Buffalo Wild Wings pushes on-premise traffic in new March Madness campaign

The casual chain’s ad play, the first with its new creative agency, includes custom-built stools for NCAA basketball fans who’ve recently had vasectomies.
Photograph courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings, which hired its first CMO as well as a new creative agency last year, launched an aggressive ad campaign this week encouraging college basketball fans to watch NCAA March Madness games in the chain’s restaurants.

To that end, the 1,200-unit Buffalo Wild Wings chain is rolling out custom-designed stools at one unit in New York City and another in Los Angeles. The Jewel Stools are “an in-restaurant response to the spike in vasectomy procedures during the NCAA tournament, where thousands of men coordinate their doctor-ordered R&R to coincide with the biggest sports weekend of the year,” a company spokesman said.

The center of the barstools features a cooling apparatus for “numbing relief,” the company said, along with a chilled cup holder and light-up “Beer me” sign.

jewel stool features

Photograph courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings

Beyond the stools, the casual-dining brand is launching “That’s March Madness” TV spots and digital ads urging viewers to visit the restaurants to watch the tournament.

“Man caves and technology have divided us, conquered us and allowed a part of our herd to be divided,” Scot Crooker, associate creative director at The Martin Agency, Buffalo Wild Wings’ advertising agency, said in a statement. “Sports is about finding your tribe.” 

In August, Buffalo Wild Wings’ parent company, Inspire Brands, appointed Seth Freeman as the chain’s first chief marketing officer. Freeman previously oversaw global marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group brand Holiday Inn.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content

Emerging Brands

The race is on for a piece of the pickleball pie

New concepts seem to pop up daily. Here's a look at how the pickleball eatertainment landscape is taking shape.


Will Subway make Roark Capital too dominant? Not really

The Bottom Line: The addition of the sandwich giant will make Roark a bigger player than McDonald's in the U.S. But its position in the sandwich market will not be all that unusual.


Restaurants still look expensive, and consumers are reacting

The Bottom Line: Restaurants have stepped off the pricing gas. But sales are slowing and traffic is weak, and more operators are turning to price promotions.


More from our partners