Sponsorship revenue for WWE WrestleMania 39 has doubled to more than $20 million, a record for any WWE event in company history.
WWE Senior Vice President and Head of Global Sales & Partnerships Craig Stimmel recently spoke with Michelle Chapman of The Associated Press, and said WWE will incorporate brands into WrestleMania in a multitude of ways, including a match sponsorship, a “blurring of the fourth wall” between what home viewers see vs. what live audience members see, and an augmented reality experience.
“We try to find the perfect marriage of brand and story,” Stimmel said.
WrestleMania 39 has 12 sponsors, and half of those are returning from WrestleMania 38.
WWE had more than 7.5 billion digital and social media views in January and February of this year, up 15% from the same time period one year ago. WWE surpassed 16 billion social video views in the final quarter of 2022. The company also has more than 20 million followers on TikTok, and nearly 94 million subscribers on YouTube. The WWE women’s division comprises five out of the top 15 most-followed female athletes in the world, across Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, led by Ronda Rousey with 36.1 million followers.
Retail analysts are noticing the size of the net that WWE has thrown out to capture viewers.
“WWE has multiple channels to connect with customers which is important for sponsors who don’t want to rely on just one medium,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData. “It basically gives brands multiple bites of the cherry to reach customers. WWE has built out an entire entertainment ecosystem which brands can tap into and use to push their marketing messages.”
There has been some fan pushback in sports leagues that have tried to introduce more advertising, but this does not appear to be an issue for WWE.
“I think WWE fans are much more accepting of (sponsors) than the traditional sports,” said T. Maxwell, a partner at Max Sports Marketing.
It was noted that sponsors are keen to take advantage of WWE’s push into social media as the company pursues a multifaceted online effort to reach viewers on YouTube, TikTok and elsewhere.
Marketing experts see WWE as a prime venue for brands due to the makeup of its core audience. Maxwell added that the audience ranges from minors to seniors, has a wide range of incomes, is global, and is fervently devoted to the craft.
“WWE fans are fiercely loyal and dedicated, they are hooked, they crave storytelling and will be WWE fans for life,” Maxwell said. “This creates an amazing opportunity for savvy brands to connect with a unique audience for life.”
WWE is increasingly leaning into its marketing potential and finding new ways to resonate with fans and sponsors.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.
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