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A Market Analysis for
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.
DeShawn Ellis
Full Sail University
Project & Portfolio II: Business and Marketing
11/09/2023
Page 2
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
WWE, an influential force in the professional wrestling sphere, maintains an enthusiastic fan
base and an impressive market position. The company has effectively utilized social media
channels to interact with fans and broaden its global reach to one billion social media followers.
In addition, strategic alliances and regionalized events have helped WWE reach fresh audiences
abroad, indicating the potential of the company's worldwide development initiatives.
This assessment presents a market analysis for several crucial suggestions that will help build
the company on the study's favorable conclusions and achieve more success in the future.
These suggestions include broadening and diversifying one's global reach, improving digital
interaction and revenue, creating novel live event experiences, and growing alliances with
influencers and celebrities.
Page 3
OBJECTIVE
The WWE has set a clear objective for its marketing strategies, whether implemented
towards its international market development or increasing engagement through its digital
media presence. Questions like, what should be the next steps for the company in terms of its
marketing strategies, and what are some ways to evaluate the company’s digital/social media
and international presence in the future? To accomplish this, identifying viable options and
recommendations for enhancing their digital marketing efforts must be assessed. Furthermore,
evaluating the effectiveness of their digital platforms and engagement with online audiences
could provide further information. Additionally, examining their performance in various
international markets, like viewership, market trends, and potential growth, can provide
methods to develop informed strategies to strengthen WWE’s marketing initiatives, increasing
their revenue streams and market share.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
During November 2023, information gathered provided various factors to discuss the
WWE's market position. This analysis utilized information from external sources such as
industry reports, market research studies, relevant articles, and competitor analysis to conduct
secondary research. All sources gathered range from 6 to 12 years, given WWE's constant
change in business due to several critical factors in the world.
RESEARCH AND KEY FINDINGS
Page 4
The WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) primarily sells live event tickets, pay-per-
view broadcasts, clothing and collectibles, and digital content through its streaming service,
WWE Network. To build a loyal fan base and become a global leading company within the
professional wrestling industry, their brand positioning statement, "Then. Now. Forever," is a
tagline that signifies their commitment to providing dynamic entertainment for their audience.
WWE continues to find ways to evolve over the years and break new ground.
Regarding their outlook, the company reaffirms its expectations for 2023, which target
record revenue ranging from $395 million to $410 million, which would be a record. Business
outlook for the company estimates third quarter 2023 Adjusted OIBDA of $75-$85 million.
(WWE, 2023) They anticipate these results will reflect a YoY decrease in revenue through
Consumer Product segments due to early termination of an agreement with licensed
collectibles. Weekly viewers of WWE programming consist of 36.2%
females, and among their target demographics of viewers 18-49, the
programs rank higher or at least competitively in weekly viewership than
almost any other program on network or cable television. However, one
of their major competitors, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), has been
appealing to the same demographic by attempting to create an alternative product to the
WWE. Along with their main shows, the two promotions are competing for the weekly ratings
of this target group. In November, they have been tightly vying for attention.
The company's significant competitors are ESPN Inc., Hulu LLC, Lions Gate
Entertainment Corp, Live Nation Entertainment Inc., All Elite Wrestling LLC, Zuffa LLC, and
Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions LLC. Apart from established players in developed countries,
WWE Inc. (2014)
Page 5
players from emerging countries are also competing hard to garner a more significant market
share. Many of its competitors have a more extended operating history, greater brand
recognition, established customer and supplier relationships, and more substantial financial
resources, leading to innovative products and business expansion through acquisitions.
(MarketLine, 2023)
While the WWE has enjoyed a dominant position in the professional wrestling industry,
the number of competitors that continue to challenge the company only grows. These
challenges are both direct rivals and other forms of entertainment. This only forces WWE to
adapt to the changing landscape. It focuses on maintaining a unique market position, like its
brand recognition and global reach, adapting to consumer preferences by finding innovative
ways to deliver content, and tailoring its content and events to specific regions while competing
with local wrestling traditions. The company faces competition from both direct rivals and other
forms of entertainment. Adapting to changes in the media landscape and expanding its
international presence is essential for WWE to maintain that dominant position.
