Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Buffalo Wild Wings revs up sports fans via app, SMS

The Buffalo Wild Wings mobile app

Fast casual restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings is continuing to build its mobile presence with a multichannel digital strategy aimed at March Madness fans.

The Buffalo Wild Wings “More March” campaign includes a text-to-win promotion and a mobile app. The restaurant is also integrating social media, Web, television and radio in the campaign’s marketing mix.

“Because we are a guest-driven company, as our guests have become more mobile, so have we,” said Kathy Benning, executive vice president of global brand and business development at Buffalo Wild Wings, Minneapolis, MN.

“Both the app, which allows guests to pledge their devotion to a favorite team, beer or sauce, and our text-to-win campaign captures the competitive spirit that thrives at Buffalo Wild Wings,” she said.

Buffalo Wild Wings operates 825 restaurants in 47 states in the United States that is known for its New York-style chicken wings.

Fast fingers
To participate in the text promotions, users can visit Buffalo Wild Wings locations through April 2.

Each day, users can text keywords that are promoted in-stores on Coke Zero products to the campaign-specific short code 26739.

Consumers can also enter via a Web site at to sign up to be sent text alerts.

One grand prize user will win a trip for two to the 2013 NCAA Final Four game in Atlanta with airfare,

Users are limited to one entry per day either via the Web site or SMS.

Buffalo Wild Wings has also rolled out a mobile application for iPhone and Android devices in conjunction with the line of digital pushes.

Consumers can download the app to find the nearest location. The app also features a click-to-call function, directions and a map.

Users can also view the menu for individual restaurants via the app and can use a tab to create their perfect combo with their favorite wings, beer and sports team.

Mobile fans
Buffalo Wild Wings has centered its mobile strategy around driving consumers to store locations, both of which the SMS program and app help with.

Although the mobile app does not include mobile ordering, it does show users where the nearest location is and helps increase foot traffic to the stores.

Additionally, the SMS program only works while a consumer is at a Buffalo Wild Wings location, giving users a reason to come back.

For a fast-casual restaurant such as Buffalo Wild Wings that is likely to have repeat customers, mobile is a natural way for the company to interact with diners.

Most recently, Buffalo Wild Wings also began offering gift cards that let users buy gift cards via their handsets (see story).

“Sports and fast-casual dining is a win-win,” said Ben Davis, CEO of Phizzle, San Francisco.

“When fans gather to watch sporting events, it is a social event, so mobile is a natural fit,” he said.

“From a brand-equity position, restaurants can take it a step further to give users an incentive, such as redeeming a coupon.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York