THIS WEEK: 5 of the Biggest Corporate Partnerships That Prove WWE is More Mainstream Than Ever
While the streets aren't littered with Austin 3:16 shirts, and TV ratings aren't in the tens of millions every week, WWE has mastered the art of sponsorships - something that is vital to any sports or entertainment organization, and gets their brand out there more than any other time in the company’s history.
In addition to making revenue, WWE’s brand continues to expand beyond what was considered just wrestling fans. This week, a look at some of the biggest brands backing Sports-Entertainment.
When you can talk Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Dolph Ziggler and more into dressing like Colonel Sanders, and even holding matches for the “title” of the Colonel, it’s safe to say that this is one relationship that has meshed incredibly well.
“The Colonel” is even a playable character in last year’s WWE 2K18 video game… and he’s JACKED.
While I can't whole-heartedly get behind the "Sexy Colonel", it was a thing, and HBK made it work.
2. Fender Guitars
Just announced this week, Elias has now been sponsored by Fender. It’s not uncommon for musicians to be sponsored by guitar makers, but for a WWE Superstar to be showcasing guitars – in a world where they’re known more for breaking them over opponent’s backs than playing them – it’s definitely a major win. I’m not sure if it’s a WWE thing, or between Elias and Fender exclusively. Either way, free guitars are free guitars!
3. Cricket Wireless
Dolph Ziggler seems to be one of the guys WWE relies on for these outside ventures – perhaps because Ziggler himself has shown interest in broadening his horizons with his comedy career.
Nevertheless, WWE’s partnership with Cricket has netted some advertising revenue, as well as allowed some unique marketing with John Cena, which told stories of people who have been fighters in their own lives. Great stuff.
Remember when a candybar changed the name of the Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal? While the jury remains out on whether or not The Fabulous Moolah allegedly victimized students in her wrestling schools over the years, the one fact remains that once the stories were brought into the forefront, the name of the “Fabulous Moolah Memorial” was turfed.
On the lighter side, the Snickers sponsorship also allowed for many of the “You’re not you when you’re hungry” spots to be created, which were pretty funny.
"Whoa whoa whoa… there’s no sponsorship between WWE and UFC!"
Maybe not for money, but let’s face it: these two promotions used to pretend neither one existed. When WWE was thriving in the “Attitude Era”, Ken Shamrock was brought in as a “star of the Ultimate Fighting World”, but no mention of his championships in UFC were ever brought to light. Enter Brock Lesnar’s first UFC fight. UFC did everything they could to make it sound like a phoney wrestler was coming in to try and take a title… until he did.
Add to the mix that UFC’s biggest female star, Ronda Rousey is now not only a major player on the WWE Raw Roster, but is being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this weekend, and the fact WWE is covering it, there is no doubt that an “agree to get along” policy is benefitting both companies.
Has WWE partnering with any brand made you a buyer? What would YOU like to see endorsing WWE or any other wrestling promotion?