These opportunities not only present WWE with ways to diversify its audience by
increasing its future market share. Two main factors that can ensure the WWE's adaptability
against its competitors are international expansion and its social/digital content. The WWE
launched the WWE
Network in 2014,
providing on-demand
access to its extensive
library of past events,
WWE, Inc. (2022)
Page 6
original programming, and live pay-per-view events. In March 2022, the WWE Network moved
to the Peacock streaming service and began rolling out new, original content, such as
documentaries, each month. In the third quarter of 2020, WWE Network had average paid
subscribers of 1.6 million, down about 60,000 from the prior quarter but an increase of 6% year
over year – marking the service’s first annual growth since Q1 of 2019. (Spangler, 2023) In
terms of international expansion, WWE has been actively expanding into global markets like the
United Kingdom (Clash at the Castle), India (Superstar Spectacle), Germany (Battle in Berlin),
and Australia (Elimination Chamber.) WWE's continued global reach and efforts to appeal to a
broader demographic can positively contribute to its success in the professional wrestling
industry.
CONCLUSIONS
WWE's market analysis reveals several factors that show potential success for its current
and projected markets, such as the current market, social media platforms, and international
expansion. The company has a strong position in the professional wrestling industry with a
dedicated fan base. Their live televised events like Monday Night Raw and Friday Night
SmackDown increased their viewership in 2023. According to Appendix B, targeting the P18-49
demographic, the Raw and SmackDown brand managed to gain 1.5 to 2.1 million viewers over
its competitor, AEW. Additionally, WWE's presence in over 180 countries demonstrates its
global reach and growing popularity.
Social Media Platform: As the WWE continues to find ways to reach new markets, social
media has provided the company with that opportunity. The company's wrestlers have created
Page 7
personal TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to engage with fans worldwide. WWE has a
massive online presence with over a billion social media followers. WWE has been quick to
partner with people that have a massive following on social media platforms, most recently the
social media personality Logan Paul. Three months after signing a contract with WWE last year,
Paul took out a cell phone and filmed himself jumping from the ropes onto Roman Reigns.
According to Levesque, the video garnered over 40 million views across Paul's and WWE's social
platforms in less than 24 hours, topping all social media posts for the Stamford, Connecticut,
company last year. (Chapman, 2023) This digital engagement has helped WWE maintain a
strong connection with its audience and extend its reach beyond traditional media platforms.
International Expansion: WWE's global expansion efforts continue to grow. As I
mentioned, shows in the United Kingdom, Germany, and India have made the company focus
on marketing strategic partnerships with organizations within those countries. These initiatives
help WWE tap into those regions' growing wrestling fan base. It also increases viewership,
merchandise sales, partnership deals for distribution rights, and long-term growth.
Projected Market: The future market for the WWE has made significant strides in
diversifying its audience. The company develops localized content while aiming to appeal to
that broader demographic. Moreover, the rise of streaming services and digital consumption
allows WWE to deliver its programming directly to viewers to enhance its revenue potential
and expand its market share. Earlier this month, the WWE made one projected move that can
increase a younger audience to view the developed brand. The CW will become the official
broadcast home of WWE NXT in a new five-year deal that will see the showcase for WWE’s up-
and-coming stars move from the USA Network in October of 2024. Led by WWE Hall of Famer
Page 8
Shawn Michaels, NXT is popular with younger audiences, ranking No. 1 in cable primetime on
Tuesday nights last quarter among adults 18-49 and 19-34. Year to date, NXT’s average
viewership is up 30% among adults 18-49. (Goldsmith, 2023) However, they must continue
developing innovative, compelling, engaging storylines and interactive experiences that
resonate with their audience across different media platforms.
During November 2023, information gathered provided various factors to discuss the
WWE's market position. This analysis utilized information from external sources such as
industry reports, market research studies, relevant articles, and competitor analysis to conduct
secondary research. All sources gathered range from 6 to 12 years, given WWE's constant
change in business due to several critical factors in the world.
RECOMMENDATIONS
The WWE can expand and diversify its international presence by conducting thorough
market research to identify potential untapped markets and assess their feasibility. They can
also forge strategic partnerships with local organizations, broadcasters, or promoters to gain
market knowledge and enhance brand visibility. A strategic recommendation can see an
increase of 30% by hosting more localized events in emerging within the next two years,
according to 2023 third quarter numbers, despite their forecasted decline. WWE should
leverage the power of influencers and celebrities to expand its reach and engage with new
audiences. By partnering with famous figures from various fields, WWE can tap into its fan
bases, generate buzz, and attract new viewers to its programming. This cross-promotion can be
done through social media campaigns, guest appearances, or unique collaborations, creating
Page 9
mutually beneficial opportunities for exposure and growth. Another recommendation to
address the gender wage gap is to engage an external audit service.
