Inspire Brands has named Lyle Tick president of Buffalo Wild Wings, continuing the evolution of the casual-dining chain’s executive suite.
Most recently managing director for the beauty brands business of Walgreens Boots Alliance in the Americas, Tick replaces John Bowie, who had been serving as the 1,200-unit chain’s interim president since February, when it was acquired by Arby’s. Bowie will resume his previous role as Buffalo Wild Wing’s chief operating officer.
The position of president was vacant when the chain was acquired by Arby’s, creating the new entity of Inspire Brands, which is majority-owned by Atlanta-based Roark Capital.
Before working for Walgreens, Tick was senior global category director for Bacardi, based in London, and also the rum producer’s president of marketing for North America, based in Miami. He also has held various positions at marketing and advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, Gotham, McGarryBowen and DDB, according to a press release by Inspire Brands.
“We are thrilled to welcome Lyle to Buffalo Wild Wings,” Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown said in the release. “His deep experience with global retailers and spirits brands makes Lyle the ideal leader to help us re-ignite and grow the Buffalo Wild Wings brand.”
Tick said he had long been a fan of the sports bar chain, “and this is an exciting time for the brand. Through the capabilities and resources of the Inspire platform, we’re building a talented team to ensure that Buffalo Wild Wings is well positioned for long-term growth.”
Tick’s appointment comes on the heels of the appointment in late August of former hotel executive Seth Freeman as the chain’s chief marketing officer.
The chain has been working on reinforcing its sports bar image with the launch on Sept. 6 of an ad campaign and contest in partnership with fantasy sports contest company DraftKings timed for professional football season.
Previously, the chain had said it was looking to explore ways to get involved with sports betting following a United States Supreme Court decision earlier this year that struck down a ban on sports gambling in most jurisdictions.
In regard to the other aspect of the sports-bar equation, Buffalo Wild Wings has been evolving its craft beer program, with an increased focus on regional favorites and rotating selections of new or limited-release products.
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