World Wrestling Federation Entertainment drops the 'F'!
A new logo reflecting the name change will be introduced tonight on WWE's top-rated television show RAW( on TNN at 9 p.m. (ET).
"As World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, we have entertained millions of fans around the United States and around the globe," said Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. "Our new name puts the emphasis on the "E" for entertainment, what our company does best. WWE provides us with a global identity that is distinct and unencumbered, which is critical to our U.S. and international growth plans."
Mrs. McMahon said the company began considering dropping the word "Federation" from its name when World Wildlife Fund (a/k/a World Wide Fund for Nature) prevailed in a recent court action in the United Kingdom. The court ruling prevents the World Wrestling Federation from the use of the logo it adopted in 1998 and the letters WWF in specified circumstances. The "Fund" has indicated that although the two organizations are very different, there is the likelihood of confusion in the market place by virtue of the fact that both organizations use the letters WWF. The Fund has indicated that it does not want to have any association with the World Wrestling Federation. "Therefore," said, Mrs.McMahon, "we will utilize this opportunity to position ourselves emphasizing the entertainment aspect of our company, and, at the same time, allay the concerns of the Fund."
Mrs. McMahon said the name change provides a distinct and unencumbered global identity that will further cast World Wrestling Entertainment as an integrated entertainment and media company. "World Wrestling Entertainment and WWE will now be the identity that we use from the television base we have established in 130 countries," she said. "As WWE, we will launch our further expanded U.S. and international touring, our international expansion of branded merchandise and licensed products, and our further integration into the film, publishing and music businesses."
The successful development of the "Tough Enough"( television series on MTV, a new book deal with Simon and Schuster, and the hit motion picture, "The Scorpion King," executive produced by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE, are examples of the types of activities the company plans to undertake as it expand its horizons in the global entertainment industry.
New logo art has been provided to business partners, licensees and vendors. The company expects that, for the most part, the changeover to the new name and logo will be completed within five months.
WWE will continue to trade as WWF on the New York Stock Exchange until a suitable replacement symbol is found. The company will be providing the appropriate documentation and filings with regulators to solicit shareholder approval of the name change.
In conjunction with the name change, WWE announced it has changed the name of its entertainment complex in New York City's Times Square from WWF New York to The World(, currently the name of its popular night club.
World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWF) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Chicago, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and wwecorpbiz.com. Information on television ratings and community activities can be found at wweparents.com.
Editors Note: Copies of the new logo can be obtained from Business Wire.
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Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, food and beverage, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; and other risks and factors identified in the Company's documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated.