Thanks to its expansive roster of more than 250 superstars, WWE has the unique ability to offer something to everyone, whether they’re interested in technical wrestling, larger-than-life characters, women’s wrestling, high-flying cruiserweights, trash talkers or even the supernatural.
The leader in sports entertainment doesn’t just offer a variety of options to the WWE Universe, but partners and sponsors are able to work with the company to find an activation or integration that’s just right.
WWE has showcased this versatility with prior integrations with KFC, Microsoft’s Gears of War and Victoria Beer, and will continue to flex its muscle this weekend during WrestleMania 37, a two-night event on April 10 and 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
“I think there’s a big opportunity for WWE that’s really more akin to how the sports leagues present sponsorship and partnership, especially when you think about today’s environment and what we all went through during the pandemic,” WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said. “It caused all of us to relook at our budgets and how we spend our money and how we allocate our time. What WWE has the unique opportunity to offer really is not only our talent—which is WWE’s intellectual property—but it’s also the creative integration, the customized-type content we can create.
“There’s just so many ways to integrate and work with us, I think in a way that brands are really looking for now in a true partnership fashion and not just slapping logos. This is about integration, it’s about engaging the audience and brand.”
Snickers is the presenting sponsor of WrestleMania for the sixth consecutive year following the renewal of Mars Wrigley’s long-standing partnership with WWE announced in February. The recent campaign leading up to “The Showcase of the Immortals” includes custom video content featuring WWE superstars including Big E, Xavier Woods, The Miz and King Corbin displaying how “out-of-sortsness” can be resolved with a Snickers as well as the return of limited-edition Hunger bars featuring catchphrases from Roman Reigns, Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, The Miz and Sasha Banks.
New for this year—and a first in WWE history—Snickers will be the presenting partner of the WrestleMania Main Event match on both Saturday and Sunday evening.
“It’s a huge moment for us and really shows the strength of our partnership with WWE,” Snickers senior director Michelle Deignan said. “It’s been an honor for us to be a presenting sponsor for the last five years, but for Snickers to be the first-time sponsor of the marquee event really allows us to connect with the WWE community on a new level, bringing better moments to fans through such a huge match.”
Other sponsors of WrestleMania 37 include: P&G, Papa Johns, DraftKings, Credit One Bank, Cricket Wireless, Hulu, Mattel and Nestle Waters.
While the lead up to year’s event won’t have all of the pomp and circumstance as previous installments due to the ongoing pandemic—for example, WrestleMania Axxess, a multi-day fan convention, wasn’t held—WWE and its partners are thinking of alternative ways to engage fans.
Working with advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, WWE and Old Spice developed a character called Night Panther, named after one of Old Spice’s scents, to star in six pieces of customized content for the Procter & Gamble brand.
In an on-the-ground activation, WWE, Nestle Waters, Feeding Tampa Bay and WWE superstar Titus O’Neil’s Bullard Family Foundation are creating a community garden at Sligh Middle Magnet School and at various other locations throughout the Tampa area to address food insecurity.
DraftKings, which was announced as WWE’s Official Gaming Partner in March, is kicking off its new partnership by introducing two $25,000 free-to-play pools around WrestleMania 37 this weekend.
“Ahead of WrestleMania we saw the opportunity to provide our customers with a new way to engage with our product,” DraftKings Chief Business Officer Ezra Kucharz said. “We know that our customers love to predict outcomes, and by working with WWE we are able to tap into a new audience by providing these free-to-play, real money games that will enhance the viewership experience.”
With a lot of integrations via customized content creation, particularly in the past year during the pandemic, WWE partners will have the luxury of also activating with the WWE Universe in person for the first time this weekend.
WrestleMania 37 is WWE’s first event since the pandemic began in March 2020 to feature fans live and in person. WWE is anticipating approximately 25,000 each night, a similar figure to the 24,835 official attendance for Super Bowl LV played at Raymond James Stadium on February 7.
“We cannot wait. When you think about WrestleMania, typically in a non-pandemic world, it draws people from over 60 different countries, all 50 states, all different socio-economic backgrounds, political beliefs, etc,” McMahon said. “It’s this giant family reunion. To have that taken away last year hurt all of us so much. Here we are, this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, April 10 and 11, and we’re bringing our fans back home. We absolutely can’t wait.
“It does feel like life is going to get back to normal and hopefully WrestleMania is another step closer.”