For as long as there has been a WWE, the brand has always tried to generate public interest by appealing to the masses with a Pop Culture crossover. From Muhammad Ali, Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T, to the more recent appearances of Lawrence Taylor, Pete Rose snd Floyd Mayweather; Vince and company have always been really good at getting a set of eyes on their product that wouldn’t have watched otherwise simply by including a famous actor, athlete or musician for an event or two.
Hell, Donald Trump even took a Stone Cold Stunner once upon a time. Nowadays, he’s running for president.
Recently, Stephen Amell, the star of “Arrow” on the CW has been making appearances on WWE television. While this is nothing all that new and a match at Summerslam tends to be par for the course when it comes to celebrity appearances, the move could prove beneficial to both franchises.
As it stands, “Arrow” is a successful franchise for the CW, a network that has begun to generate its viewership around a younger demographic, primarily the 18-34 crowd. With the resurgence of comic book culture, CW has invested greatly into the subset with “Arrow” and “The Flash” at the forefront of their personal revival.
A small cult-following having formed around the show and principal actor, Stephen Amell, a lucrative opportunity to generate revenue and raise interest was presented when the CW and WWE crossed paths.
Existing in the same market and demographic, WWE exposes Amell to a new client-base that may not have been tapped before. As important as the 18-34 male demographic has been to the comic book resurgence, the often-untapped female demographic that holds an interest in wrestling and by-proxy the comic book-sequel forms of entertainment suddenly becomes viable.
“Arrow” benefits simply because more eyes generate more dollars for a network in the middle of a restructuring and re-fabrication of their image.
Still, seeing as how this is primarily WWE’s showcase event of the summer, the benefit for them goes beyond simple dollar signs and enters into the realm of credibility and respectability.
It’s no small secret that every time a star athlete or an actor appears on WWE television, it becomes a lede one way or another. When Ronda Rousey made headlines at Wrestlemanis, it dominated Googke Trends as was the number one trending topic in the world on Twitter.
Ronda Rousey on Wrestlemania went as far as closing a 6:00 SportsCenter once upon a time.
What having someone like Amell on Summerslam does is that it gives WWE added mainstream appeal and acceptability. For Vince that has become incredibly and increasing important currency in a shrinking marketplace.
Quarterly projections aren’t nearly as solid as they used to be and the Network, while not an unmitigated disaster, did not become the gamechanger they always thought it would become.
Thus, the ability to bring in a star whose name is growing with popularity is appealing simply for the fact he might get a few extra PPV buys or Network subscriptions. Will it change your financial forecast? No, the product has to change for that to happen.
However, a couple hundred or thousand people watching that otherwise wouldn’t have is a start when it comes to battling dwindling returns.
Stephen Amell is going to show up at Summerslam. He’s going to appear on WWE-brand production and he’s going to stand in the ring.
He doesn’t even have to throw a punch.
Simply by being an actor, however minimal, a buzz will be created.
And WWE will be sitting behind the curtain with a smile and a nod.
Tags: Arrow, Stephen Amell, WWE SummerSlam 2015