Buffalo Wild Wings & BetMGM Announce Partnership, Sports Betting Coming To BWW*

Buffalo Wild Wings sports betting/via BWW

On the morning of November 12, 2018 I wrote in Morning Screencaps, “Have you been to a sports bar lately? Yeah, go ahead and put a fork in that era…unless they can figure out a way to incorporate sports gambling. Don’t be shocked if in 2019 Buffalo Wild Wings announces some sort of in-store sports betting. It’s a huge race out there to hook you into gambling and doing it at a certain establishment.”

This morning Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM announced they’re entering a partnership to bring free-to-play games through the BWW mobile app, a sports betting test in New Jersey, BWW sports bars will be turned into a sports book experience in the near future and there will be BWW themed sports bars in MGM properties as the partnership grows.

Was I right or was I right?

More from the BWW/BetMGM press release:

“As the largest sports bar in the country, Buffalo Wild Wings has the opportunity to pioneer sports gaming experiences for fans, and we are taking the first critical step on that journey through our partnership with BetMGM,” said Lyle Tick, President, Buffalo Wild Wings. “This is a landmark relationship between two preeminent experience brands that puts us in a position to innovate the current sports watching experience to bring the best of sports gaming to our guests.”

BWW has now gone through the Bob Menery-get-off-your-ass and go out to the bar advertising campaign where they’re targeting guys who are perfectly fine living in solitary confinement during the football season where they can look at their phone and order in food. Sports betting was the obvious next step.

Like I said back in 2018, have you been to a sports bar lately? I was in a BWW two weeks or so ago for the first time in like a year and I have to say it was interesting to see how this specific BWW is trying to go grown up, we’re not a brew pub…but we need to give subtle brew pub feelings to these people who’ve graduated to brew pubs. Add in sports betting and you just might have a cozy atmosphere for guys to sit around, bet and enjoy a community feel.

That said, BWW needs booths in their bars. I need faux leather half-moon booths like Vegas sports books. Give guys the feel of Vegas without having to go to Vegas. The bar tops served their purpose. Time to move on if packing the place on weekends is the plan. I’d also take reservations for those booths. Make it exclusive. Nothing a millennial likes more than feeling like he’s made it enough in life to have his own spot to party on a Sunday at Buffalo Wild Wings. At least test it.

I just wonder if it’s too late. If it’s too late because an entire generation has decided going to eat wings like their parents isn’t their version of a good time. I also wonder if an app giving them perks will be enough to save the national sports bar experience. Having a phone that allows that person to bet wherever he/she wants is the major hurdle.

BWW still has to figure out how to make the in-store experience too good to pass up for these guys. Looks like today’s the first step in executing the strategy.

Next up: casinos at ballparks and arenas. Folks, it’s coming. I’ve been saying it for so long I’ve lost track of the exact date I predicted that. Long before the Supreme Court sports betting decision. Won’t be long until you can play slots and fake watch a baseball game. Matter of time.

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