Case Study: Launching Dave & Buster’s in Central Pennsylvania


Case Study: Launching Dave & Buster’s in Central PA

“From market insights to media coverage to launch events, PRworks achieved all of our grand-opening objectives. Targeting the right audience was pivotal to success, and the team was invaluable to connecting us with just the audience we needed to reach. We credit our partnership with PRworks with helping to give our first location in Central Pennsylvania a strong introduction to the market.”

Alex Dubois
National Marketing Manager, Dave & Buster’s

The Challenge

Dave & Buster’s, which operates high-volume restaurant and entertainment destinations throughout North America, needed a partner to execute a public relations campaign for the opening of its first location in Central Pennsylvania. Specifically, Dave & Buster’s sought to: rapidly fill 200 jobs; attract 1,000 attendees to a pre-opening VIP event; mark its official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony; connect with area groups and organizations to drive special-event bookings; and build excitement with earned media and social influencer coverage every step of the way.

The Approach

Leveraging our regional connections and market insights, PRworks implemented a full-scale plan to achieve all of Dave & Buster’s goals – not only to give it a strong start, but to position it well for long-term success, especially among its target audience of young adults.

The approach included:

  • Counseling Dave & Buster’s leadership with local market and audience insights
  • Kick-starting employee recruitment with media outreach and publicity tactics
  • Facilitating introductions to leaders of area young professional groups, young adult sports leagues and university alumni groups
  • Leveraging targeted group and influencer contacts for an email marketing campaign to build an audience for the pre-opening VIP event
  • Arranging a Media Day to give media and influencers a sneak peek with tours, game play, food and beverage tastings, and interviews
  • Coordinating a ribbon-cutting with local dignitaries and chambers of commerce
  • Planning and executing an advertising buy to boost the grand-opening buzz
  • Conducting media outreach for every newsworthy moment leading up to the grand opening to maintain a steady beat of publicity
  • Creating relationships for local management with groups, sports venues and visitors bureaus to sustain awareness and generate bookings

The Results

On all counts, PRworks’ campaign for Dave & Buster’s grand opening hit the mark.

Employee Recruitment — Though recruiting proved to be unexpectedly competitive in Central Pennsylvania compared to other new markets, Dave & Buster’s successfully achieved its hiring goal with the support of PRworks’ media outreach efforts. Multiple broadcast, online and print outlets covered the hiring news, as well as the opening of a pop-up hiring site.

Dave and Buster's opens in Central PA

Media Day — About two dozen media representatives attended the Media Day sneak peek event including TV, radio and print media; entertainment bloggers; and tourism bloggers. In addition to earning on-the-mark broadcast and online coverage, the social media accounts of news outlets and individual reporters lit up with favorable posts and videos.

Pre-opening VIP Event — PRworks’ targeted email marketing campaign exceeded expectations, reaching more than 20,000 recipients and securing more than 1,600 RSVPs. The event generated a wave of word-of-mouth and social media buzz about Central PA’s newest place to eat, drink, play and watch.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony — A crowd of guests gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which featured remarks by state and local officials and a grand-opening reception. The ceremony earned additional coverage online and on social media, including via area chambers of commerce.

Community Connections — PRworks successfully laid the groundwork for Dave & Buster’s to become well-connected in the community. Relationships were established for local management with numerous young professional groups and university alumni groups throughout the region, as well as sports teams and visitors bureaus.

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