WWE Saturates The Marketplace, by Linda Haugsted -- Multichannel News, 3/10/2008
Aerial advertising, TV commercials, video-on-demand snippets, direct mail, bus wraps, in-store toy displays, radio promotions, even a sweepstakes for a customized motorcycle: It will be hard for viewers to ignore the fact that Wrestlemania 24 will be held March 30 in Orlando, Fla.
World Wrestling Entertainment is adding more elements each year in order to top the previous year’s buy-rate. The goal now: to beat the 1.2 million buys recorded for the 2007 event.
Continued, growing interest is primed by the stories created for the wrestlers, stunts (such as last year’s “feud” between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump) and marketing, said WWE executive vice president of marketing Geof Rochester.
This year’s “stunt” is a match between welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and 7-foot-tall WWE wrestler Big Show.
The marketing is massive and multi-layered, he said.
Affiliates including DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and Cablevision Systems have signed up for a promotional campaign that will result in one viewer winning a custom-built WWE motorcycle from Orange County Choppers.
Subscribers in participating systems will be targeted with 2 million direct-mail pieces. Rochester called that a 30% increase in mail over last year.
Guides and bill ads will reach 9 million homes; cross-channel spots will air in 10 million homes. The effort will be supported in 30 markets with radio promotions.
Charter and Comcast will boost visibility in some of their markets by participating in WWE’s Community Champions, where cause-related activists will be nominated for a chance for a trip to Orlando for the wrestling event.
The market around the Citrus Bowl will be especially saturated. DirecTV’s new blimp will hover over three NASCAR races this month, showing 2-minute clips, six times per hour. Also, local affiliate Bright House Networks helped WWE gain access to 70,000 local hotel rooms to offer three-minute promotions for the event.
The partners also worked together to rent a patch of land near the Orlando airport so arriving planes will see the WWE logo depicted on the plot, Rochester said.
In all, WWE will try 40 to 50 tactics to spread the word.
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