While the male counterparts have dominated the WWE's payroll, the emerging issue of
female pay inequity needs to be addressed. The WWE could hire an external auditor to
demonstrate why such conditions exist in the company. A detailed report on role, tenure,
location, and sponsorships will help explain the differences. Where there is apparent ambiguity,
the information can help identify the next steps for the company's stakeholders to merit closer
investigation. (Mustafa, 2023) By implementing these recommendations, WWE can capitalize
on its favorable findings, driving growth, diversifying its fan base, and solidifying its position as a
global entertainment powerhouse.
Page 10
REFERENCES
Chapman, M. (2023, February 22). WWE leaning in to social media ahead of possible sale. AP
News. https://apnews.com/article/mlb-sports-pro-wrestling-baseball-
d7bacce55e68974266dbc4c3792afc3d
(Goldsmith, 2023)
Goldsmith, J. (2023, November 7). The CW adds WWE’s NXT to sports lineup; Five-year deal will
see showcase for up-and-coming wrestlers move from USA network. Deadline.
https://deadline.com/2023/11/cw-wwe-nxt-usa-network-pro-wrestling-1235595011/
(MarketLine, 2023)
MarketLine. (2023, May 5). MarketLine Company Profile: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.
Fullsail.edu. https://login.oclc.fullsail.edu/login?url=https://search-ebscohost-
com.oclc.fullsail.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=163757792&site=ehost-live
(Mustafa, 2022)
Mustafa, S. (2022, May). A Glimmer of Hope: Environmental Change and Strategy Adaptation at
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Major Papers 219.
https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1253&context=major-papers
(Spangler, 2023)
Page 11
Spangler, T. (2021, January 25). NBCU’s peacock pins WWE Network exclusive U.S. streaming
rights. Variety Daily. https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/wwe-network-peacock-
exclusively-streaming-1234890954/
Thurston, B. (2023, April 13). Latest TV ratings. Wrestlenomics. https://wrestlenomics.com/tv-
ratings/
(WWE, 2023)
WWE. (2023, November 11). WWE® Reports Record Second Quarter 2023 results. Wwe.com.
https://corporate.wwe.com/investors/news/press-releases/2023/08-02-2023-
120046149
Page 12
APPENDICES
Appendix A
Table: Wrestlenomics Source: Nielsen, Wrestlenomics
Appendix B
Chart: Wrestlenomics Source: Nielsen, Wrestlenomics

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Project & Portfolio, Market Analysis: WWE

  • 1. Page 1 A Market Analysis for World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. DeShawn Ellis Full Sail University Project & Portfolio II: Business and Marketing 11/09/2023
  • 2. Page 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY WWE, an influential force in the professional wrestling sphere, maintains an enthusiastic fan base and an impressive market position. The company has effectively utilized social media channels to interact with fans and broaden its global reach to one billion social media followers. In addition, strategic alliances and regionalized events have helped WWE reach fresh audiences abroad, indicating the potential of the company's worldwide development initiatives. This assessment presents a market analysis for several crucial suggestions that will help build the company on the study's favorable conclusions and achieve more success in the future. These suggestions include broadening and diversifying one's global reach, improving digital interaction and revenue, creating novel live event experiences, and growing alliances with influencers and celebrities.
