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Buffalo Wild Wings attracts college football bowl fans with mobile game

Buffalo Wild Wings is attracting college football bowl fans and aiming to drive traffic to restaurants with its GameBreak gaming platform, available on mobile devices and on tablets in restaurants, that currently features the Million Dollar Pick’Em Challenge.

Sponsored by Dr Pepper, the Challenge entices guests to use GameBreak in restaurants and on their smartphones to correctly predict the winners of all college football bowl games this season. The restaurant chain is hoping to drive more downloads of its mobile application, increase traffic to restaurants and reward winners of its gaming contests with gift cards, merchandise and trips to major events.

“Buffalo Wild Wings has been very pleased with the adoption of our GameBreak platform, particularly through the mobile application,” said Eric Strey, director of sports programs for Buffalo Wild Wings, Minneapolis, Minn. “We are continuously working to optimize the mobile experience to bring an even better experience to our guests that use mobile as their primary point of engagement.

“Additionally, having the application on our in-restaurant tablets provides yet another way for guests to play all GameBreak games.”

Connecting with consumers
Buffalo Wild Wings launched its GameBreak mobile app in September in an effort to provide relevant content to guests of the sports bar and drive customer loyalty (see story). Consumers can play football-related games on tablets provided in bricks-and-mortar restaurants while they wait for their orders and can challenge other players on smartphone devices.

If a user correctly guesses all 39 college football bowl game winners, he or she is eligible to win a grand prize of $1,000,000. If no one picks all winners correctly, the guest with the greatest amount of accurate picks will receive $10,000.

For fans that may feel daunted at guessing winners of 39 season games, Buffalo Wild Wings is offering a game titled Gametime Pick’Em that asks guests to choose the winner of any upcoming bowl game. Available prizes include a $125 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card, Dr Pepper merchandise and B-Dubs prize packs.

“Mobile is a very effective communication channel for our guests and potential guests,” Mr. Strey said.  “We know they are digitally savvy and leverage technology in their daily lives.

“Recognizing this, integrated mobile engagements, as well as other technologies, like our in-restaurant tablets, is an important.”

Driving game attendance
Buffalo Wild Wings is also trying to drum up interest and attendance for its annual Citrus Bowl, a college football bowl game taking place at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium in Florida and sponsored by the chain. The 2015 game, which will be occurring on Jan. 1, will see the Minnesota Golden Gophers play the Missouri Tigers.

Guests can play GameBreak Live at an all-day event on Jan. 1 on restaurant tablets or personal mobile devices and compete to garner the most points. Users will earn triple points during the hours of the actual game, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

The player that earns the most points on the mobile game will receive a trip for four to the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, while players coming in 2nd through 75th place will win a $50 gift card to the restaurant.

Buffalo Wild Wings also offers a separate mobile app, B-Dubs, that features a store locator and allows for quick pick-up of food orders. Fans can select their favorite sports, beer or wings and submit their choices to a Buffalo Wild Wings leaderboard in their area.

“We’re leveraging GameBreak competitions, like the $1M Challenge, to extend the Buffalo Wild Wings experience beyond our restaurants, which drives guest loyalty, helping make Buffalo Wild Wings their first choice for dine-out occasions,” Mr. Strey said.

“We also will continue to offer GameBreak Live, our proprietary predictive sports trivia game that can only be played inside our restaurants.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York