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Buffalo Wild Wings boosts in-store traffic with fantasy football augmented reality app

Buffalo Wild Wings is releasing a mobile application that includes an augmented reality feature that only works in-store and is aimed at driving consumers to restaurants during fantasy football season.

The Big Kick Challenge app will run from September 2 through November 24. Fans can play the game in practice mode from any location, but they can only access the augmented reality version and compete for prizes in-store.

“The idea is great, coming up with an interactive game in which fellow patrons can compete with each other is a great idea,” said John D. Fauller, chief operating officer of Snipp, Washington.

“The existence of bar trivia proves that people like to be entertained, and in general, the idea of creating a mobile-based gaming experience in bars is a great one,” he said.

“However, in this case, I think the implementation isn’t as good as it could have been. It looks like they have repackaged their Big Shot March Madness app for football and it isn’t the kind of thing people would play more than once.”

Mr. Fauller is not associated with Buffalo Wild Wings. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Buffalo Wild Wings did not respond to press inquiries.

Fantasy football
Buffalo Wild Wings is rolling out this new app in conjunction with a celebration of the start of fantasy football season. The restaurant is partnering with Yahoo to create Fantasy Football National Draft Day on August 24.

As a part of the celebration, Buffalo Wild Wings is encouraging fans to host draft parties at the company’s restaurants.

Once in-store, fans can also win tickets to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Game on December 28 in Tempe, AZ by engaging with the Big Kick Challenge.

The Big Shot 2.0 augmented reality football kicking game transforms the restaurant’s tables into uprights and lets fans flick and kick from afar.

Anyone can download the app and play a practice version of the game, but users have to be in the restaurant to actually access the full version and compete for prizes.

A leaderboard will keep track of top scores, and weekly winners will get Buffalo Wild Wings gift cards. The grand prize winners will get tickets to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

By only offering the augmented reality feature in restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings creates an incentive for fans to actually come in the store to drive foot traffic. Once fans are in the store, they will more likely to purchase food and beverages.

Mobile wings
It is not surprising that Buffalo Wild Wings is including mobile in its newest campaign.

For NCAA’s March Madness, Buffalo Wild Wings rolled out a campaign and app similar to the Big Kick Challenge. Instead of kicking footballs, the app let fans shoot a basketball, and when in-store fans could access the augmented reality version and win tickets to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Arlington, Texas (see story).

Buffalo Wild Wings also rolled out another game during the 2012-2013 football season which accumulated more than 200,000 users and an average play time of 90 seconds per session. The game also yielded 27,000 Facebook shares (see story).

“Sports are a huge usage driver for mobile, and the Buffalo Wild Wings has a high affinity with sports,” Mr. Fauller said. “This can be a really creative solution that brings patrons together at the establishment and provides excitement while there.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York