WWE’s pay-per-view extravaganza, Wrestlemania, has been given various nicknames over the 35 years it has been in operation. Such as, ‘the show of shows’ and ‘the grandest stage of them all’. This year, for Wrestlemania 35, the biggest sports entertainment event of the year comes to the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Wrestlemania is broadcast to over 180 different countries in 20 different languages. But this sporting event isn’t just a show of extreme athleticism, superhuman strength and world-class performance, it is also one of the biggest marketing opportunities in the sporting world. But, which brands are capitalising on Wrestlemania 35?
Snickers partnered with WWE in 2016 to add a targeted extension to its long-running “you’re not you when you’re hungry” ad campaign. The brand brings the campaign to life through its presenting sponsorship of WrestleMania and video vignettes that feature WWE superstars.
“We look for big, bold and iconic partners that can help tell our story in an authentic way, and WWE helps tell that story in a way that resonates with fans,” said Mike Italia, Mars senior brand manager.
The tie-in helps Snickers overcome one of the biggest challenges for confectionary marketers: reaching consumers under the age of 35.
“They’re watching content on YouTube, Hulu and other streaming services, and it’s much harder to reach them. We leverage WWE to get in front of them in engaging ways and tell our story through a property they already engage.”
The American wireless network company partnered with WWE to energize its brand and drive store traffic following AT&T’s 2014 acquisition of Leap Wireless, Cricket’s parent company.
The acquisition helped transform Cricket from a regional brand to a national brand. Cricket Wireless activates the sponsorship to drive store traffic. The company hosts WWE superstars at retail locations; each event typically draws 300 to 400 guests, with some drawing upwards of 1,000 fans.
Why WWE and why Wrestlemania?
The sponsorship success that is driven by WWE as a company essentially boils down to three key elements: their global reach, authentic brand integration and ‘one-stop’ shopping.
WWE have TV programming in more than 800 million homes with 850 million social media followers to air their unrivalled content… and your brand. WWE have the most viewed sports channel and second most viewed channel on the whole of YouTube with 20 billion lifetime views (as of Jan 31st 2019).
The vast majority of professional sports franchises do not have control of their talent. The Premier League, the NFL and the NBA aren’t in a position to market their key roster members – WWE are.
Wrestlemania is not just a one-night event. In fact, there is the annual Wrestlemania Week. This involves a week-long, access-all-areas event in which all of WWE’s globally adored wrestlers, from legends like The Undertaker and John Cena, to modern day heroes Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, are available for meet and greets in various venues across the city.
Integrating their brand name with WWE and Wrestlemania is something that guarantees huge exposure to an incredibly passionate and committed audience that are known for buying into companies backed by WWE.
The phrase ‘one-stop shopping’ refers to multiple services and products being made available under one brand. WWE do this consistently and this is emphasised perfectly during the Wrestlemania event.
Last year’s event saw WWE make £2.6m in sales of t-shirts, replica belts and other merchandise. The event also saw an extra half a million people subscribe to the groundbreaking WWE Network. The Network doesn’t just offer access to great wrestling, but also reality TV shows and cartoon spin-offs of the wrestlers,
The advantage of one-stop shopping is that sports entertainment fans have everything they need in one place. As a brand looking to integrate their name with WWE, they can guarantee a large and consistent audience that will become familiar with the look and feel of the brand very quickly.
On April 7th, Wrestlemania returns with yet another classic. The event will be sponsored solely by Snickers who will receive air-time during breaks in matches and storytelling. Wrestlemania 35 will see the first ever all-female main event with Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey and people’s champion Becky Lynch bring the 82,000 in attendance at the MetLife stadium to their feet in the final match of the night.
You can take a look at the rest of the match card by clicking here!