WWE Legends Program Gives Former Professional Wrestling Heroes New Life and WWE New Product
STAMFORD, Conn., June 20, 2005 - World Wrestling Entertainment® (WWE) intends to give its superstar legends of yesteryear new life and, at the same time, provide retailers and licensees with an infusion of new product with the formal introduction of its new WWE Legends initiative at the national Licensing Show this week.
“WWE has a tremendous heritage on television, in the licensing industry, at retail and, most importantly, with our fans,” said Donna Goldsmith, Senior Vice President, Consumer Products. “Our fans have been clamoring for us to do more with their favorite wrestlers of the past, and the WWE Legends initiative is intended to do just that. Through apparel, action figures, video games, DVDs, collectables, and other licensed products, WWE reminds our fans of our great heritage and those great members of the professional wrestling industry who remain their heroes.”
The WWE Legends initiative began informally with the introduction of WWE’s new subscription video on demand (SVOD) service, WWE 24/7™ -- which is, and will be, distributed by cable, telephony, and satellite partners worldwide -- and through the use of the massive video library WWE has amassed over the past several years in career retrospective DVDs, such as The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection and The Rise + Fall of ECW, both of which are among the best-selling DVDs in WWE history.
With more than 25 professional wrestling greats signed on to the Legends initiative, such as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper™, Jerry “The King Lawler™, and “Superstar” Billy Graham™, WWE is now ready to start issuing licensed merchandise at retail. WWE issued its first official Legends DVD, Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ‘80’s, this month. In the next several months, there will be Legends action figures, apparel, books, and more DVDs. The Legends themselves will be out promoting a wide range of WWE activities, including WWE 24/7. Also in the works are Legends fantasy weekends where the fans will have a chance to reminisce with their favorite WWE Legend.
Goldsmith indicated that the Legends initiative could have a far reaching impact for the company. “If we can rekindle in the minds of casual and lapsed wrestling fans why they loved the WWE by reconnecting them with their pop culture icons, then we have a chance at getting them more involved in the current television programs, Pay-Per-View television events, and products that we offer,” she said. “Sometimes you need to remind people of your past to get them to be part of your future.”
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.
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