  • 3. Page 3 OBJECTIVE The WWE has set a clear objective for its marketing strategies, whether implemented towards its international market development or increasing engagement through its digital media presence. Questions like, what should be the next steps for the company in terms of its marketing strategies, and what are some ways to evaluate the company’s digital/social media and international presence in the future? To accomplish this, identifying viable options and recommendations for enhancing their digital marketing efforts must be assessed. Furthermore, evaluating the effectiveness of their digital platforms and engagement with online audiences could provide further information. Additionally, examining their performance in various international markets, like viewership, market trends, and potential growth, can provide methods to develop informed strategies to strengthen WWE’s marketing initiatives, increasing their revenue streams and market share. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY During November 2023, information gathered provided various factors to discuss the WWE's market position. This analysis utilized information from external sources such as industry reports, market research studies, relevant articles, and competitor analysis to conduct secondary research. All sources gathered range from 6 to 12 years, given WWE's constant change in business due to several critical factors in the world. RESEARCH AND KEY FINDINGS
  • 4. Page 4 The WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) primarily sells live event tickets, pay-per- view broadcasts, clothing and collectibles, and digital content through its streaming service, WWE Network. To build a loyal fan base and become a global leading company within the professional wrestling industry, their brand positioning statement, "Then. Now. Forever," is a tagline that signifies their commitment to providing dynamic entertainment for their audience. WWE continues to find ways to evolve over the years and break new ground. Regarding their outlook, the company reaffirms its expectations for 2023, which target record revenue ranging from $395 million to $410 million, which would be a record. Business outlook for the company estimates third quarter 2023 Adjusted OIBDA of $75-$85 million. (WWE, 2023) They anticipate these results will reflect a YoY decrease in revenue through Consumer Product segments due to early termination of an agreement with licensed collectibles. Weekly viewers of WWE programming consist of 36.2% females, and among their target demographics of viewers 18-49, the programs rank higher or at least competitively in weekly viewership than almost any other program on network or cable television. However, one of their major competitors, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), has been appealing to the same demographic by attempting to create an alternative product to the WWE. Along with their main shows, the two promotions are competing for the weekly ratings of this target group. In November, they have been tightly vying for attention. The company's significant competitors are ESPN Inc., Hulu LLC, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, Live Nation Entertainment Inc., All Elite Wrestling LLC, Zuffa LLC, and Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions LLC. Apart from established players in developed countries, WWE Inc. (2014)
  • 5. Page 5 players from emerging countries are also competing hard to garner a more significant market share. Many of its competitors have a more extended operating history, greater brand recognition, established customer and supplier relationships, and more substantial financial resources, leading to innovative products and business expansion through acquisitions. (MarketLine, 2023) While the WWE has enjoyed a dominant position in the professional wrestling industry, the number of competitors that continue to challenge the company only grows. These challenges are both direct rivals and other forms of entertainment. This only forces WWE to adapt to the changing landscape. It focuses on maintaining a unique market position, like its brand recognition and global reach, adapting to consumer preferences by finding innovative ways to deliver content, and tailoring its content and events to specific regions while competing with local wrestling traditions. The company faces competition from both direct rivals and other forms of entertainment. Adapting to changes in the media landscape and expanding its international presence is essential for WWE to maintain that dominant position. These opportunities not only present WWE with ways to diversify its audience by increasing its future market share. Two main factors that can ensure the WWE's adaptability against its competitors are international expansion and its social/digital content. The WWE launched the WWE Network in 2014, providing on-demand access to its extensive library of past events, WWE, Inc. (2022)
  • 6. Page 6 original programming, and live pay-per-view events. In March 2022, the WWE Network moved to the Peacock streaming service and began rolling out new, original content, such as documentaries, each month. In the third quarter of 2020, WWE Network had average paid subscribers of 1.6 million, down about 60,000 from the prior quarter but an increase of 6% year over year – marking the service’s first annual growth since Q1 of 2019. (Spangler, 2023) In terms of international expansion, WWE has been actively expanding into global markets like the United Kingdom (Clash at the Castle), India (Superstar Spectacle), Germany (Battle in Berlin), and Australia (Elimination Chamber.) WWE's continued global reach and efforts to appeal to a broader demographic can positively contribute to its success in the professional wrestling industry. CONCLUSIONS WWE's market analysis reveals several factors that show potential success for its current and projected markets, such as the current market, social media platforms, and international expansion. The company has a strong position in the professional wrestling industry with a dedicated fan base. Their live televised events like Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown increased their viewership in 2023. According to Appendix B, targeting the P18-49 demographic, the Raw and SmackDown brand managed to gain 1.5 to 2.1 million viewers over its competitor, AEW. Additionally, WWE's presence in over 180 countries demonstrates its global reach and growing popularity. Social Media Platform: As the WWE continues to find ways to reach new markets, social media has provided the company with that opportunity. The company's wrestlers have created
