WWE, Inc. The WWE is not just the biggest wrestling company in the United States, but it is also the biggest in the world. The company has gone about this by spreading the WWE name and logo all over the world through international expansion. The expansion of the WWE product into overseas market was more of a necessity considering the current situation of the wrestling industry in the United States. Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. outlined her reasoning behind the push to expand globally in a press conference held on August 23, 2004.
The main reason being an increased demand for the WWE product abroad, as well as impressive attendance numbers when events were held internationally. Additionally, attendance at live events or house shows, were very low. Linda McMahon said that by providing more shows overseas to fans that normally do not have the chance to see the WWE live, they will be satisfying a need as well as covering for a declining market in the United States (wwecorporate. com 2011). Due to the increase in live events overseas, the WWE also hired more international staff members in order to handle and continue the expansion.
Another aspect that helped the WWE expansion internationally is their television presence in many countries. On their corporate website, the WWE lists thirteen countries in which they have television deals. Included are the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Mexico, and others. Obviously, this is important because their push to increase live events overseas would not be successful if they did not have television deals in place. Otherwise, the people in these international markets would have no clue as to who the wrestlers are and no reason to want to pay money to see them live or purchase WWE products.
The WWE also has licensing agreements with about 75 licensees worldwide. The licenses use the WWE logo and its trademarked wrestling characters on all types of products and merchandise. This licensing program has expanded internationally to include the United Kingdom, Italy, India, Japan, South Africa, and Australia. (www. wwe,inc. com) World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. used horizontal integration in 2004 with the purchase of their rival, World Championship Wrestling. With the acquisition of World Championship Wrestling, it allowed World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. o be the only major wrestling company in North America. WWE had monopolized the wrestling industry. With World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. as the only big name in town, the wrestlers were in an awkward position. If the wrestlers were let go by the WWE or had a dispute with management over their contracts, their only alternatives would be to work for a much smaller company that could not match the kind of wages the WWE offered, or to find a new line of work. WWE Superstars do not have a union to represent them.
The biggest asset in the acquisition of World Championship Wrestling wasn’t the company and all intellectual property that went with it; rather it was the video tape library it possessed. The WWE went on to acquire the video tape libraries of other defunct promotions like the AWA, ECW, and Jim Crockett Promotions. Collecting a majority of the wrestling video tape library in existence gave the WWE a competitive advantage. Linda McMahon has publicly said that the video library “is a leading growth project for the company”.
The library of video footage allowed them to test the waters of an on demand channel featuring all of the classic material. At her press conference on August 23, 2004, Linda McMahon said that the WWE 24/7 On Demand service is being counted on to provide the company a strong source of revenue in the future . The exciting news for fans of the WWE is that they have so much footage that only a portion of what they have now has been digitalized (November 4, 2010 – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc). When Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon decided to buy out all other wrestling corporations they united the sport under their own belt and logo and gained all monetary compensations. When Linda McMahon decided to start WWE On Demand 24/7, the WWE, Inc. struck gold by making wrestling able to be seen overseas via cable networks. This globalized the following of WWE fans. Now merchandise created through the many forms such as music, merchandise, movies, pay per views and live events, and video tapes or DVDs could be sold anywhere in the world and be profited from WWE, Inc. , their suppliers, creators and merchandisers.
WWE can have a show in any of these countries and have a sold out venue and also be welcomed into these poorer countries with open arms because of the job availability WWE created for them. WWE also sent venues overseas to support our troops, who were serving in the Iraq war, and this also established an emotional empathy type connection with some of WWE’s followers. Because the WWE, Inc. is such a huge corporate conglomerate it is made up of an extensive board of directors and an independent audit committee. Vincent Kennedy McMahon is the Chairman and the CEO of the WWE, Inc. The board is consists of mutual family members and loyal friends.
