The WWE has toured the UK twice a year for the past decade. This year, it wanted Shine Communications to drive ticket sales and fill venues to at least 75 per cent capacity. WWE wrestling has previously been considered a niche sporting event and is renowned for attracting a mostly male audience. WWE needed to reach the masses by tailoring stories to different broadcast outlets.
Shine developed bespoke stories for a range of national mainstream radio and TV channels, making sure each outlet had an exclusive. It targeted different audiences such as children, families and those in their twenties to broaden the appeal of the tour.
We were impressed by the close targeting of the campaign, with the development of strong individual angles
Martin Bostock, chairman, Nelson Bostock Group
Blue Peter hosted a 13-minute slot during which WWE superstar The Miz challenged presenters to a thumb-wrestling contest and made a wrestling ring out of cereal boxes. Exclusive UK interviews with various WWE superstars were given to ITV1's Daybreak, BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Radio 1's Greg James and Daniel P Carter. Specialist features appeared on Sky News and BBC Newsround, and Harry Hill's TV Burp wreaked havoc backstage at the WWE arena.
Radio personalities who were fans of the WWE brand were targeted during the process. Capital FM's Johnny Vaughan and his son took part in a meet and greet backstage, and BBC Radio 1's Reggie Yates received front row seats and event hospitality. Themed segments and discussions on their shows got prime-time exposure.
Ticket sales throughout the October and November sales period were up by 40 per cent, the result of securing broadcast slots. Scotland, London and Manchester arenas all sold out and UK tour dates exceeded capacity targets, averaging about 81 per cent.
WWE attributed this to a shift in brand perception, with more than 80 per cent of viewers describing the tour as entertainment rather than sport after the campaign. Catering to the needs of broadcast channels and their audiences has dramatically improved the image of the WWE brand for its future World Tour events.
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