The first time my mom went to Buffalo Wild Wings was during the NCAA Final Four Tournament, which happened to be in the first weekend. It was jam packed, and as usual my parents paid for everyone at the table. When the bill came my mom’s way, she looked at the check and blurted out “50 freakin’ wings.” Well, she used the other word, but we will leave it at that. It was a memorable moment, but not for the food, because it was the experience that we so much enjoyed. What was so special about this Buffalo Wild Wings place that we would end up frequenting various times together as a family in the future?
Buffalo Wild Wings, commonly referred to as B-DUBS, is widely known as a great destination for watching sports. It doesn’t matter when you go there, you will find sports on one of their many high definition televisions in the restaurant. Wait a minute, but I thought I started this post off by saying B-DUBS is known as a destination for watching sports? YES, you’re not crazy, or at least I can say you read that first part right. B-DUBS gathers their money from serving food and drinks to customers on the balance sheet, but what that sheet should really say is B-DUBS sells a great sports viewing environment to rabid sports fans that happen to also enjoy food and drinks on the side. I’m the first to admit, I love the wingies and potato wedgies at B-DUBS (probably part of the reason my waistline leaves those indents when I’m wearing tight jeans.) However, the main reason to choose B-DUBS is the atmosphere. This is something you need to think about in your business, but before I go further here’s a scenario for you to think about.
Scenario – I’m living in Dallas, but I traveled to Tyler (that’s in Texas too), and it’s 30 minutes until kickoff on a Sunday morning. My team is the Detroit Lions. I haven’t missed a snap all season, but I don’t know what place will have the game on. What’s the play? Do I go into every place I see to check if they have NFL Ticket until I find one that can meet my requirements? That could be forever in this little area of some backwoods town near Tyler that I don’t even know where I am. Instead of panicking, here’s the move. I whip out my iPhone and plug in Buffalo Wild Wings near me, and as soon as I do that it shows me the closest one 10 minutes away. Click that little pin on the phone and it takes me there. Well, this is a true scenario, not something I made up. I’m serious, I am a Detroit Lions fan.
How do you make this work for you? I purposefully plugged in Buffalo Wild Wings into my phone, because I knew they would be playing my game. Capturing the same customer loyalty through sports as B-DUBS does can happen for any company. Depending on the type of business you own, you may need to go at it a different way. Each industry can take advantage of the sports craze in different ways. Some efforts will be direct, such as the B-DUBS scenario of dedicating the televisions to sports events. We have all seen the commercials with Michael Jordan, capturing the allure of a customer having the chance to feel like their favorite superstar. Companies can partner with sports teams, and they aren’t limited to professional sports. The options are really limitless, as long as you are willing to be creative and understand what drives your customer. If you decide to use sports enthusiasm to your advantage, stick around, as I will be offering many suggestions on this site.
Your turn : I challenge you to write down 10 ways you can use the power of sports to your advantage, and then implement one at a time. When you implement them, find a way to track the progress to see which works best. As with sports, you will constantly be shifting your game plan to find the right mix towards the victory.
If you liked this post, or have anything to comment about, please feel free to leave a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject and any victories you may have had from heeding this advice.