And, oh boy, did they put on the stupendous show!
Sportskeeda put together a fun infographic showing off some of WWE’s post-Wrestlemania social media numbers as compared to this year’s Super Bowl LVI. And the sports entertainment extravaganza’s social numbers speared through the NFL’s biggest game of the year!
Variety went into further detail about WWE’s impressive social media numbers, if you’d like to check it out.
We’d like to point out five trendy branding tactics we noticed that WWE utilized at Wrestlemania. We’ll definitely keep these strategic patterns in mind moving forward with our company and with our customers.
1. WWE Provided a Crazy Amount of Personalized Content
As content creators, we’d like to mention this first: Everywhere we looked during Wrestlemania weekend, opportunities to create great personalized content were available to us.
Some of it was free, while some of it was not—but all of it looked great. Everything was branded and was emailed directly to us faster than you could count to three.
Take a look at the tremendous amount of personalized and WWE branded content we collected!
Davis de Dios Media | Wrestlemania 38 Experience in Dallas Texas
Speaking as a first-timer at Wrestlemania, the experience was incredible — just a little over a week has passed and I am still riding high off of the adrenaline and excitement.
Digging deeper, we’d like to break down the content that was offered at the Wrestlemania Superstore Axxess.
The Superstore Axxess is a mini WWE Comic-Con of sorts and a lot of the content ideas we saw were applicable to improve any live event.
The Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center hosted this year’s Axxess from Thursday, March 31st to Monday, April 4th. For $10 general admission per person, WWE fans could enjoy the content creation opportunities, buy souvenirs, meet WWE superstars and go to the different Wrestlemania panels within Axxess. Many of the experiences had additional costs that ranged from $25 all the way to $200 (the most expensive being the photo opportunity or an autograph with the recently inducted Mark Calaway, The Undertaker).
The WWE brand, logo, and imagery were all over the content we accumulated and the convention center itself.
Our favorite piece of free content, provided by Cellucor’s C4 Energy Drink, is this 8-second vertical video that is perfect for sharing on Instagram stories. You can see the WWE logo in the background and foreground.
Fun fact, and nerdy camera tidbit, we actually had to downgrade the size and resolution of the video they provided for this blog. We added the music in post-processing but that’s what is so awesome: They gave us this video to commemorate the experience (and to mess around with) for free!
This wasn’t shot on a cellphone either.
Check out the BTS camera/stage setup below.
What’s even crazier, is the compressed file was sent directly to our email within seconds of recording.
While we were there, hundreds of people used the WWE and C4 Energy space and received videos.
We definitely took note of the CR Energy station. Giving away high-quality, branded content that is personalized and ready to be shared on social media is something our company will experiment with moving forward.
This section of Axxess, in our opinion, is next-level branding and something we’ll take forward and somehow adopt with our services.
The Superstore Axxess pay-to-play exhibits were also fun and steeped in WWE branding/history. We’d like to highlight the “Undertaker’s Graveyard” exhibit.
This year WWE inducted the Undertaker, a fan-favorite WWE Superstar, into the WWE Hall of Fame. Check out the ovation he received at the start of his Hall of Fame speech.
To enhance their fans’ experience and provide another way to connect with the Undertaker, WWE created the Undertaker’s Graveyard. The miniature museum featured a collection of famous Undertaker props and memorabilia, that fans could walk around and take pictures with for $25.
Inside the 20-foot-high sable draped exhibit were multiple photo and video opportunities. We didn’t see any WWE logos within the space, but the Undertaker’s logo, famous music, an overabundance of coffins, and the deadman’s throne are at the core of WWE’s creative history. It felt like stepping inside the darkest chapter of the WWE storybook.
Check out the gallery of some of our favorite shots. Volunteers were also present to take pictures of you within the space. It seemed to us the WWE hadn’t missed a single detail.
The WWE superstar entrance exhibit was another opportunity to create personalized content for $25.
Here’s me doing his best Brock Lesnar impersonation.
Although the experience is fun and again dripping with WWE imagery and sound, I was disappointed in the quality of the video we paid for, especially after the C4 Energy cinema experience.
In my opinion, the image provided is underexposed and the sound is poor. They could have put a cheap directional microphone on top of the camera to provide cleaner audio of the “on-screen talent”. They also could have provided a full HD version of the file, too. The camera they were using had a zoom rocker on it, so we don’t know why they didn’t simply zoom in and zoom out with the talent.
Those details aside, they emailed the video to us within a few seconds and that is incredible.
After some quick iPhone color correction, the video was ready for social media.
Aside from the elaborate backdrop, I believe this type of content creation is totally attainable for any company looking to provide a memorable experience for their customers in a showroom setting or at a live event.
2. WWE Put Their Fans First at Wrestlemania 38
I highly recommend purchasing floor tickets if you choose to go to Wrestlemania. The cost is more expensive but it provided an unbelievable professional learning opportunity.
If you’re a wrestling fan, it’s a memory you’ll cherish forever.
WWE’s accessibility and general chill atmosphere on the literal ground floor of its largest event of the year spoke volumes to us about who the WWE is as a brand.
In my opinion, WWE provided its live Wrestlemania audience an extremely high level of entertainment and did it with a fan-first mentality.
We were certainly blown away, and inspired, as a production team.