  • 7. Page 7 personal TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to engage with fans worldwide. WWE has a massive online presence with over a billion social media followers. WWE has been quick to partner with people that have a massive following on social media platforms, most recently the social media personality Logan Paul. Three months after signing a contract with WWE last year, Paul took out a cell phone and filmed himself jumping from the ropes onto Roman Reigns. According to Levesque, the video garnered over 40 million views across Paul's and WWE's social platforms in less than 24 hours, topping all social media posts for the Stamford, Connecticut, company last year. (Chapman, 2023) This digital engagement has helped WWE maintain a strong connection with its audience and extend its reach beyond traditional media platforms. International Expansion: WWE's global expansion efforts continue to grow. As I mentioned, shows in the United Kingdom, Germany, and India have made the company focus on marketing strategic partnerships with organizations within those countries. These initiatives help WWE tap into those regions' growing wrestling fan base. It also increases viewership, merchandise sales, partnership deals for distribution rights, and long-term growth. Projected Market: The future market for the WWE has made significant strides in diversifying its audience. The company develops localized content while aiming to appeal to that broader demographic. Moreover, the rise of streaming services and digital consumption allows WWE to deliver its programming directly to viewers to enhance its revenue potential and expand its market share. Earlier this month, the WWE made one projected move that can increase a younger audience to view the developed brand. The CW will become the official broadcast home of WWE NXT in a new five-year deal that will see the showcase for WWE’s up- and-coming stars move from the USA Network in October of 2024. Led by WWE Hall of Famer
  • 8. Page 8 Shawn Michaels, NXT is popular with younger audiences, ranking No. 1 in cable primetime on Tuesday nights last quarter among adults 18-49 and 19-34. Year to date, NXT’s average viewership is up 30% among adults 18-49. (Goldsmith, 2023) However, they must continue developing innovative, compelling, engaging storylines and interactive experiences that resonate with their audience across different media platforms. During November 2023, information gathered provided various factors to discuss the WWE's market position. This analysis utilized information from external sources such as industry reports, market research studies, relevant articles, and competitor analysis to conduct secondary research. All sources gathered range from 6 to 12 years, given WWE's constant change in business due to several critical factors in the world. RECOMMENDATIONS The WWE can expand and diversify its international presence by conducting thorough market research to identify potential untapped markets and assess their feasibility. They can also forge strategic partnerships with local organizations, broadcasters, or promoters to gain market knowledge and enhance brand visibility. A strategic recommendation can see an increase of 30% by hosting more localized events in emerging within the next two years, according to 2023 third quarter numbers, despite their forecasted decline. WWE should leverage the power of influencers and celebrities to expand its reach and engage with new audiences. By partnering with famous figures from various fields, WWE can tap into its fan bases, generate buzz, and attract new viewers to its programming. This cross-promotion can be done through social media campaigns, guest appearances, or unique collaborations, creating
  • 9. Page 9 mutually beneficial opportunities for exposure and growth. Another recommendation to address the gender wage gap is to engage an external audit service. While the male counterparts have dominated the WWE's payroll, the emerging issue of female pay inequity needs to be addressed. The WWE could hire an external auditor to demonstrate why such conditions exist in the company. A detailed report on role, tenure, location, and sponsorships will help explain the differences. Where there is apparent ambiguity, the information can help identify the next steps for the company's stakeholders to merit closer investigation. (Mustafa, 2023) By implementing these recommendations, WWE can capitalize on its favorable findings, driving growth, diversifying its fan base, and solidifying its position as a global entertainment powerhouse.
  • 10. Page 10 REFERENCES Chapman, M. (2023, February 22). WWE leaning in to social media ahead of possible sale. AP News. https://apnews.com/article/mlb-sports-pro-wrestling-baseball- d7bacce55e68974266dbc4c3792afc3d (Goldsmith, 2023) Goldsmith, J. (2023, November 7). The CW adds WWE’s NXT to sports lineup; Five-year deal will see showcase for up-and-coming wrestlers move from USA network. Deadline. https://deadline.com/2023/11/cw-wwe-nxt-usa-network-pro-wrestling-1235595011/ (MarketLine, 2023) MarketLine. (2023, May 5). MarketLine Company Profile: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Fullsail.edu. https://login.oclc.fullsail.edu/login?url=https://search-ebscohost- com.oclc.fullsail.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=163757792&site=ehost-live (Mustafa, 2022) Mustafa, S. (2022, May). A Glimmer of Hope: Environmental Change and Strategy Adaptation at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Major Papers 219. https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1253&context=major-papers (Spangler, 2023)
  • 11. Page 11 Spangler, T. (2021, January 25). NBCU’s peacock pins WWE Network exclusive U.S. streaming rights. Variety Daily. https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/wwe-network-peacock- exclusively-streaming-1234890954/ Thurston, B. (2023, April 13). Latest TV ratings. Wrestlenomics. https://wrestlenomics.com/tv- ratings/ (WWE, 2023) WWE. (2023, November 11). WWE® Reports Record Second Quarter 2023 results. Wwe.com. https://corporate.wwe.com/investors/news/press-releases/2023/08-02-2023- 120046149
  • 12. Page 12 APPENDICES Appendix A Table: Wrestlenomics Source: Nielsen, Wrestlenomics Appendix B Chart: Wrestlenomics Source: Nielsen, Wrestlenomics