“It was basically an opportunity to communicate with what we thought was a under-represented group of individuals within casual dining,” Ruhland says. “Based on all the information that we had gathered at that point in time it was a growing population. It was a very influential population that was really looking for a place they could gather outside of the home.”
Whether or not some people view esports as an actually sport (ESPN has a site dedicated to its happenings online) is a shortsighted angle, Ruhland says. He says Buffalo Wild Wings wants to be a sports fan’s biggest fan. “If you really take a look at what falls into being a fan of sports, it’s all sports. It’s traditional sports. It’s esports. Its non-traditional sports. And it really comes down to competition—competition and people who are engaging in competition. We see that all as a part of our audience. It’s part of our fans and customers who go to Buffalo Wild Wings.”
This partnership with Team Dignitas lives on different levels. Buffalo Wild Wings kicked it off with its first “Buffalo Wild Wings Stream of the Month,” on October 10, when popular Team Dignitas streamer Elle “Ellektrikk” Lockyer conducted an all-day live stream on video platform Twitch. Buffalo Wild Wings and the team also presented an amateur League of Legends tournament at TwitchCon in October. The winner took home a prize package, including a $300 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card.