Renowned U.S. sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings is reportedly eyeing a foray into the sports betting business as part of its efforts to enhance the restaurant business for its customers. According to sources close to the company, the sports betting plan will be in conjunction with sports betting and daily fantasy sports company DraftKings – the two are very close to inking a marketing deal. This is intended to make use of the opportunity that was presented after the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling that lifted the federal ban on sports betting in May.
Buffalo Wild Wings owns 1,700 bars across the United States including places where sports fans residing in suburban cities usually hang out to watch the biggest league games like the NFL. Sports betting at these facilities might seem like one of the more unlikely scenarios but it is actually based on some rather compelling factors such as the aforementioned infrastructure – they already have the facilities and the market. These facilities are further spread out across all the 50 states
Speaking to ESPN’s David Purdum, the restaurant chain’s officials confirmed that as far as their interest in sports betting goes they are already “actively exploring opportunities, including potential partners, as we evaluate the next steps for our brand.”
“As the largest sports bar in America, we believe Buffalo Wild Wings is uniquely positioned to leverage sports gaming to enhance the restaurant experience for our guests,” a Buffalo Wild Wings official pointed out.
New Revenue Stream
Founded in 1982, Buffalo Wild Wings has enjoyed tremendous levels of success through the decades but as it stands, it is in need of new revenue streams since millennials prefer to have their food delivered instead of going to the restaurants. In fact, the low number of customers who visit the restaurants has already dealt a blow to its alcohol sales, according to recent reports.
The restaurant chain therefore certainly needs a new way to attract customers – it has been struggling for quite some time with slumping sales and an extended battle between an activist investor and its executives. This battle quelled down only after it was acquired by Arby’s parent company, Roark Capital.
“I think that if you look back when Buffalo Wild Wings was really, really, really successful, it was really the only one out there doing what it was doing,” Paul Brown, the former CEO said about plans to find new ways to renovate the chain. “We had a nationalized local sports bar, and then more competition has come in, and I think that some of that competition has been a little bit more innovative… I think there’s an opportunity to figure out the 21st-century incarnation of what made it so successful during particularly the early 2000s.”