Buffalo Wild Wings, a brand that has become synonymous with sports,
announced today that it has entered into a partnership with the NCAA.
The agreement designates Buffalo Wild Wings as the “Official Hangout of
March Madness” and includes marketing, media and activation rights
related to all 89 NCAA championships through 2016.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, the
company’s first major sports sponsorship, which was held Dec. 29 in
Tempe, Ariz. The NCAA relationship is another key affiliation for
Buffalo Wild Wings as it continues to integrate with sports that are
popular with its core customer base.
“Sports are part of Buffalo Wild Wings’ DNA,” said Kathy Benning,
Buffalo Wild Wings executive vice president of global brand and business
development. “As we continually strive to enhance the game-day
experience for sports fans in our restaurants, we are looking for ways
to align with top sports properties and deepen our engagement with our
Guests. Buffalo Wild Wings and the NCAA share a deep heritage in college
athletics, and this is an authentic way for us to connect with college
sports fans in markets across the country.”
“Buffalo Wild Wings is a prominent national brand with mass appeal that
resonates with our NCAA fan base,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice
president for championships and alliances. “We are eager to welcome them
to the NCAA family so they can activate around the NCAA championship.
When you visit a Buffalo Wild Wings, you can’t help but feel the
positive energy in the restaurants, especially when college sports fans
are viewing the many NCAA sporting events there. We look forward to that
same energy and enthusiasm to continue to support NCAA student-athletes
and their accomplishments.”
The sponsorship, sold through CBS Sports and Turner Sports, includes
media rights that will increase Buffalo Wild Wings game-day broadcast
presence over the next four years. The marketing rights provide
opportunities to create consumer promotions and interact with fans at
key NCAA events such as NCAA March Madness®, including the NCAA Men’s
Final Four® and National Championship, historically top drivers to
Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants. Specific program details will be
announced as they roll out to Buffalo Wild Wings Guests.
“College sports fans are some of the most passionate fans out there,”
Benning said. “The NCAA partnership will open new doors for us to fuel
that passion and introduce new fans to the Buffalo Wild Wings
“As a brand devoted to connecting with customers through sports
affinity, Buffalo Wild Wings is a natural addition to the portfolio of
NCAA Corporate Partners,” said Will Funk, senior vice president of NCAA
Partnerships and Branded Programming within Turner Sports. “We look
forward to building on their commitment to sports marketing and the
opportunity to develop NCAA-themed creative and marketing activations
across all 89 NCAA Championships to drive increased restaurant traffic
“Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the largest and most popular casual dining
restaurant and sports viewing destinations in the country,” said Chris
Simko, senior vice president, CBS Sports Sales and Marketing. “They
promote an atmosphere of fun and fellowship for college sports fans in
communities in virtually all 50 states, uniquely qualifying their
restaurants to serve as the ‘Official Hangout of March Madness’.”
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and
universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities
for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member
colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes
compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org
for more details about the Association, its goals and members and
corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.
The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official
Corporate Champions—AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola—and the following
elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Allstate, Buffalo Wild
Wings, Buick, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe’s, Nabisco, Northwestern
Mutual, Reese’s (Hershey’s), Unilever and UPS.
About Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc., founded in 1982 and headquartered in
Minneapolis, is a growing owner, operator and franchisor of Buffalo Wild
Wings® restaurants featuring a variety of boldly flavored, made-to-order
menu items including its namesake Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings.
The Buffalo Wild Wings menu specializes in 20 mouth-watering signature
sauces and seasonings with flavor sensations ranging from Sweet BBQ™ to
Blazin’®. Guests enjoy a welcoming neighborhood atmosphere that includes
an extensive multi-media system for watching their favorite sporting
events. Buffalo Wild Wings is the recipient of hundreds of "Best Wings"
and "Best Sports Bar" awards from across the country. There are
currently nearly 900 Buffalo Wild Wings locations across 49 states in
the United States, as well as in Canada.
To stay up-to-date on all the latest events and offers for sports fans
and wing lovers, like Buffalo Wild Wings on Facebook,
on Twitter and visit www.BuffaloWildWings.com.
NCAA, Final Four and March Madness are trademarks of the National
Collegiate Athletic Association.