Partnership comes just as fantasy football season arrives

Buffalo Wild Wings Partners With DraftKings To Enter World Of Fantasy Football

Buffalo Wild Wings DraftKings

It already built itself up to be the go-to spot for fantasy football drafts and watch parties. Now, Buffalo Wild Wings is creating its own daily fantasy sports hub.

In a partnership announced by the restaurant chain Wednesday morning, Buffalo Wild Wings has teamed with DFS giant DraftKings to create a custom fantasy football game within each of the company’s 1,200-plus restaurants nationwide.

“As America’s largest sports bar, millions of fans spend their game days at Buffalo Wild Wings each week,” Paul Brown, CEO of BWW parent company Inspire Brands, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to partner with the industry leader in fantasy, DraftKings, to deliver an experience to our guests that they can’t get anywhere else.”

BWW + DraftKings = Blazin’ Fantasy Football

Earlier this month, Legal Sports Report reported that the two parties were closing in on a marketing partnership. Few details were available, but speculation about BWW becoming involved with legalized sports betting ramped up after a Gaming Today story detailed BWW’s interest in getting into the wagering industry.

Obviously, that is not what transpired. Still, the restaurant chain made a splash with Wednesday’s announcement.

With DraftKings now in its corner, beginning Sept. 9 and running through the NFL regular-season finale Dec. 30, Buffalo Wild Wings will host Blazin’ Fantasy Football on restaurant properties throughout the country.

A custom-built contest, Blazin’ Fantasy Football will be available for restaurant patrons on Buffalo Wild Wings’ Blazin’ Rewards mobile app. The contest will be free to enter each week and will offer a variety of ways in which to win prizes, which include free wings for a year, BWW gift cards, and Blazin’ Rewards points, among others. Each week, 600 players will win prizes.

“We are excited to partner with Buffalo Wild Wings to offer sports fans a unique, in-store fantasy product this football season,” DraftKings chief business offers Ezra Kucharz said in the release. “Our mission has always been to create innovative and exciting ways for fans to engage with their favorite sports and our Blazin’ Fantasy Football product is an excellent example.”

How the fantasy contest will work

A total of four contests will be held every Sunday at Buffalo Wild Wings locations: opening kickoffs of the 1 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET games and the start of the third quarters of those games.

Players will draft one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, defense/special teams, and a kicker. Additionally, each user can “double down” on a player, meaning that “Blazin’ Pick” player will accrue double the points accumulated.

On Thursdays, Buffalo Wild Wings will present the DraftKings’ Thursday Night Showdown contest, which will be available to all DraftKings players beginning Sept. 6. In these contests, players will have a shot at winning $10,000 in prizes.

But wait, there’s more…

Buffalo Wild Wings itself is doubling down on this partnership. While also rolling out specialty menus during the football season, the company is also unveiling a new advertising campaign: “Escape to Football.”

The four ad spots, which will begin running Thursday, depict BWW/sports fanatics escaping a variety of commitments in their lives to visit Buffalo Wild Wings.

“We’ve all been there – it’s game day and we’re stranded somewhere, instead of watching the game live. It’s a painful, almost helpless feeling for any true fan,” Buffalo Wild Wings chief marketing officer Seth Freeman said in the release. “The new creative celebrates the reality that a game should be enjoyed with friends, surrounded by TVs, great food and cold beer.”

For Buffalo Wild Wings, Wednesday’s announcement offers an avenue into the DFS world. For DraftKings, with DraftKings Sportsbook closing in on its first full month of mobile NJ sports betting, it is just another feather in the cap.

Grant Lucas
- Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.