The biggest wrestling franchise generated $1 billion in revenue
It’s fair to say that America loves its showbiz. Everything they do is centered around maximizing the entertainment value of its events, and one of the sources of entertainment for millions of Americans and even many others around the world is World Wrestling Entertainment. Formerly known as the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, she lost a long battle with the World Wide Fund for Nature, an environmental agency, which sued the wrestling organization for using her initials.
WWE has only grown by leaps and bounds since then as they have harnessed entertainment to continue providing talking points to millions of fans around the world. Their wrestlers have become global celebrities, but it’s worth noting that while the fights are real, most of the acts performed on fight night are scripted, scripted, and partially choreographed matches.
Although it is a hotbed of entertainment, it remains one of the biggest companies in sports. WWE reported numbers of $1 billion in revenue last year. In the company’s 42-year history, this was the highest annual total revenue, a 12% increase over the previous year. Before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) last year, they ended the year with $327 million in operating profit. They also returned more than $200 million in capital to shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends.
How big is WWE?
To truly understand how big WWE is, we can take a look at their share performance. For more than 20 years, the stock price was slow in the mid-20s, but in the past five years, the price has tripled to around $62.44, more than double its price. March 2020 high. pandemic.
They keep signing deals
CEO Vince McMahon bought the company from his father in 1982 and has run it ever since. He hired Nick Khan last year as president of the company, a shrewd move, given that he ran the television division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). His arrival had an immediate impact, with WWE shutting down its own streaming network, which had around 1.1 million subscribers. They signed a deal worth around $1 billion with NBC’s Peacock.
- This deal with Peacock has tripled their subscriber audience and at $9.99 per month, it’s a bargain for fans. By subscribing, they get premium entertainment content as well as free access to the platform’s entire entertainment library. They also signed a deal with Panini to provide exclusive WWE trading cards, while they also signed a deal to launch an NFT marketplace using their digital IP address, with Blockchain Creative Labs.
- WWE has signed a big licensing deal with Fanatics, part of their pivot to a new strategy for premium live events. This focuses on hosting events in very large stadiums rather than small venues. This would increase their gate revenue at marquee events like SummerSlam to around $5 million from $1.5 million, which is a 3 to 4 increase.
Social media is essential to their growth
WWE is one of the biggest digital sports properties in the world, and its social media strategy seems to be paying off. They have over a billion social media followers in total, which is a very important metric to have when it comes to partnering with brands.
- Facebook: 500 million
- Instagram: 226 million
- Twitter: 221 million
- YouTube: 87 million
- TikTok: 16 million
The WrestleMania angle
Last week, nearly 200,000 people from 47 countries descended on Arlington, Texas for the first two-day WrestleMania event in history. The event was held at the 80,000-capacity Cowboy’s Stadium, with the Dallas Sports Commission saying the event was expected to generate a $200 million surplus for the local economy.
It’s currently one of the biggest annual events in American sports, but WWE is trying to make the most of the content. They recently signed a licensing deal with Disney’s HotStar in January. This deal will see WWE extend its tentacles to millions of fans in the Asia-Pacific region.
They wanna be like Marvel
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that WWE was beginning to produce fictional television shows. They “Generate more revenue outside of the wrestling ring and capitalize on streaming services’ growing thirst for new content.”
WWE currently has some of the most premium and unique IPs in the world, and they can monetize them because their unique distribution of Superstars coupled with the supply and demand equation changing content prices, will also cause a premium for their content prices.