US Wrestling Scene News

WWE launches major brand initiative for the UK

Year-Long Brand Push to Feature Production of Television Shows from UK, Increased Superstar Appearances, Advertising and Promotional Programs, As First Stage of Global Expansion Plan

STAMFORD, Conn./LONDON, England, July 7, 2004 – In recognition of the passion of UK fans and business partners, World Wrestling Entertainment today said it will extend its brand presence significantly in the United Kingdom over the next year as part of a major global expansion initiative.

Building upon WWE®’s successful UK TV and Live Event presence, the WWE brand initiative will introduce UK-based television production, additional live events, promotional programs, licensed product launches, and on-the-ground appearances from the larger-than-life WWE superstars.

Spearheading this initiative, the WWE will produce its two flagship television programs, Monday Night RAW® and WWE SmackDown!, from the UK in front of sell-out crowds at the Manchester Evening News Arena in October 2004. This is first time ever that the two shows have been produced outside of North America.

Campaigns involving WWE commercial partners, including promotions, competitions, in-store appearances, school visits and new product launches featuring the WWE Superstars, are already in the planning stage. These are part of the UK-specific branding operation that will see a significant increase in presence for WWE licensees, retailers, promotional and media partners.

“Our fans in the UK are incredible, and their loyalty, combined with the exceptional retail and licensing programs we have in the UK, is a linchpin to our strategy to expand WWE’s global presence,” said Shane McMahon, WWE’s Executive Vice President, Global Media. “Our UK initiative is groundbreaking for us, our business partners, and our fans. It will develop the model we plan to use in other countries as we further implement our global expansion strategy.”

Leading up to the RAW and SmackDown! televised events in October, the WWE Superstars will perform to sold-out crowds in Belfast, Sheffield, Nottingham and London as part of a unique “double header” WWE European tour where UK fans nationwide will be invited to be part of WWE history.

In April 2005, the WWE plans to return to the UK to produce again 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.