TNL Esports Brand Tracker 107: Wendy's

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 107: WENDY'S

TNL Brand Tracker 107: Wendy's and EA Madden NFL (Photo: Twitter Blocky)

TNL Brand Tracker 107: Wendy's and EA Madden NFL (Photo: Twitter Blocky)

TNL Take: Welcome Wendy's to the esports pool.

This past week saw the company enter esports with a partnership with EA and their Madden Club Championship Series.

Previous brands have included Gillette, Pepsi, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Snickers to name a few.

TNL Esports Brand Tracker 107: Wendy's and EA Madden NFL (Photo: Twitter xxxBalkino6xxx)

TNL Esports Brand Tracker 107: Wendy's and EA Madden NFL (Photo: Twitter xxxBalkino6xxx)

While Wendy's sponsorship integration of the Miami Dolphins leg of the Club Championship wasn't anything out of the ordinary; it's great to see another brand enter the esports ecosystem.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 018: Burger King and Playstation

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 018: BURGER KING AND PLAYSTATION

Burger King Esports

Burger King now has delivery.  

Technically it's been a service the fast food has provided in select markets since early 2012, but the news is making headlines due to a recent eSports related promotion by Burger King's Spanish division.

#BurgerClan Video Ad (Video: YouTube)

Developed by Burger King Spain's Digital Strategy agency, LOLA MullenLowe, the April Fools Day ad "#BurgerClan" is a collaboration between Burger King and Playstation.

#BurgerClan Video Ad (Video: YouTube)

The Burger Clan is a group of professional gamers who "sneak into" online PS4 matches and take Burger King delivery orders from players signed up to the service.

Burger Clan player list (Photo: Burger Clan Website)

Burger Clan player list (Photo: Burger Clan Website)

Call of Duty orders are taken by @Glaaix and @Bukarioo from Team MRN eSports, FIFA by former G2 player @FerperryFIFA or Giants Gaming players @Alfonso11Ramos and @xGalloso, and any other game titles by Movistar Riders player @F7Sammy.

€9.99 minimum order (Photo: Burger Clan website)

€9.99 minimum order (Photo: Burger Clan website)

This is a great way to market towards the global gaming audience, track and drive real transactions and still gives a great hat tip to the eSports crowd.

Burger Clan Steps (Photo: Ad Week)

Burger Clan Steps (Photo: Ad Week)

The service runs every Friday to Sunday from April 28 to May 21.

According to Ad Age, the Burger Clan will be expanding out to "other key markets in the near future." If done right... Burger King will get to plant their stake in the QSR category that has to date been dominated by pizza brands and Arby's in eSports to date.

Some of the QSR/Restaurant brands that have taken the plunge into eSports:

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 038: Buffalo Wild Wings and E LEAGUE

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 038: Buffalo Wild Wings

Wings and Chill at Buffalo Wild Wings (Photo: Buffalo Wild Wings)

TNL Take:  This time a different take: a Brand overview after they’ve invested in eSports.

For those not following eSports closely, there’s been some chatter on Reddit about fans having bad experiences at Buffalo Wild Wings locations trying to watch E LEAGUE there as BWW is one of the main Brand sponsors.

Vice did a fantastic overview of it and I want to take it further.

I haven’t spoken with anyone at Buffalo Wild Wings or those involved with the deal. From someone who carefully watches the Brand activations in the space, it’s very surprising.

Bdubs, as the kids call it, gave its stamp of approval on the largest eSports stage in the US to date. The fans — never forget the fans — that have built this industry over many, many years celebrated the partnership.

Read any of the positive comments about those that watched Week 1 in bars and it’s summed up like this

 

“Wow. I can’t believe I’m watching Counter-Strike next to other Sports in a bar. I’m going to cry”.

 

See that emotion? 

Even though communication about the sponsorship was made it seemed to have gotten lost in the mix — Vice’s unofficial survey of 12 stores in Arizona produced only 1 location that was aware of E LEAGUE.

I think the complaints are valid and I did some digging myself and found this:

Buffalo Wild Wing's Euro 2016 Promotion (Photo: Buffalo Wild Wings)

That’s the first thing you see when you go to their website — a huge promotion around Euro 2016. We can discuss/argue the average American’s view of European soccer but let’s use data over emotions.

E LEAGUE vs. EURO 2016 TV Ratings (Photo: The Next Level)

In an awesome coincidence, the first Game of Euro 2016 was on the same day as E LEAGUE's Week 3. Yes the Euro did perform better but it was on in the afternoon and not running till 2am and against the NBA Finals like E LEAGUE did.

That’s pretty impressive.

OK fine it’s not on the Home Page but surely under the Sports tab?

Buffalo Wild Wings Website (Photo: Buffalo Wild Wings)

Not there either.

In fact, I couldn’t find a mention of E LEAGUE anywhere on the website. So I Google’d “Buffalo Wild Wings E LEAGUE”.

Buffalo Wild Wings and E LEAGUE Google Results (Photo: Google)

Buffalo Wild Wings and E LEAGUE Google Results (Photo: Google)

The power of Reddit and bad press.

This is a huge missed opportunity for the audience that lives their lives digitally.

BWW spent $44M in 2009 and $60M in 2011 in Measured Media. Assuming a similar growth rate, I’m estimating their current budget at ~$100M. 

So spending $2M for E LEAGUE is relatively small.

I still believe in the power of this promotion and Buffalo Wild Wings will hopefully turn it around. It’s not even halfway through E LEAGUE and plenty of time to make this right.

Let’s try a social experiment:

If you want to support BWW and E LEAGUE but feel some changes are needed, let them know on Twitter here → @BWWings


Updated June 30 2016

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Buffalo Wild Wing’s sponsorship of E LEAGUE.

Buffalo Wild Wings had never spent in the Gaming space before — let alone eSports — and this was a pretty big first step. Even the fans were excited to hear that not only was one of their favorite brands sponsoring eSports but they could actually see their favorite teams play on TV next to traditional sports — at a Buffalo Wild Wings.

While all of that sounded great, the execution unfortunately wasn’t there. Outside of the challenges with communication, the biggest issue for me was the deafening silence of the promotion in general. 

It just felt like a really big missed opportunity on the part of Buffalo Wild Wings to plant a stake in eSports. Then a few days ago I saw this on Reddit:

Buffalo Wild Wings E LEAGUE Promotion (Photo: Reddit)

Ok pretty cool. Great branding, fits both E LEAGUE and BWW as a destination and info for the fans. 

I then checked the website under their Sports listings again.

Buffalo Wild Wings E LEAGUE Website Promotion (Photo: Buffalo Wild Wings)

Wow!

If you look closely this part is key:

 

“Stop in and ask your server to turn on the Finals”

 

Not only did they address the overall promotion, and broadcast the schedule for fans — they basically said “Please tell us to put E LEAGUE on”. 

Just. Like. Every. Other. Sport.

Buffalo Wild Wings. Here’s to you for listening to your audience #BWWListened

Thanks Buffalo Wild Wings! (GIF: Giphy)