The following is a press release issued today by WWE:
World Wresting Entertainment Storms Europe With Record Setting Tour; First-Ever Televised Events Outside North America Anchor Onslaught of Activities
STAMFORD, Conn. & LONDON, Oct 20, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) — For the first time ever in World Wrestling Entertainment(R) history, both RAW(R) and SmackDown!(TM) Superstars were on simultaneous overseas tours to perform in Europe. More than 115,000 ecstatic fans saw WWE(R) live, bought WWE merchandise and met WWE Superstars at local retail markets for a rousing start to the WWE’s major European brand initiative in the UK.
Separate RAW and SmackDown! live event tours covered seven days and saw the larger-than-life WWE Superstars performing before packed houses in Germany, Finland, Italy and the UK. Each tour culminated with the flagship television programs Monday Night RAW and WWE SmackDown! being performed from Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, the first time those television programs have emanated from outside North America.
“Our fans in the UK and all across Europe are incredible, and are the reason this new dedicated UK initiative is off to a roaring start,” said Shane McMahon, WWE’s Executive Vice President, Global Media. “Our UK brand initiative is groundbreaking for us, our business partners, and our fans. It is developing the model we plan to use in other countries as we further implement our global expansion strategy.”
Complementing the live event tours were a series of promotional appearances, promotions and publicity events which saw WWE Superstars appearing on popular UK television programs, on various UK news programs, and in features in the UK’s largest newspaper, The Sun.
The tours provided an unprecedented opportunity for WWE licensees THQ, Jakks, Clearvision, Simon and Schuster, Sony Music and Topps, and primary UK retail partners WHSmith and Woolworths, to promote WWE’s licensed and consumer products in the UK.
“The first phase of our WWE brand push in the UK has been an overwhelming success,” said Kurt Schneider, Executive Vice President, Marketing. “Not only did we play before packed houses and break merchandise sales records at half the arenas at which we performed, but we were able to offer our business partners an unprecedented platform from which to promote our licensed and consumer products.”
Among the promotional activities were:
— In-store WWE Superstar appearances across the UK supporting
WWE licensees and retail partners WHSmith and Woolworths.
— A cross promotion with The Sun newspaper and Woolworths, the
top retailer in the UK, that allowed fans to earn tokens for
an exclusive WWE DVD that was redeemed by an estimated 180,000
— THQ had Playstation pods at every event promoting the new
SmackDown! vs. RAW video game, providing the first worldwide
exclusive showing of the game, which is eagerly anticipated in
the video gaming world. THQ also did a promotion with
Woolworths and with GAME store to pre-order SmackDown! vs.
— Sony leafleted fans at all UK live events promoting the
release of a new CD ThemeAddict WWE The Music V6 in November.
In April 2005, the WWE plans to return to the UK to again produce Monday Night RAW and WWE SmackDown!, triggering a second phase of promotions, sweepstakes and Superstar appearances.
In support of this initiative, WWE is undertaking a UK-specific ad campaign that will result in greater awareness for the brand. Licensees, retailers, promotional and media partners will all focus their WWE efforts around the same brand message and as a result of these synergies, there will be a significant increase in activities developed for their consumers.
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.
Trademarks: The names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans and wrestling moves and all World Wrestling Entertainment logos are trademarks which are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 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, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated.
SOURCE: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.