George Barrios is the Chief Financial Officer and oversees the WWE’s financial, accounting and investor relations, strategies and their activities. Jim Connelly is the Senior Vice President of Consumer Products and oversees the WWE’s global licensing, home entertainment and book and magazine publishing’s. Kevin Dunn is the Executive Vice president of television productions and manages a state of the art television studio with 140 wrestlers and he also sits on the Board of Directors. Donna Goldsmith is the Chief Operating Officer, sits on the Board of Directors and is part of the Chief Executive Committee for the WWE.
Brian Kalinowski is the Executive Vice President of all global digital media initiatives through web and mobile interactive technologies, content production and electronic commerce. John Laurinitis is Executive Vice President of talent relations and promotes all wrestlers appearances outside the venues. Stephanie McMahon is the Executive Vice President of Creative Development and Operations. Stephanie McMahon oversees the creative process for all television and pay per views as well as directing and producing WWE televised live events.
Stephanie also oversees all aspects of other talent management, branding, booking live events, and marketing for the WWE, Inc. Stephanie McMahon is also the daughter of CEO and Chairman, Vince McMahon, and has been raised in this industry, including having her own wrestling persona. Andrew Whitaker is the Executive Vice President, International. Andrew is responsible for determining the strategic direction and revenues for the WWE, Inc. outside of the United States for all business units. Michelle D. Wilson is the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Integrated Brand Initiatives.
Michelle oversees the strategies and financing for pay per views, advertising, promotions for the WWE and its wrestlers, research and demography for the company to keep it innovative, all creative services deemed needed for the company to flourish, and maintains and scripts all public and government relations. Michelle also oversees the WWE’s integrated sales and sponsorship business (WWE,Inc Corporate. com). All of these people are the geniuses behind the success of this company. Without any one of them the company would struggle in that field. These people have served on this committee throughout the lifep of the WWE.
There are so many Vice Presidents and departments because the WWE is a national and international success with their hands in every means of entertainment, merchandising and promotions that are possible. Because each of these members has their own stakes in the business and independent audit committee of the board of directors is required to make sure that everything is running smoothly and within a budget. The independent audit committee consists of at least three directors. These directors can have no ties, directly or indirectly, with any board member, family member, worker, or wrestling persona of the WWE, Inc. o ensure that everything is maintained fairly and unprejudiced. With the auditors having no gain or stock in the WWE all audits are accurate and financially sound statements. The audit committee assists the board in overseeing: * The accounting and financial reporting practices of the WWE, Inc. * The audits of the WWE’s financial statements including the WWE’s internal controls and internal auditing functions * The reality and accuracy of the financial statements put out from the WWE, Inc. * The WWE’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements (www. wwe,inc. om) The WWE’s system of their disclosure controls and system of internal controls regarding finance, accounting, legal compliance and the ethics that the management and Board of Directors have established within the company. This company promotes corporate citizenship through many means but choose to call it corporate social responsibility instead. “WWE has a strong philosophy to give back to the communities and lives that we touch. ” (WWE, Inc. corporate website page) The WWE carries its corporate citizenship or responsibilities by having a PG rating on all shows and at all venues to promote a family orientated atmosphere for all ages.
WWE also is host to numerous charities and programs, such as literary programs to help children read, WWE in Your Corner, and WWE also contributes to the military members by hosting shows here and overseas to military members serving our country. WWE also implements types of programs for helping retired, current or want to be wrestlers. It seems here that the WWE does try to uphold laws and contributes back to everyone in one form or another. The WWE is so extensive that it is its own United States citizen and has even had members run for senate, like Linda McMahon, and governor, Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
Some win, some lose, no different than when a wrestler enters the ring or the WWE trying its hand in the restaurant industry. Linda McMahon stepped down as CEO of the WWE, Inc. on September 16, 2009. Linda McMahon officially announced her candidacy to run for the United States Senate for Connecticut. During this time others in office put the WWE, Inc. in the spotlight for political tirades against Mrs. McMahon and her qualifications. The WWE headquarters is based out of Stamford, Connecticut and this is also where the McMahons live. On November 1, 2010, President Obama and his wife Michelle visited Stamford, Connecticut and Mrs.
