Buffalo Wings & Rings

Audience Message Public Relations
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Empower: The Bill Belichick of Buffalo Wings?

Buffalo Wings & Rings (BW&R), a popular sports dining restaurant chain in the Greater Cincinnati area, successfully leveraged its partnership with the Cincinnati Bengals to create a memorable game-day tailgate experience, energize Bengals fans and make its signature wings top-of-mind to all tailgaters.

Because Empower’s findings concluded that BW&R needed a physical presence at Bengals tailgates to show, not tell, consumers how to improve their experience, Empower recommended an experiential-driven strategy amplified by influencer marketing and public relations to create BW&R’s first-ever “tailGREAT” activation by tapping Bengals legend Jim Breech.

With Bengals all-time leading scorer Jim Breech as its game-day spokesperson, BW&R crashed “sad” tailgates and surprised Bengals fans with a spread of fresh, hot and tailgate-ready food. TailGREAT activation days were strategically chosen on popular game days, with consideration given to timing, event flow and how to safely transport food to tailgates. Constant coordination with the brand and on-site team was necessary to execute such a logistically-heavy campaign.

Empower built awareness and anticipation for tailGREAT by pitching interviews with Breech to local radio, TV and print outlets, which secured coverage on the local FOX, NBC, CBS and iHeart affiliates.

Between two activations, the team crashed a total of eight tailgates and had sizeable presence at the ‘Jungle Zone’, a fan hotbed in the concourse outside Paul Brown Stadium. For the final activation, WLWT (NBC) followed the group to feature the campaign in a special airing before one of the biggest games of the season – the historic Bengals vs. Steelers rivalry.

The result:  Empower generated: 2,000+ social engagements per game day activation; 250K overall impressions; 1,400 emails for BW&R e-newsletter and generated $26,000+ in publicity value.

BW&R was so thrilled with the success of this campaign that it tasked Empower with creating a “tailGREAT Playbook” for implementation in other key markets and future NFL team sponsorships. But perhaps most importantly, BW&R awarded Empower its 2017 Marketing MVP Award at the restaurant’s end-of-season franchisee convention in June 2018

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