UPDATE: March 17, 2020: Buffalo Wild Wings canceled the BnB-Dubs promotion, a spokesperson confirmed to Marketing Dive. Parent company Inspire Brands has temporarily closed dining rooms and moved all company-owned Arby's, Jimmy John's, Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants to a "to-go only" model, according to a blog post.
- Buffalo Wild Wings is hosting an Airbnb-style sleepover inside its restaurant in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood for March Madness, the company announced via press release.
- Dubbed BnB-Dubs, the activation lets basketball fans enter to win a two-day stay at the location to watch the tournament's first 32 games, which take place over 48 hours. Entrants must share a video on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #bnbdubscontest that illustrates why they're the ultimate March Madness fan. Amenities include bunk beds, flat screen TVs, custom varsity jacket that doubles as a bathrobe and full-body towelettes.
- Buffalo Wild Wings is using the activation to introduce new brisket menu items and Everything Pretzel Knots. The effort's tagline is "You don't have to go home, and you can stay here." Submissions are open through March 12, and two winners will be announced on Selection Sunday, when the full bracket of the NCAA tournament is released.
March Madness is a major boon for sports bars and restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings. This year, the chain is again positioning itself as a destination for basketball fans to eat and drink as they tune in to the tournament. Hosting an exclusive two-day sleepover in one of its locations more directly connects the restaurant to the annual tournament and may drum up social media buzz for the chain as fans vie for a chance to temporarily live in a Buffalo Wild Wings.
By asking people to create and share videos explaining their tournament fandom, Buffalo Wild Wings is encouraging user-generated content that it can share to extend the basketball campaign's reach online with a dedicated hashtag. The effort's BnB-Dubs name is also a clever way to play off the popularity of Airbnb, which is popular with millennials seeking unique experiences.
March Madness boosts overall restaurant sales 2.4% across the country, and a hometown team can increase sales 9.4% during the games, Restaurant Business reported. Buffalo Wild Wings, known for its dozens of screens showing sporting events, appears to be doubling down on efforts surrounding the NCAA tournament this year. Last year, it created the "Jewel Stool" in recognition of the reported rise in vasectomies during March Madness, when an uptick of men schedule the procedures and doctor-ordered resting time to coincide with the games. The custom barstool featured a cooling system built into the seat and was available at locations in Times Square and Los Angeles.
Buffalo Wild Wings' cheeky campaign follows other brands that have employed sleepover experiences to more directly engage consumers as demand for experiential events climbs. A Taco Bell pop-up hotel in Palm Springs, California, decked out with branded wallpaper, artwork and special breakfast offerings, sold out in two minutes. Jim Beam listed its American Stillhouse in Kentucky for overnight stays, appealing to fans who want to learn the history of the bourbon in a hands-on manner, and Oscar Mayer's iconic Wienermobile was listed on Airbnb in Chicago to coincide with the 2019 Lollapalooza music festival.