Wingstop shifted its national out-of-home (OOH) budget for the first half of 2020 to a merch campaign that, through free sweatshirts, aims to turn fans into walking Wingstop billboards. 

The chicken wing chain is giving away a limited quantity of the branded hoodies on a microsite called and Venmoing $10 to anyone who posts a picture of them wearing it in public on Instagram with the hashtag #ThisIsAnAdForWingstop. 

Fans can earn bonus prizes like a $100 gift card for extra-creative user-generated content (UGC) and posts that go viral.

The wearable billboards include three sweatshirts featuring a tagline and an image of the brand’s wings, mobile app and/or takeout bag. The first tagline reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop,” the second reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop delivery” and the third reads, “This is an ad for Wingstop boneless.” Displaying the brand’s signature takeout bag on all three sweatshirts was especially important given 75 percent of the chain’s business is takeout.

Wingstop teased the arrival of the merch on its Twitter days before launching. Four hours after the microsite went live, Wingstop ran out of sweatshirts and tweeted, “Keep up with what our fans do while wearing them, you never know where this flavor is gonna show up next.”

According to Wingstop, the move to ditch OOH for wearable billboards follows multiple requests over the years from fans for the brand to sponsor them. The brand has maintained its cool, relevant reputation among millennials thanks to rapper Rick Ross, who owns several Wingstop locations and regularly promotes the brand in his songs, on social media and at events where he almost always has a Wingstop cup in his hands.

In Q4 2019, Wingstop’s digital sales increased to 39 percent and total revenue grew to $53.2 million, compared to $40.5 million in the same quarter the previous year. The earnings reflect the brand’s 16th consecutive year of positive same store sales growth.