Fall Football Campaign

Dave & Buster’s



Dave & Buster’s has always been known as the only place to eat, drink and play under one roof, but recently, it added another fun reason to visit: Watching sports. The entertainment group installed massive TVs and serious sound systems, added game day food favorites to the menu, and introduced new promotions to create the best sports bar ever.

With the 2014-15 fall football season fast approaching, Dave & Buster’s asked us to expand our work to introduce the brand’s newest facet through a multi-channel campaign to get football fans to check out the new D&B Sports Bar.


The goal: Entice fun-loving football fans to visit D&B Sports Bar every week to watch their team.



Due in large part to the Football HQ campaign, Dave & Buster’s experienced some of their best results yet. In a comparison of fourth quarter results from 2013 to 2014 when the campaign ran, Dave & Buster’s saw:

10%Increase in same-store sales
19%Increase in fourth quarter revenue, from $171 million in 2013 to $203 million in 2014
282%Increase in net income

Curious how we did it? Read on to find out how we executed on our strategy.


Target Audience

Our work for Dave & Buster’s is already a hit with millennials, a group they call Play Together Young Adults (PTYAs). So for this campaign, we took what we know about PTYAs and their dining and playing preferences, and combined it with what millennials want out of a sports-viewing experience. This enabled us to create a campaign that effectively resonates with our audience.





26-year-old supply chain manager

  • Plays fantasy sports
  • Wants to have a fun viewing experience with friends
  • May choose bar based on food and drink specials
  • Needs to be able to hear and see the game well
  • Looking for a fun, affordable alternative to going to the game

Unique, fun and affordable place to watch the game with friends



Taking what we know about millennials, PTYAs specifically, and sports-viewers, our approach involved a number of tactical, messaging and design strategies.


1 Better than the stadium

For many PTYAs, going to the game has a lot of negatives: Long lines, expensive food, blocked views, etc. To show how the experience is better at Dave & Buster’s, we touted huge TVs and booming surround sound, prize giveaways between quarters, and great game day food and drink specials.




2 Unlike any other sports bar

While there are many places you could watch the game, Dave & Buster’s has something no other sports bar offers: Its Million Dollar Midway. We advertised this unique feature by showing people not just watching the game, but also playing games in the Midway – something you can’t do anywhere else.



3 Choose a trusted face

To send this message and appeal to our audience, we chose Matthew Berry, Fantasy Football Guru, to star in the TV spots. As a popular ESPN contributor who helps fantasy football fans choose their lineup every week, Berry was the perfect person to connect with our audience. His recommendation to ditch the average sports bar and get to the best sports bar ever was the perfect call-to-action for football fans – and they took his advice.



4 Strong but playful

Football visuals are often gritty and tough, and while the Football HQ logo needed some of that strength, we balanced it with the vibrant, playful side of Dave & Buster’s. A nod to classic crests dominating football visuals for the last 60 years, our Football HQ mark made for easy adoption by the primarily male audience. Straying from team specific colors, we introduced black, white and neon green as the look of the new Football HQ campaign. The green and white connected back to the gridiron, and paired with black, it made for great contrast in the dark sports bar.


5 Get them early and often

Before the season even started we created a website and online video with Berry, encouraging fantasy football fans to host their draft party at D&B. To incentivize guests to return weekly, we created offer booklets with coupons for every Sunday and Monday during football season.


6 A unique environment

Having a fun, unique viewing experience with friends is important to this audience. In order to make the overall experience unlike any other, we developed creative point-of-purchase marketing materials that transformed D&B Sports Bars into THE football headquarters. Everything from the coasters to the ceiling danglers contributed to making the environment cooler than the competitors’.


“I've worked with many of the large, well-known agencies in my career, and I have to say working with Skidmore has been a breath of fresh air.”

Sean Gleason, CMO - Dave & Buster's


The Win

With a cohesive campaign spanning TV, radio, online and in-store, we saturated the market with news of D&B Sports Bar, and the numbers have never been better. Preliminary same-store-sales estimates were approximately 10 percent higher for the quarter and net income surged 282 percent, according to Dave & Buster’s.


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