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WWE Spends $5 Million to Build Pay-Per-View Audience

By Mar 22, 2005

WrestleMania 21 has been sold out for months, but World Wrestling Entertainment is spending more than $5 million with a multi-media campaign to promote Pay-Per-View purchases of the annual live event next month.

Pizza boxes tell consumers
about WrestleMania 21

The WrestleMania Goes Hollywood campaign is designed not only to interest the current fan base, but to grab potential and lapsed fans as well.

In addition to a grassroots mall tour that promotes the event (PROMO Xtra Jan. 11), the campaign includes in-store promotions with Blockbuster, branded pizza boxes and milk cartons and live wrestling staged on a street corner in Hollywood.

At Blockbuster stores nationwide, stickers promoting the PPV event, held April 3 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, have been inserted inside the jackets of newly released DVDs. Dan Levi, VP-marketing at WWE, said the stickers include information about the event and ordering information.

Also, in conjunction with WWE game licensee THQ, 70 Los Angeles area Blockbuster locations that feature Game Rush mini-stores will hold video game tournaments, with the winners at each location getting their own
WrestleMania 21 video game. Levi said WWE superstars will also sign games at four of the locations.

WWE has also contracted with pizza box advertiser Mangia Media, Water Mill, NY, to have branded boxes sent to independent pizza shops nationwide. The boxes provide information on ordering the PPV event and a list of the Top 10 WrestleMania matches.

“The point-of-sale for the Pay-Per-View event is the remote control, so we thought pizza boxes were a great way to tie in something you do when you watch TV,” Levi said. “The pizza boxes went over well last year, and we loved the idea. Last year we had 100,000 boxes distributed. This year we are doing 500,000.”

Levi said WWE also teamed with Los Angeles-based AltaDina Dairy to have WrestleMania 21-branded milk cartons distributed in Southern California. Levi said the cartons contain promotional messages reminding consumers that WrestleMania 21 can only be seen on PPV.

A guerrilla campaign on March 31 will be focused around a live noontime wrestling event being staged at the corner of Hollywood and Highland. WWE superstars will compete in exhibitions held in a ring outside El Capitan Theatre, which is the home of ABC late-night talk show
Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“We’re doing things like this to create the general excitement of the event,” Levi said. “We want to create a buzz that will make people buy the Pay-Per-View.”

Other aspects of the campaign include 30-second trailers parodying great moments in recent cinema history to advertise the event. The trailers will be shown both in Regal Cinemas in top 25 markets and on cable and satellite TV systems.

Masterfoods USA’s Snicker’s Cruncher is the sponsor for WrestleMania 21. Clearasil for Men is the Official Grooming Product and Subway is the Official Toasted Sandwich of WrestleMania 21.

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