Wings is the closest thing to the action on the court.”
Buffalo Wild Wings Signs As Official NCAA Partner
Buffalo Wild Wings Goes Wild Over Pepsi, Dortitos, NCAA, MLB, NFL