WWE from a Strategy Perspective


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World Wrestling Entertainment, now WWE from a strategic perspective. How it started as a very small wrestling organization into one of the biggest sports entertainment companies in the world. How they went about acquiring various competitions, expanding and changing with times to the extent that they can now have their own network.

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WWE from a Strategy Perspective

  1. 1. Then.. Now.. Forever..
  2. 2. A snapshot of the presentation Executive Summary History Eras Acquisition Superstars & Divas Various Initiatives PPVs & Network
  3. 3. The Golden Era of Wrestling History of WWE
  4. 4. Bruno Sammartino and Lou Thesz: The mainstays History of WWE- CWC ► James "Jess" McMahon was a successful boxing promoter who began working with Tex Rickard in 1926 ► Joseph Raymond "Toots" Mondt had created a new challenge of professional wrestling that he called “Slam Bang Western Style Wrestling” ► Mondt eventually took over the New York wrestling scene, with the aid of several bookers, one of whom was Jess McMahon ► Together, McMahon and Mondt created the Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. (CWC)
  5. 5. The inception of territorial wrestling organizations History of WWE- WWWF ► In early 1963, the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) was formed by McMahon and Mondt ► The WWWF operated in a conservative manner compared to other pro wrestling territories ► After gaining a television program deal, the WWWF was doing sell out business by 1970 ► At the annual meeting of the NWA in 1983, the McMahons and WWWF employee Jim Barnett all withdrew from the organization
  6. 6. End of the territories History of WWE- WWF ► In March 1979, for marketing purposes, the World Wide Wrestling Federation was renamed the World Wrestling Federation ► That same year, the son of Vincent J. McMahon, Vincent K. McMahon, founded Titan Sports, Inc ► Against his father's wishes, McMahon began an expansion process by acquiring various territories ► McMahon hired AWA talent Hulk Hogan, who had achieved popularity outside of wrestling, notably for his appearance in Rocky III as Thunderlips ► Other wrestlers took part of the roster, such as André the Giant, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, The Magnificent Muraco, Junkyard Dog, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik thus starting the “Golden Era” of wrestling
  7. 7. WWE through the generations Various Eras
  8. 8. Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan: The Pioneers Various Eras- The Glorious Past ► The WWF was hit with allegations of steroid abuse and distribution in 1992 and was followed by allegations of sexual harassment by WWF employees the following year ► The steroid trial cost the company an estimated $5 million ► This drove many WWF wrestlers to the only major competition at the time, WCW ► In 1993, the WWF broke new ground in televised professional wrestling with the début of its cable program WWF Monday Night Raw ► WWF was being shown across the United States by 1983, which was in stark contrast to the territorial agreements ► WrestleMania, the first ever Pay-Per-View, was a major pay-per-view success; and was marketed as the Super Bowl of professional wrestling ► The event and hype surrounding it led to the term Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection, due to the cross-promotion of pop-culture and professional wrestling Golden Era New Generation Era
  9. 9. Steve Austin: The Biggest Superstar of all time Various Eras- Changing Guard ► Two of the top stars of the Attitude Era, Steve Austin and The Rock, left the company ► Replaced by newcomers such as Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton ► Due to the influx of wrestlers from the acquisition of WCW and ECW led to brand extension by creation of Smackdown!, a completely new show with a different roster ► "Ruthless Aggression" became the major theme for many years that included an action figure line ► Monday Night Wars continued between Monday Night Raw and WCW's Monday Nitro ► WWF transformed itself from a family-friendly product into a more adult oriented product ► Steve Austin was slowly promoted as an anti-hero and the face of the company ► The creation of the Mr. McMahon character soon led to the Austin vs. McMahon feud, the central storyline during the Attitude Era Attitude Era Ruthless Aggression
