Buffalo Wild Wings Renews NCAA® Sponsorship
B-Dubs Also Becomes “Hangout” for 23 Schools through Partnerships with IMG & Learfield
MINNEAPOLIS – Buffalo Wild Wings®, Inc. announced today that it has renewed its partnership with the NCAA. An Official NCAA Corporate Partner since 2013, the renewal designates Buffalo Wild Wings as the “Official Hangout for NCAA Sports,” spanning NCAA March Madness®, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four® and all individual Championships, and includes marketing, media and activation rights surrounding all 90 NCAA Championships. Buffalo Wild Wings’ partnership with the NCAA is through a joint agreement with Turner Sports and CBS Sports.
To further cement its position as the “official hangout” for collegiate sports fans, Buffalo Wild Wings is sponsoring 23 colleges and universities through partnerships with Learfield and IMG, which include University of Michigan, Duke University, University of Alabama and University of North Carolina, among others.
“Buffalo Wild Wings’ heritage is deeply rooted in collegiate athletics and our relationships with the NCAA and 23 schools offer even more opportunities to connect with college sports fans in our restaurants, on television and across digital and social platforms,” said Sally Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Buffalo Wild Wings. “With rights across all NCAA Championships, we’re able to offer our fans the ultimate game-day experience, no matter their favorite college sport or team.”
The NCAA sponsorship includes media rights to help extend Buffalo Wild Wings’ presence across NCAA and Championship broadcasts, on-site exposure at all Championships and NCAA-related events, and marketing rights surrounding NCAA March Madness, NCAA Men’s Final Four, NCAA Men’s College World Series® and other National Championships. Buffalo Wild Wings will also create various promotions and ticket giveaways that allow its more than 1,100 restaurants in the United States to bring college sports to life for fans in local markets.
The renewal also enables Buffalo Wild Wings to leverage its partnership locally when the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four takes place in Minneapolis, MN.
“We’re extremely pleased that Buffalo Wild Wings has decided to renew its NCAA Corporate Partner sponsorship and will continue supporting NCAA student-athletes academically and athletically,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president for championships and alliances. “Buffalo Wild Wings is certainly a favorite establishment for college sports fans, thus earning it the title of Official Hangout of NCAA Sports. They’ve created great fan interactives at our NCAA championships and we look forward to working with them in the years to come.”
Learfield & IMG Partnerships
As part of its relationship with IMG, Buffalo Wild Wings is partnering with 11 schools including UCLA, University of Connecticut, Duke University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Kansas, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska, Rutgers University, University of Texas and University of Washington.
Through Learfield, Buffalo Wild Wings serves as the “Official Hangout” of 12 schools including University of Alabama, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Louisville, University of Miami, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, Oregon State University, Texas A&M University and University of Wisconsin.
The 23 school partnerships provide Buffalo Wild Wings with a variety of marketing rights including access to in-venue branding, radio spots, digital exposure and unique promotional opportunities for fans.
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 21 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 more than 1,195 Buffalo Wild Wings locations across the world.
To stay up-to-date on all the latest events and offers for sports fans and wing lovers, follow Buffalo Wild Wings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and visit www.BuffaloWildWings.com.
The NCAA® is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 480,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 56,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA® championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com 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, Bing (Microsoft), Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick (General Motors), Enterprise, Fire (Amazon), Infiniti, LG, Lowe’s, Nabisco (Mondelez), Northwestern Mutual, Reese’s (Hershey’s) and Unilever.
NCAA, Final Four, March Madness and College World Series are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. It manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for 120 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.