WWE has lined up their most extensive promotional campaign ever for WrestleMania 25. This is despite how the significant advertising campaigns of WrestleMania 24 made the event significantly less profitable than it otherwise would have been, although Floyd Mayweather Jr’s fee had an obvious effect on the profit margins too. The PPV price remains $54.95, with K-Mart shoppers who purchase over $50 of WWE merchandise receiving a $10 discount. WWE is trying to counter the recent downturn in buyrates through such promotional offers. A significant percentage of their PPV orders in recent years has come from overseas, yet in countries like the UK the US dollar has been devalued and so WrestleMania purchases there will work out at around $3 less in revenue-per-buy. All told, that could mean a difference of between $2.4 and $3.3 million in overall annual event revenue for 2009.
An extensive TV ad campaign is also lined up, focusing on USA, MTV and ESPN. The latter is significant as WWE’s main PPV competitor, UFC, is not allowed to advertise on that channel. They are targetting the sports fan demographic, spending $10 million on ‘advertising value’, double the number of last year’s WrestleMania. In essence, they are taking the money they spent on Mayweather and putting it into promotional campaigns instead. Given the added investment and that WWE mwill make about $20.61 off of each buy, they would need an additional 170,000 buys to recoup that extra cost.
Also, WWE will be sending out 1.3 million pieces of direct mail. These are targeted at those who have purchased UFC PPVs and major boxing PPVs in the past year, plus those who have purchased WrestleMania in the past few years. The consensus is that WrestleMania can be sold to casual fans who would not otherwise watch another wrestling PPV throughout the year. Dish Network subscribers will be able to instantly order the event at the touch of a button if they are watching the Sports Center commercials.
The local interest in Houston is said to be far lower than what WWE received from Orlando last year. There is no less publicity than what they had in 2001, the last time WrestleMania was in Houston, but WWE’s expectations have grown since that point. The city treats it as a curiousity rather than a truly major happening.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 30 March 2009 (subscribe here)
Tags: wrestlemania, WWE