  10. 10. John Cena and CM Punk: Modern Day Hogan & Savage Various Eras- Present & Future ► In August 2011, WWE effectively ended the Brand Extension when they gave Raw the tagline "SuperShow“ ► As of Raw's 1,000th episode, airing on July 23, 2012, WWE Raw removed the "SuperShow" tagline as well as becoming a three-hour broadcast, extended from two-hours ► Also around the same time, during the promos, wrestlers started using real life of each other during the build up to the matches giving this era the name of “Reality Era” ► In 2008 WWE acknowledged that 60% of its audience was made up of women and children ► This forced a shift in programming content included doing away with most of the "vulgar" language, heavy violence and adult themes ► During this period, WWE attempted to gain popularity with a mainstream audience by inviting celebrities to be the guest host of Raw PG Era Reality Era
  11. 11. All down to one man: Vince McMahon Acquisitions
  12. 12. The biggest territory in the entire North America Acquisitions- Territories ► Vince McMahon believed that wrestling should market itself as sports entertainment rather than a sport to grow and hence he went on a buying spree of territories ► McMahon decided to start telecasting his shows in the region of these territories and promoting it to the point that the heads of the wrestling companies had to accept his offer of buying them out ► The only company that was able to resist was Mid Atlantic promotion of Jim Crockett, which went on to become WCW
  13. 13. At one time beat WWE for rating for 117 weeks Acquisitions- WCW ► After Time Warner merged with AOL, Ted Turner's control over WCW was considerably reduced, and the newly merged company announced a complete lack of interest in professional wrestling as a whole, and decided to sell WCW in its entirety ► In March 2001 McMahon acquired WCW from AOL Time Warner for a number reported to be around $7 million ► Contracts of the big name stars like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Bill Goldberg were not included in the purchase of the company
  14. 14. Pioneers of adult-theme based content on TV Acquisitions- ECW ► Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), which was a company started by Paul Heyman in 1994, overnight became the hottest wrestling show on TV due to an overdoese of violence and adult-theme based content, which was a precursor to the Attitude Era ► However a shortage of cash led to Paul Heyman filing for bankruptcy even though the PPV buy rates were 2nd only to WWE ► The assets of ECW, which had folded after filing for bankruptcy protection in April 2001, were purchased by WWE in mid-2003
  15. 15. The backbone of the industry Superstars and Divas
  16. 16. Ever evolving models of contractual relationship Superstars ► WWE contracts typically range from developmental contracts to multi-year deals. Most personnel are independent contractors ► This clause of independent contractors allows the company to escape from the medical benefits that the company would otherwise have to pay and hence saving on a lot of money and formalities ► However the company offers multiple other benefits like TA and rehabilitation program fee ► The wrestlers make money out of their appearances, PPV buy rates and merchandise
  17. 17. First promotion to use women as Valets Divas ► The first promotion to use women as valets and then later on female wrestlers for which a separate division was created ► Mae Young, who died in January 2014 was the first female wrestler to gain prominence and was showcased on the card along with male wrestlers ► Miss Elizabeth (For Randy Savage) started the trend of valet ► WWE partnered with various magazines to allow the Divas to pose for photo-shoots and gain royalties out of it
  18. 18. Expansion and Community Service initiatives Various Initiatives
  19. 19. Various community services Various Initiatives- Active
  20. 20. The ones that caused a loss Various Initiatives- Defunct
  21. 21. Pioneers in both the fields PPVs and WWE Network
  22. 22. Introduced the concept of PPVs in the industry PPVs ► In March 1979, for marketing purposes, the WWE has broadcast pay-per-views since the 1980s, when its classic "big four" events were first established ► WWE pay-per-views are made available in the United States by In Demand, Dish Network or DirecTV ► In January 2014, WWE announced that the WWE Network, a service launching in February, would feature its entire back catalog of pay-per-view events, as well as all future pay-per-views from WrestleMania XXX onwards
  23. 23. Started their own network which helped in stock boost WWE Network
  24. 24. Purchase TNA/ROH Change the orientation of programming More social media promotion Cut down on the movies department Recommendation For Future
  25. 25. We’ve Got Two Words For Ya!! Thank You!!