WrestleMania 21 Goes Hollywood With Multi-Media Marketing Campaign
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 16, 2005–World Wrestling Entertainment(R) is pulling out all the stops for its multi-million dollar multi-media campaign to promote its annual live event and Pay-Per-View pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania(R) 21.
WrestleMania 21 will be performed at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on April 3, 2005, before a capacity crowd from 14 countries and 48 states. The annual Pay-Per-View event will be seen by fans from more than 90 countries.
WWE(R) is spending more than $5 million behind the “WrestleMania Goes Hollywood” multi-media campaign to not only surround its current fan base, but to grab potential and lapsed fans by the “emotional lapels” to get them to think about or remember why they love WWE. It is using a mix of traditional national media with local ads, street-level guerilla marketing and a grass-roots mall tour to promote WrestleMania 21. The theme of “WrestleMania Goes Hollywood” is particularly apt this year as WWE intends to roll out the first two movies under its WWE Films(TM) imprint later this year. WWE also recently signed the legendary Stone Cold Steve Austin(TM) to a three-movie deal.
“Whether our fans are going to or renting movies, listening to the radio, sitting home eating a pizza while watching TV, drinking a cold glass of milk, going to the mall, or surfing the net, we want them to know about WrestleMania 21,” said Kurt Schneider, Executive Vice President, Marketing. “Our fans are entertainment junkies. When our current, casual and lapsed fans consume entertainment in the home or out on the town, we want them to view WrestleMania 21 as a must-see event in April.”
A cornerstone of the campaign is a series of WWE movie trailers parodying great moments in recent cinema history, such as When Harry Met Sally, Dirty Harry, A Few Good Men, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart, Forrest Gump and Basic Instinct. These parody trailers were created by WWE’s television production team to market WrestleMania 21 within its programming and in the following ways:
More than 290 Regal Cinemas in the top 25 markets are airing 30-second WrestleMania 21 commercials on their screens and will air the Forrest Gump parody trailer starring WWE RAW(R) Superstar Eugene(TM) on their “Lobby Entertainment Network”, consisting of plasma screens in 520 theaters. AMC Theaters will also show the Forrest Gump parody trailer in 146 of their digital theaters starting March 18, further proving that WrestleMania has in fact gone Hollywood.
WWE is providing the WrestleMania 21 movie parody trailers to all cable and satellite affiliates as free programming that can be used to promote sales of the WrestleMania 21 Pay-Per-View. Cable operators are using the parody trailers with a “WrestleMania Recall” program about the top 10 matches in WrestleMania history as special free On-Demand programming that fans can view via their local digital cable Video-On-Demand service. Cable operators also are running the parody trailers on their Pay-Per-View “barker” channels and on their locally-programmed channels.
Satellite affiliates DIRECTV and DISH Network are featuring the parody trailers on their Pay-Per-View “events” channels, and they are included as part of the “WrestleMania Recall” promotional program that is currently running on each satellite service. The parody trailers also are featured in an exclusive “Tivo Showcase” segment that is provided to DIRECTV’s customers with Tivo-branded DVR service.
On television, WrestleMania commercials can be seen on TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” and DIRECTV. On radio, commercials can be heard in 17 markets. Online advertising and content integration on IGN.com and Sportsline.com adds to the national reach.
There are major national promotions with NBC/Universal and the Jerry Springer Show, and Howard Stern, as well as a myriad of planned TV and Entertainment media tie-ins. Retail support includes promotions in 70 of Blockbuster’s Los Angeles locations and national sweepstakes with KB Toys and AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service).
The WrestleMania 21 brand can be seen in various configurations of outdoor billboards, bus shelters, buses, information kiosks, and trash receptacles in 17 of the top markets, including Los Angeles and New York.
The campaign carries right into the home, where inserts in Blockbuster DVD rentals, branded pizza boxes, and branded milk cartons promoting WrestleMania 21 keep the event top of mind for consumers.
The focus of the grassroots effort is WWE’s “Road to WrestleManiaTour”, which is winding its way across the country since kicking off in Connecticut in mid-January. The “retail-tainment” tour is visiting 11 major shopping malls and has been attracting thousands of fans at each stop. The tour’s final destination is, of course, WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles on April 3. Sponsors of the “Road to WrestleMania Tour” are Army National Guard, Mattel, and The SUV Council of America.
During WrestleMania week in Los Angeles, there will be several promotional activities, including a celebrity video game tournament, a noon-time wrestling exhibition at Hollywood and Highland, an eight-page advertorial in local L.A. newspapers and extensive local media tie-ins with L.A. radio powerhouse, Power 106, and other local media outlets.
WWE publications and merchandise have also been created specifically to mark this historic event, including two special magazines commemorating the history of WrestleMania in photos. An assortment of WrestleMania 21 products are being offered, most of which can be purchased through WWEShop.com.
Masterfoods USA’s Snicker’s Cruncher(R) is the sponsor for WrestleMania 21. Clearasil for Men is the Official Grooming Product and Subway(R) is the Official Toasted Sandwich of WrestleMania 21.
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. For additional information on WrestleMania 21, go to wrestlemania.wwe.com.
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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.