WWE Takes "Big Time" Approach to Marketing Blitz for WrestleMania 22
STAMFORD, Conn., March 7, 2006 – WWE is capitalizing on its recent momentum by mounting its biggest-ever promotional campaign for pay-per-view’s perennial champion live event, WrestleMania 22. The event, which sold out in less than two minutes in October, will take place at Chicago’s Rosemont’s Allstate Arena on Sunday, April 2, 2006, and can be purchased on pay-per-view through cable and satellite providers.
The multi-million dollar build up to the WrestleMania 22 spectacular includes a joint promotion with NBC Universal, as well as promotions with Snickers, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Game Stop, EB Games, and Toys ‘R’ Us. An affiliate-powered Fan Axxess Tour is crossing the U.S. sponsored by the National Guard. A two-month viral E-Marketing effort is planned, as is free on-demand programming to drive pay-per-view sales. And there will be a host of out-of-home and guerilla marketing tactics, such as billboard signage, WrestleMania pizza boxes, and much more.
All promotions are being built around this year’s WrestleMania 22 theme, “WrestleMania Big Time.” The theme is the perfect fit for a brand that gained significant momentum in 2005 with the successful return of cable titan “Monday Night Raw®” to USA Network, the successful move of the venerable UPN SmackDown® franchise from Thursday to Friday night, and a bevy of stellar pay-per-view spectaculars, sold-out arena events, and record-breaking DVD sales.
“This year is our most ambitious slate of national promotions ever, with many new elements designed to help affiliates make the most of WrestleMania 22, which promises to be another pay-per-view blockbuster,” said Kurt Schneider, Executive Vice President, Marketing. “With all of this aggressive consumer reach, we plan on bringing in millions of viewers. WrestleMania is Big Time, indeed.”
WWE will support the WrestleMania 22 pay-per-view blockbuster with a high-profile campaign of unique television, print and outdoor advertising in national media and major local markets. WWE’s campaign, through independent agencies Horizon Media and MacDonald Media, features commercials on local broadcast and cable television, national network radio ads, extensive billboard and transit advertising in 12 major markets, and the most aggressive online and interactive marketing program in WWE’s history. Additional tactics include:
CABLE: WWE is working with the hometown operator for the event, Comcast Chicago, to execute the first-ever local ad sales opportunities tied to WrestleMania. Comcast Chicago Spotlight client, Chicago Cycles, will serve as the local sponsor of WWE’s Hall of Fame event and local promotional partner for both the Hall of Fame event and WrestleMania 22 pay-per-view. Cable affiliates, such as Comcast, Time-Warner and Charter, have partnered with the National Guard sponsored WrestleMania 22 Fan Axxess Tour as it passes through local markets. WWE also is offering an affiliate incentive program to cable operators, offering a WWE Superstar to participate in local community events for those cable affiliates that achieve the highest WrestleMania pay-per-view buys, most improved WrestleMania pay-per-view buy rates, and most creative marketing tactics.
VOD: WrestleMania 22 is being aggressively promoted via WWE 24/7™On Demand, which is devoting its entire month of March to WrestleMania-themed programming. In addition, WWE is offering all affiliates a free on-demand program, “WrestleMania’s Big Time Moments,” to drive sales for the April 2 pay-per-view event.
SATELLITE: DirecTV and DISH both offered “Road to WrestleMania 22” pay-per-view bundles that provided discounts on WWE pay-per-views New Year’s Revolution™, Royal Rumble®, and No Way Out®. Both satellite services also are using “WrestleMania’s Big Time Moments” as a promotional driver to encourage their consumers to purchase WrestleMania 22.
DIRECT MAIL: More than 1.2 million pieces of WrestleMania 22 direct mail are being distributed by cable affiliates and satellite providers in North America. WWE also will be firing off email blasts to close to one million WWE fans. Subscribers through WWE.com also will receive special cell phone text alerts.
FILM INDUSTRY: NBC Universal is teaming with WWE on a $10 million campaign to drive joint sales of the WrestleMania pay-per-view and the video on demand release of its film, “DOOM,” starring The Rock®. The media and promotional support includes the offer of two limited edition posters of the action star for cable and satellite consumers who purchase both DOOM on-demand and the WrestleMania 22 pay-per-view.
NATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES WWE’s “Win Big Time Sweepstakes” is a two-month long web-based instant win sweepstakes that gives fans daily chances to win more than 10,000 prizes, including trips to WrestleMania 22. Data captured in the initiative will be used to promote pay-per-view sales of WrestleMania 22 and other upcoming WWE events via e-marketing partnerships with affiliates across the nation. Interactive promotion agency ePrize manages the promotion.
FOOD & BEVERAGE: Snickers, the presenting sponsor of WrestleMania 22, is holding a national sweepstakes on snickers.com, offering fans the chance to go to WrestleMania 22 and sit in the “Best Seats in the House.” About six million Mountain Dew cans will be distributed in the Chicago area featuring WWE Champion John Cena® and WrestleMania 22, driving fans to a regional on-line sweepstakes. Pepsi and supermarket chain, Jewel Osco, are running an in-store promotion at 200 stores in the Midwest area. WWE is teaming with Topps and Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits on a campaign that will distribute free “Big Time Mania Moments” trading cards to customers who purchase Pepsi at 77 Popeyes locations around Chicago.
RETAIL: WrestleMania 22 will have a presence in more than 5,000 retail locations through a series of promotions with Toys ‘R’ Us, Kay Bee Toys, Game Stop/Electronic Boutique, AAFES (Army Air Force Exchange Service) and others. Toys ’R’ Us also will have a special WrestleMania 22 Feature Shop in its Times Square store in New York City.
MUSIC: WWE has secured the rights to rock legend Peter Gabriel’s international smash, “Big Time,” as the stadium-rattling “Official Theme Song” for the April 2 event and its marketing campaign. Some artists involved in WWE’s latest entrance theme compilation, scheduled for release by Columbia Recordsin May 2006, may be featured at WrestleMania 22. Among those covering WWE Superstar themes for the compilation are Disturbed, P.O.D., Saliva, Killswitch Engage, Zebrahead, and Avenged Sevenfold.
GRASSROOTS: The 13-week-long WrestleMania 22 Fan Axxess Tour is bringing a 4,000-foot interactive exhibit and numerous WWE Superstars past and present to shopping malls, sporting events and festivals coast-to-coast, before arriving at its final destination – the site of WWE’s top pay-per-view event in the Chicago area. Attendance for the tour is up 27% to date over last year with more than 61,000 people participating.
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