Our company consumes WWE content and we know the quality and effort that goes into creating visual content at a high level. However, getting the opportunity to see the crew, the gear (oh my holy camera gods the gear), and the coordination it takes to produce something as grand as Wrestlemania further establishes the WWE as a content-creation superpower branding machine.
Check out some of the cellphone videos we captured before the show. The videos showcase WWE’s camera gear, and the accessibility we were afforded before the show.
We were able to walk around the floor, check out the gear and take selfies, with no problem. This was 20-minutes or so before WWE broadcasted to an international audience.
Check out some of the shots during the show. (The chorus of boos from the crowd is because Happy Corbin is a bad guy.)
3. The Superstars are Down-To-Earth and Great Ambassadors for the WWE Brand
By sheer happenstance, our company stayed at the official WWE Wrestlemania Hotel during Wrestlemania weekend. We choose the Omni Hotel for its proximity to the event, plus its location is Downtown Dallas is pretty sweet. A bonus after we booked was we discovered it connects directly to the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, where the WWE Superstore Axxess was being held.
Great minds think alike, as the old adage goes.
We ran into WWE superstar Happy Corbin and Timmy White, legendary referee and former handler of Andre the Giant, in the lobby of the hotel within minutes of checking in.
Having stayed at the same hotel — sharing the same floor with many of them, including former world champion Kofi Kingston — added a nice personal touch to our Wrestlemania experience. Sharing the elevators, the gym, the restaurant and the hotel bar with these larger-than-life characters gave us a glimpse into what they have to endure with so many fans wanting to take photos with them or get their autographs at every turn.
The superstars, the crew, and officials were gracious and polite in their fan interactions. What really stood out was their openness and accessibility, especially, to their young fans — WWE is a PG-rated, publicly-traded company.
As The Undertaker said in his Hall of Fame speech, “Perception is Reality.” WWE CEO and chairman Vince McMahon told the Undertaker those words early on in his career. Those words seemed to carry on to the superstars we interacted with.
We witnessed some of the superstars sign autographs and take pictures with fans at the hotel until 2:00AM. This was after they had performed in front of tens of thousands of people.
Below are images of some of the WWE superstars we took selfies with. These include two former world champions, two legends, two up-and-coming stars, and Ata Johnson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s mom.
4. WWE’s Branding was Multi-Platform and All Over Dallas.
Before the event, Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission, projected that Wrestlemania would bring more than $200 million to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Check out the original WFAA story.
As we headed to the venue from the hotel, we were inundated with the WWE branding. You could see that Dallas and WWE had worked closely together to show that the city had embraced the Wrestlemania spirit.
The coolest way this was shown, in my opinion, was at the official hotel itself: At night, the dancing lights on the Omni switched between displaying the WWE logo and the word “Wrestlemania.” Before the event, WWE captured a drone shot of the Dallas cityscape with the WWE logo imprinted on the building and showed this shot throughout the broadcast.
The visual was pretty neat!
Blue Wrestlemania banners hung from the street lights in the Downtown Dallas area. The banners showed both then-WWE World Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
During our Uber ride to AT&T stadium, two separate billboards advertised Wrestlemania, and banners of WWE superstars covered the AT&T stadium itself.
Once inside the stadium, individuals had the option to pull up their tickets and helpful information on the Wrestlemania phone application.
You could also use the app to purchase food/drinks and have them brought to your seat.
The tens of thousands of fans in attendance all seemed to be wearing some sort of WWE merchandise. The Wrestlemania stage, which was in the shape of a large silver star, took up an entire end zone of the Dallas Cowboys stadium.
For that weekend, the WWE and Dallas, Texas were joined at the hip. The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders even made an appearance.
5. WWE’s Integration of Other Entertainment Brands/Individuals
The more purist wrestling fans will probably groan at this point but we think WWE’s integration of stars such as YouTuber Logan Paul, Johnny Knocksville/the Jack Ass cast, former NFL kicker, and podcaster Pat McAfee, into Wrestlemania 38 helped build their brand. The returning Cody Rhodes, the younger son of WWE legend and Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, also added to the electric atmosphere.
This cross-platform integration did two things: First, it gave the audiences connected to these entertainment brands/individuals a reason to watch Wrestlemania.
**While Pat McAfee does work for the WWE, however, we’d like to point out that he had 1.4 million Youtube subscribers before he joined the WWE as a broadcaster a year ago.
Secondly, all of the mentioned icons provided “Wrestlemania moments” that gave fans reasons to return to Peacock or WWE’s social media channels and watch these moments again. Honestly, who doesn’t want to watch WWE Superstar Sami Zayn get smashed by the Jackass hand once or twice? Or watch Pat McAfee superplex Austin Theory?
Cody Rhode’s return entrance to WWE also received one of the biggest crowd pops of the night.
Those are the five branding tactics we noticed while attending Wrestlemania 38 weekend in Dallas Texas. Aside from the absolute spectacle of the event itself, the event seemed a masterclass in showmanship, television production, and branding.
For any company that is looking to improve their branding, quality of their live events, and fan/customer interaction we highly recommend looking into the WWE. The company is on the cutting edge of technology, storytelling, and providing its audience/fans/customers with unforgettable moments, that they can access again and again and again.