Thursday, September 16, 2021

Brinker International Marketing Teams Excel


There is no doubt that success does leave clues. Brinker International's has had a plethora of top-shelf marketing professionals over the years and has become a chain restaurant marketing powerhouse when it comes to developing, elevating, promoting highly effective restaurant brand managers according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Brinker’s marketing team has set the standard for virtual restaurant marketing with its very first virtual brandIt's Just Wings, according to Johnson.  So, Brinker’s team partnered with YOKE for a first-of-its-kind partnership: 125 of the nation's top college football players have been selected as the inaugural class of It's Just Wings brand ambassadors. Yes, that’s right 125 top college football players.

Wade Allen, Brinker senior vice president of innovation, stated, "We have been blazing trails with It's Just Wings since day one, and this partnership is designed to directly and strategically reach one of our target demographics at the intersection of wings, gaming and sports," …. "We are teaming up with the right players – literally and figuratively – to grow and strengthen our presence of offering bold flavors in the world of wings."

Get this, the ambassadors will be outfitted with It's Just Wings attire and will leverage their social media and on-campus presence to promote the brand and share exclusive offers with fellow students. The impressive athlete roster includes players from 34 of the nation's most historic football programs. With all Power Five conferences represented, the list is headlined by University of Nevada, Las Vegas quarterback Tate Martell; University of Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams; and University of Florida quarterback Emory Jones.

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"YOKE is committed to connecting great athletes with great brands," said Mick Assaf, YOKE chief executive officer. "Curating this list of players has already been a blast, and we know they'll represent both brands with the same talent and skill they bring to their sport. We can't wait to see these It's Just Wings athletes perform both on and off the field through this partnership as football season kicks off."

The brand partnership also includes two YOKE events via the gaming app later this year. To see the full list of athlete names and universities, visit 

Have you tried It's Just Wings food yet? Well it is available for pickup or delivery and is now offering free delivery on every order over $10 until Oct. 31 when Guests sign up for It's Just Rewards™ at In addition to free curly fries, It's Just Wings has a sweet side, offering a variety of flavored hand pies, including blueberry lemon, cinnamon apple, caramel pecan, sweet dark cherry and double chocolate HERSHEY'S®. (Note: Hershey branded tie in as well.)

In case you did not know, It's Just Wings is a no-frills, virtual brand that operates out of more than 1,050 kitchens of Brinker International, Inc.'s (NYSE: EAT) restaurant concepts Chili's® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®. They offer three types of killer wings — smoked, bone-in and boneless — at stupid prices in both unique and traditional sauces and rubs that are sure to make your taste buds tingle. No forks, no knives, no napkins — It's Just Wings, but we do throw in free curly fries and ranch with every wings order. It's Just Wings is available for pick up or delivery and is now offering free delivery on every order ($10 minimum) until Oct. 31 when you sign up for It's Just Rewards at For more information, visit, follow us on Instagram @itsjustwingsofficial or like us on Facebook @itsjustwings.

Once again in case you did not know, YOKE provides technology that allows athletes to engage with brands and fans with unprecedented ease. More than 15,000 active athletes use YOKE to build and monetize their name, image, and likeness through brand and fan engagements. The company was launched by former college athletes in 2020 as the go-to platform for fans to play video games with their favorite athletes and has since built out its technology to allow brands to manage athlete ambassador programs at scale. For more information about YOKE or to sign up as a brand or athlete, visit or follow us on Instagram @yokegaming.

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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