WWE, Victoria Beer Partnership Gets Off to Flying Start

It’s safe to say Rey Mysterio is the most famous and successful masked wrestler in sports entertainment history. The future WWE Hall of Famer is a three-time World Champion, two-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time United States Champion, three-time Cruiserweight Champion, and four-time Tag Team Champion.

The 21st Grand Slam winner in WWE history added to his legacy by lasting a record one hour, two minutes and 12 seconds as the No. 2 entrant to win the 2006 Royal Rumble in memorable fashion.

While the high-flying Mysterio continues to have viewers on the edge of their seats anticipating his next Frog Splash or 619, wrestling fans are equally as enthralled with his trademark masks and in-ring attire.

Mysterio, who has paid homage to superheroes, villains and pop culture characters through his luchador masks and gear including The Flash, Daredevil, The Joker, Avatar and The Phantom, added a new mask to his inventory, which stood at “a little over 500” as of 2018.

Coming in as the 26th entrant into the 2021 Royal Rumble on January 31, Mysterio donned a one-of-a-kind Victoria beer-themed mask as part of the company’s partnership with WWE, and their work with Mysterio, who is a brand ambassador.

“In-ring storyline integrations are something that have always been a differentiating asset for WWE and are activations that partners increasingly want to be a part of,” WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said via email. “Being able to deliver deeper integrations for brands while keeping fans entertained is something we feel WWE does better than anyone else.

“The format of the Royal Rumble made it a perfect event for this integration, and it marked the first time we have leveraged the marquee event for this type of partnership.”

WWE and Constellation Brands Beer Division announced a multi-platform partnership in October 2020 naming Constellation’s Victoria beer as the Official Beer of SummerSlam. Corona and Modelo, two other Constellation brands, will also be involved in the partnership via multimedia elements encompassing WWE events and touch points.

While the exact date and location of this year’s annual August pay-per-view event is still to be announced, that doesn’t mean Victoria had to wait until summer to begin activating within the vast WWE Universe, with programming being broadcast in more than 900 millions homes worldwide in 28 languages and spanning more than one billion followers on social media.

Working with Mysterio’s mask designer Masahiro Hayashi, a red and gold Victoria beer-themed mask was created for “The Master of the 619” as the 46-year-old participated in his 12th Royal Rumble, and first with son Dominik.

“Rey is known for his masks and we knew it had to be authentic to his style and the tradition of lucha libre wrestling,” said Alex Schultz, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Victoria. “The WWE audience is incredibly passionate and loyal, and one we wanted to reach because we know Victoria drinkers are WWE fans. We believe we reached them through an authentic connection to Rey by partnering with him to create this customized mask.”

Integrating brands into superstars’ in-ring gear isn’t new for WWE. Dolph Ziggler became KFC’s Colonel Sanders and took out The Miz, portraying Puppers Cluckers Chicken, through a partnership between the two brands ahead of SummerSlam in 2016.

More recently, The New Day wore custom Gears of War armor at Survivor Series in November 2020 to celebrate their debut as playable characters in Gears 5.

“We are always open for business and looking to work with brands whose values closely align with our superstars,” McMahon said. “With ongoing storylines and more than 250 compelling characters on WWE’s talent roster, there are endless opportunities for brands to activate with our performers. For Victoria, working with Rey Mysterio was a no-brainer.”

Born and raised in Chula Vista, California, Óscar Gutiérrez made his wrestling debut in Mexico at 14 years old. Under the tutelage of his uncle, Rey Misterio Sr., the Mexican-American luchador who later became Rey Mysterio quickly rose through wrestling’s ranks with stops at ECW (1995-96) and WCW (1996-2001) before joining WWE in June 2002.

The partnership with WWE and Mysterio is the first major sports sponsorship for Victoria, Mexico’s oldest beer brand.

“I am extremely excited about my new partnership with Victoria,” Mysterio wrote on Instagram. “Like Victoria, I am proudly Mexican and honor my heritage each time I step into the ring as a luchador. Victoria is deeply rooted in the same Mexican culture and authenticity. I am excited to share what we have in store for 2021!” 

Like storylines involving their favorite WWE superstars, fans will have to continue to tune in to see how the partnership between Victoria and WWE/Mysterio evolves. McMahon confirmed Mysterio’s likeness will be part of a retail activation launching this summer ahead of SummerSlam.

“This is just the beginning of our partnership with Rey,” Schultz said, “and we hope to explore more ways to integrate and tap into shared passions as our relationship continues.”

NOTE: First appeared on Forbes SportsMoney


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