Marketing Overview WWE is distributed in over 20 territories in the Asia Pacific region. TV is always the primary driver but the WWE is multi-faceted and once there is TV penetration, it is followed up with Consumer Products – DVD, Video Games, merchandise, Digital Content and in the more mature markets, Live Events. Not all are PPV markets – those which are include Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji. WWE’s priority markets for 2008-2009 are Australia, New Zealand, Japan and India. Advertising creation and media buying is a combination of both in-house and external agency depending on the need and the territory. To date, a media agency has only been employed directly in Australia. WWE mainly works through its affiliates and this is particularly true in India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia. Most creative originates in the US and it is the regional team’s task to apply that locally so it resonates in market. Regarding PR, at the moment, PR agencies are only employed for the Australian and Japanese markets. WWE has worked with its TV affiliate’s PR agency in India on a project basis. Moving forwards, a market by market strategy will continue to work best for the company. WWE’s marketing activity is predominantly focused on driving buys for our Pay-Per-Views. Hence a lot of time and resources are spent maximizing subscriber touch points within the affiliate networks. Outside of this, there is a general brand awareness raising job to do, which is handled through PR and some additional ATL media activity. This accounts for about 40 percent of the marketing team’s time. WWE is increasingly spending more time and money on online advertising as that medium is delivering good returns. If there are any WWE SuperStars in market then the advertising becomes much more intensive and PR focused, for example the recent trip to India with The Great Khali. Overall WWE is looking to develop more non-traditional forms of advertising as well as placing more focus on digital marketing. WWE is a non-traditional content offering and as such the company feels the media should match the message. 2008-2009 will see WWE focus on Australia, New Zealand, Japan and India as these markets drive the bulk of revenue. Any change in focus markets will be dependent on new TV deals done in the region. The Great Khali Tour of India – Delhi 7 & 8 May, Mumbai 9 & 10 May A 4-day promotional trip of India with The Great Khali – the Indian SuperStar of WWE, sponsored by Mountain Dew. The trip was designed to raise awareness of the WWE Programming on TEN Sports. Explains Reeves, WWE and TEN Sports (our TV affiliate) worked jointly on the promotional trip. TEN Sports also employed a team on the ground consisting of Hanmer PR and Clockwork Events. Mountain Dew were also the presenting sponsor of the trip. WWE provided the artwork and creative, the talent (The Great Khali), talent management and resources. TEN Sports provided resources, event management, media management. The overall objectives of the events was to raise awareness of WWE TV Programming on TEN Sports, while success was measured by EAV of PR coverage, sponsor interest and viewership. “This event was designed solely for the Indian market,” says Reeves. “Whilst WWE takes talent to market a lot throughout the year, The Great Khali itinerary was designed from the ground up, only with the Indian media in mind. For example, we did a Live Event in Delhi and Mumbai with over 10,000 at each event. We would not do this in other markets as it is not an activity that works as well. The Great Khali is incredibly famous in his home country and we needed a platform for every one of his fans to meet him. Also, the entire trip was conducted in Hindi and Punjabi for the Indian media. This posed challenging for WWE staff members accompanying Khali who do not speak the language and an interpreter was brought in to translate. Reeves says that the trip exceeded all their expectations in terms of EAV from PR coverage, viewership and sponsorship interest. “In fact, if anything that would be the primary thing that we did not plan for – just how famous Khali is in India and the extent of the media frenzy around him during those four days. In retrospect had we known this, we would have laid on additional security,” she notes. “Mountain Dew was well integrated into the Trip. They had signage at all events including media appointments and press conferences, we conducted a visit to Staff HQ for a meet and greet, they did sampling at the Live Events and there were winners on stage at both Events who had the chance to meet Khali.” “We had a debriefing session post the Trip and we will use any learnings to educate the planning for the next trip, which will hopefully be in Q4 this year. We would like to offer even more opportunities for sponsors in the next round and possibly look at visiting different cities. And of course, security is top of our list.” In terms of quirky stories, “Being met at Mumbai airport by a rabid crowd of 1000+ with over 300 TV crews and no barricades. Being rammed by a TV News Van, meeting a 95 year old cartoonist backstage who had drawn an Illustration of Khali…” she says there are almost too many to mention. And the measurables? • EAV on PR coverage stood at approx US$2million • Attendance at live events approx 20,000 (no tickets are sold as per Indian law) • Sponsors were extremely positive about their involvement • Viewership increased in Delhi and Mumbai during and post trip. Smackdown/ECW Australia/ New Zealand Tour – June 11 – 17, 2008 A 7 city, 7 day Live Tour of Australia and New Zealand with the WWE Superstars from the Smackdown and ECW roster. Explains Reeves, “WWE works with Dainty Consolidated Entertainment as the local promoter and KENT Productions from the UK as the Event Managers and Production crew. This year, we were also proud to have SHOCK DVD as Contributing Sponsors of the Tour.” The overall objectives of the events was to perform to sell out crowds around the country, with success measured by ticket sales; and to raise general brand awareness of WWE in market, with success measured by EAV of PR coverage and the number of positive stories about the brand What efforts are made to fine-tune events for Asia, or specific markets? “Our live events are usually more spontaneous that our TV tapings as they are not filmed,” outline Reeves. “Therefore, you do find that there is more local flavour injected into the Tours. For example at the Sydney show, Batista wore a pair of Bondi Speedos under his normal costume, which he revealed to the audience at the end of the show and MVP wore a NZ Warriors shirt out on stage for our NZ dates as he met with them in Auckland. Our SuperStars also do a lot of talking on the microphone in the ring and this often prompts talkback and heckling from the local audience which makes it all quite humorous! Anything that went surprisingly well, or well-planned components that failed to resonate? “Our live events generally run like clockwork from an event management and production standpoint as the team have been doing it for a long time. However, this was the 1st Live Tour for the WWE Sydney office so it was a pretty intense learning curve for the team. Outside of the Shows every night, we were also conducting a lot of personal appearances with our SuperStars. We did everything from visiting sick kids in hospital to visiting koalas at the Zoo. However, it became very clear that from a media point of view, the most successful initiative is to pair our WWE Stars with local sports stars. We did a PA with the NZ Warriors in Auckland and with the NRL Team – the West Tigers in Sydney. Both of these appearances garnered huge attendance from the media and great PR value as a result. Our stars also love meeting local sporting heroes and soaking up some tips from them!” Continues Reeves, “The great thing about being on Tour is that not only do you learn very quickly but you get to apply those learnings virtually immediately and see the improvement. The down side is that you simply get very little time to sit down and run through things to make sure everything is checked off with the whole team. The greatest learnings are that a) straightforward communication is vital; b) everyone is crystal clear on what their responsibilities are before you begin the tour and c) never assume anyone’s got your back! Always, triple check everything for yourself. Any quirky stories you can share? “Walking through a domestic Australian terminal with 40 wrestlers in costume isn’t enough for you?” laughs Reeves. “I got a text message on my phone early one morning from our PR agency, whilst boarding a plane to Sydney which simply said ‘Frying pan and Speedos at reception for you.’ Such is the life of a WWE staffer.” And the measurables? • EAV of $800.000 which represents a 15:1 ROI • Over 68,000 tickets sold • Represented the most successful Australian/NZ tour to date for WWE.