Obama paid a visit to the WWE headquarters. After the President left the WWE, Inc. was told they were under investigation for distributing merchandise near select polling locations. The Secretary of State for Connecticut, Susan Bysiewcz, stated that if anyone turned out to the polls wearing any type of WWE merchandise, including a simple wrist band that the voters would be told to either remove it, cover it up or to go home and change and come back. The WWE, Inc. took this to federal court and won because there is no law on what attire a voter should wear to vote. (Time Magazine, November 2010).
On November 8, 2010 Linda McMahon lost to Richard Blumenthal and says she feels that there was corruption in the way the polls were run. Linda McMahon contributed fifty million dollars to her own campaign in the senate race. Linda McMahon is not going to return to her position of CEO at WWE, Inc. but plans on running again for a political party in the future. With Linda not returning to WWE, Inc. this leaves Vince McMahon as the chairman and now the CEO of WWE, Inc. The community that surrounds WWE, Inc. stands behind the WWE for the majority being that the McMahons contributes too many charitable factors in the community.
With the President and his wife visiting Stamford it opened up many economical doors in the community promoting tourism and the trickle effects from the tourism and notoriety of the situation. No matter what changes the United States goes through in our economy WWE, Inc. still sells out every wrestling venue and almost all merchandise with their logo on it is a top seller and carries high demand for the public. Vince McMahon has received deals with people like Walt Disney to lease his wrestlers, like Duane “The Rock” Johnson, to star in their movies.
Billions of people worldwide have an avid and loyal following of the WWE. The WWE has reached many countries outside the United States through television airing and internet access. Once again WWE is sending a wrestling venue for Christmas to our troops to show their dedication and gratitude to the men and women serving our country. “This will be the first Christmas though that the WWE will take it to the troops in the United States instead of flying to Iraq (www. wrestlezone. com)”. WWE, Inc. has gotten the four factors of the marketing mix down to a science and the right marketing team behind them to do so effectively.
The market researchers for WWE seem to be highly into utilizing environmental scanning as well. The marketing researchers have studied all the factors, such as global, technological, social cultural, and economic. WWE, Inc. really has no competitive factors to study at the moment, because there is no other competition right now; therefore, WWE dominates the industry. It seems everything that the WWE has its logo on is in mass market production throughout the world. The WWE may have started out as niche marketing but it quickly grew into a mass frenzy. The WWE logo and name brand is now worldwide.
Vince McMahon and his marketing research team are genius. They have definitely done their market segmentations to a science and have even made merchandise available for the poor to be able to purchase their products. The demographic segmentation is analyzed before the WWE even enters an agreement to bring their show to that arena. Everywhere they have a show it is a sellout every time. With the WWE, Inc. branching into television, music, movie theaters, magazines, clothing, internet, and other merchandise they have extensively covered every means of technology to appeal to audiences and consumers.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is committed to conducting its business fairly, honestly and in accordance with law. All officers, directors and other employees (collectively, including outside directors in their capacity as WWE directors, referred to herein as “employees”) should read this Code of Business Conduct carefully. This Code is not meant to be all inclusive, and in many cases, employees will be required to sign additional acknowledgement forms that they have read and understand various Company policies. www. wwe,inc. com) WWE, Inc is more extensive than what I thought it would be. This corporation is a citizen in itself that started as a small business and evolved into a worldwide corporation. I do not think that Vince McMahon ever imagined the take off and demand his company would acquire. Vince McMahon was smart enough to hire tech and business savvy individuals to help ensure that he stayed on top of the game. Without his Vice Presidents in each area, this ompany would not have been able to overtake the wrestling market and branch out into every form of marketing, selling, technical areas, and merchandising that the WWE has done. This corporation is definitely one of the best in the world. Everything it touches, besides the restaurant venue, has turned to complete profit. REFERENCES www. wrestlezone. com retrieved 5/31/12 www. wwe,inc. com retrieved 5/31/12 www. wwe,inc. com/corporate retrieved 5/31/2012 November 4, 2010 – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. magazine Time Magazine, November 2010 http://graphjam. memebase. com/vote/page/1184/ retrieved 5/31/12