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Buffalo Wild Wings debuts mobile game to drive NCAA March Madness excitement

Buffalo Wild Wings is ramping up its NCAA March Madness marketing strategy with a new ad campaign and mobile game.

According to the company, March has been one of Buffalo Wild Wings busiest times of the year. This year, the ad campaign, mobile and online game and a recently announced partnership with NCAA are all part of Buffalo Wild Wings? designation as ?The Official Hangout of NCAA March Madness.?

?The idea behind the app is to add another element to engage with our guests in our restaurants,? said Kathy Benning, executive vice president of global brand and business development at Buffalo Wild Wings.

?Because the app is activated in the restaurant, it?s a way to bring people in to Buffalo Wild Wings for the excitement of March Madness,? she said.

?We know our guests love competition and are all about games ? so we knew that this type of app would resonate with our gamer fans.?

Creating hype
Buffalo Wild Wings has rolled out an online and mobile pop-a-shot game that uses augmented reality technology, which enhances the game when users play it at the company?s restaurants.

Consumers can earn points each time they play based on shots made either on the mobile app or by visiting

A leaderboard will reflect the top 100 scores.

Each week, fans with the top 50 scores will receive a $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card.

At the end of the promotional period, April 7, one lucky customers with the most points will win a trip for four to the 2014 NCAA Men?s Final Four in Arlington, Texas.

?We?re getting the word out about Big Shot Challenge through traditional and social media as well as through in-restaurant signage,? Ms. Benning said.

?Our loyal Buffalo Circle members also received a direct email with the downloadable app included in the message,? she said. 

New campaign
As part of the company?s efforts to bolster its NCAA March Madness efforts, Buffalo Wild Wings has also developed two new advertising campaigns.

The 2013 Basketball campaign, debuting in the weeks leading up to Selection Sunday, taps into fans? desire to make game-time at Buffalo Wild Wings last as long as possible.

The campaign features guests sending the game into slow motion. Additionally, the other campaign adds games by extending the tournament to 256 teams ? both allowing for more wings, beer and sports at Buffalo Wild Wings.

?We?ve always been a guest-focused company and we know that mobile is really the way of the future and is where our guests live,? Ms. Benning said.

?We continue to look for ways to interact and engage with them and right now, mobile is a great way of doing just that,? she said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York