- For its March Madness sponsorship, Wendy’s is launching an interactive bracket on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, encouraging fans to pick Wendy’s #TeamFresh and download the fast food chain’s app to receive exclusive offers throughout the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, according to a news release made available to Marketing Dive. The fast food chain announced the campaign with a Twitter video resembling a sports broadcast report and urging fans to tweet #TeamFresh or #TeamFrozen.
- Wendy’s is also partnering with sportswear designer Don C. to launch a streetwear collaboration, which fans can win through social media giveaways and at local shops during regional tournaments and during Final Four weekend in San Antonio, TX.
- The Wendy’s Food Truck will be serving free burgers, challenging fans to interactive basketball games and offering the chance to win Don C items and receive other offers through the company’s app. The truck will make stops at various locations, including Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN, Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and at Final Four Fest at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and March Madness Music Festival in San Antonio, TX.
Wendy's is using its March Madness sponsorship to ramp up its mobile strategy through the campaign’s in-app offers and contests, as it attempts to compete with other fast food chains and customers’ growing preference for online ordering. The chain has started testing offers and a loyalty program through its app that will help the company gather data about customers’ ordering habits to drive the development of more personalized offers, Adweek reports. Forty percent of consumers prefer to order food online, and they tend to spend 26% more than they would in-store, according to a Deloitte Digital study. Most people, 80%, also wanted to receive discounts and offers, and 34% wanted personalized messages from fast food apps.
Wendy’s will also likely generate plenty of social media chatter with its March Madness bracket and streetwear collection, not to mention its ongoing efforts to call out its competitors for their use of frozen meat. The subject of freshness also continues to play a big role in Wendy’s marketing, as the latest campaign features what the brand is calling the “Easiest Bracket Ever” that only offers two choices: fresh beef versus frozen beef. Wendy’s frequently turns to social media to tout its commitment to fresh products and has been known to create a stir on Twitter by calling out its competitors’ use of frozen meat. Earlier this month, Wendy’s celebrated #NationalFrozenFoodDay with the tweet, “Hey, @McDonalds, heard the news. Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay to you for all the frozen beef that’s sticking around in your cheeseburgers.”
Wendy’s isn’t the only restaurant chain creating specialty merchandise surrounding March Madness. Pizza Hut recently debuted a second iteration of its Pie Tops sneakers that allow users to order pizzas by pressing a button on the shoe that connects to the restaurant’s app. This year, the shoes have the added feature of letting people pause live TV. A number of brands have started offering limited-edition apparel offerings for loyalists, including KFC and Cheetos.