Review Fix chats with Eric Strey, director of sports programs for Buffalo Wild Wings who discusses the cool new trio of games at the restaurant chain that allows patrons to do everything from test their sports trivia knowledge and play fantasy football, at home, on their mobile devices and while at their tables.
Review Fix: How did the idea for these games come about?
Eric Strey: We know that our guests have a strong affinity for sports and competition. In 2013, we tested various fantasy sports and competitive engagement activations which provided very strong results, so we developed a strategy to build a feature-rich platform around these areas. GameBreak allows our guests to access a variety of fantasy-style and competitive sports games anytime, anywhere and on any device. It facilitates guest brand interaction in new ways, and extends the Buffalo Wild Wings experience beyond our restaurants while at the same time creating a more interactive, immersive sports experience for those guests who are in-restaurant.
Review Fix: How can quests play in the restaurant?
Strey: We want to make sure we are connecting our guests’ digital experience with their in-restaurant experience. GameBreak is a single sign-on, multi-platform gaming experience that allows consumers to play a wide range of fantasy-style and competitive sports games in restaurant via our tablets, and GameBreak Live is our exclusive in-restaurant game that tests sports knowledge by offering up questions on live sporting events in real-time. Guests can also play online (www.bdubsgamebreak.com) and via a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.
Review Fix: How important are these new games to the Buffalo Wild Wings experience?
Strey: Again, we are always working to take our “Ultimate Sports Experience” to the next level. GameBreak allows our guests to access a variety of fantasy-style and competitive sports games anytime, anywhere and on any device, wherever they want to compete.
Review Fix: How do they change the existing environment of the restaurant?
Strey: GameBreak will leverage other technology investments, like our in-restaurant tablets and B-Dubs TV Network, to create a completely unique in-restaurant experience. Elements of GameBreak are being designed so that our restaurants are the focal point of the experience – for example, GameBreak Live, our exclusive in-restaurant game – providing opportunities for our guests to actively engage with live sporting events in our restaurants vs. passively viewing content, which creates a more immersive and interactive sports experience. Additionally, GameBreak, and the GameBreak app, helps us personalize our guests’ experience through direct marketing and unlocking in-restaurant recognition, making guests the stars of the restaurants (i.e. digital leaderboards on TVs in restaurants, etc.).
Review Fix: Can you break down each game and tell us how they work?
Strey: GameBreak Live is an exclusive in-restaurant game that tests sports knowledge by offering up questions on live sporting events in real-time.
Meanwhile, Pro Football Salary Cap Challenge is a fantasy football-style weekly game where users are challenged to create a roster of eight pro football players within a predetermined virtual budget and Pro Football Pick’em Challenge is a traditional pick-em game designed to test a user’s skill in correctly selecting the winner of each pro football weekly match-up.
Review Fix: Who do you think will enjoy these games the most?
Strey: Our strategy is to offer games that have a wide range of appeal – from novices to fantasy sports aficionados – all in a consistent and cohesive experience.
Review Fix: Are there any talks on extending these games into other sports for an all-year type of experience?
Strey: GameBreak is a year-round engagement platform for us that happens to launch with the start of the football season. Additional games tied to different sports and sporting events are slated to be rolled out in the coming months. In the future, we’ll be looking at games tied to NCAA football and basketball, golf, baseball, etc., as well as daily fantasy games, which are the fastest growing segment of the fantasy sports industry.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the Mobile Apps? What are you looking to really accomplish?
Strey: The GameBreak app is an important component to the platform strategy. With the design of the app, we are able to authenticate when a guest is in our restaurant, and make available certain games, content and experiences that you will only be able to get in a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. Additionally, through the app, we can leverage other technology investments to create a more personalized experience for our guests – like digital leaderboards – and make GameBreak more accessible via our in-restaurant tablets later this fall.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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