How WWE created a social media buzz around Wrestlemania 29 - 2013
April 15, 2013 at 12:30 AM
by Mikul PatelDigital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis
Often described as the "superbowl of sports entertainment", Wrestlemania has grown from a simple wrestling pay-per-view show to a global spectacle. It's been a good few years since I've watched wrestling but thought I'd have a quick look at some of the new digital technologies used by the self-proclaimed "number one organisation in sports entertainment" to bring the wrestling experience closer to their fans.
One area has been the use of social media to encourage fans and wrestlers alike to interact with each other. This article will look at just some of the social media activities that WWE used in the run-up, during and after Wrestlemania 2013.
WWE superstars using Twitter
In the last year or so, WWE have actively pushed their superstars to tweet on a regular basis to promote shows or even continue storylines beyond the TV screen. So whether you want to trashtalk Chris Jericho or tell The Rock that he is the greatest, interaction is only a click away!
This approach mirrors how other sports organisations view social media. For example, the NFL banned tweeting before, during and after games. Whilst WWE is a scripted 'sport', it appears that if a structured approach towards social media is used, controversy that other sports organisations don't want to be associated with can be avoided.
Twitter hide and seek contest
In the days running up to Wrestlemania, WWE promoted a hide and seek contest to enable local residents of New Jersey/New York (where Wrestlemania 29 was held) to win last-minute front-row tickets. What made this contest unique was the gamification of Twitter by getting fans to guess where WWE superstars were tweeting from – the first to find the location of the cryptic tweets got the tickets! This game was cross-promoted across various official WWE social media platforms including Facebook and of course the various twitter accounts owned by WWE and their superstars.
Pre Wrestlemania hype
PPV sales are seen as a huge revenue generator for the WWE, in addition to selling merchandise, and there was no shortage in drumming up last minute PPV sales in the days, and even hours, before the event started.
Celebrities and Wrestlemania go hand-in-hand over the years, and this year was no different with endorsements from a variety of stars including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump and many more. Using social media, celebrities were encouraged to tweet, post and create hype with their followers.
For those supporters who were still unsure about the event, the WWE teased fans by offering a free pre-show stream through YouTube which included an Intercontinental title bout.
Post Wrestlemania interaction
Whilst Wrestlemania generally received poor reviews, there was still a lot of talk being generated on various social media channels. Hootsuite created an interesting live "WWE Social Media Command Center" to show the average sentiment of popular superstars.
Upon watching RAW the next night, which was by far a better show by the way, you can clearly see the social media push that WWE are adopting into their weekly shows. For example, live tweets from the superstars are relayed on-screen and openly discussed by the commentators. Fans are even given the opportunity to influence match line-ups by tweeting the hashtags of certain superstars.
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