World Wrestling Entertainment is the father of all organizations which either have or are trying to carve a niche for themselves in the world of sports entertainment. While they continue to be the most well known source for sports entertainment and dominate over all the other organizations, the fans have nothing much to drive home about.
Yes! They do provide us some moments to cheer about time and again but all the WWE fans around the globe are aware of the fact that they are riding an all time low.
While we as members of the IWC are well aware of the current stale product, we are not holding our breath either because we all know that with the current situation at hand, hoping for an entertaining product every week is nothing else but a distant dream.
The major reasons being:
- Lack Of Competition
- WWE being the official King’s of sports entertainment
- WWE Accepting its own mediocrity (To quote from Mr. Morris)
- Vince making more money than he ever did even with the current product
The situation at hand though is horrifying for any wrestling fan but is ideal for Vince and his management. They are merely living on their past glory and well earned name and goodwill.
While this might lead any disappointed fan to conclude that WWE does not need to get its act together, I for one could not accept the fact that we are religiously following a sport which has a bleak future.
After a lot of brain storming and searching of data on the various web sites, I concluded that, The WWE will be caught in a web soon.
Allow me to explain. There are quite a few reasons to prove my argument; the major reason will be dealt with at the end.
Code No. 1: The Rise of New Organizations
It is a well known fact that the WWE continues to have majority of the viewers under its umbrella with its shows and PPV events. Vince who commands the working of the business does not consider the growing organizations a burden for they are yet to make any impact.
However, we need to realize that TNA is not the only company that Vince is competing against. He has MMA/UFC waiting to breathe down his neck as well. I agree that their ratings are not as challenging according to Vince’s standards but the truth is that as time is rolling by, these organizations continue to get more love from the hardcore wrestling fans.
While the WWE continues to market its product, those hardcore wrestling fans that would pay to see actual action are getting it via MMA/UFC.
It is a well known fact that the IWC is the vocal minority but the truth is that we are not the only ones growing sick of the current product. Apparently a major part of the non-IWC members are also not in favor of the WWE these days.
This can simply be proven by the recent drop in the ratings. Many of us believe that the kids make up for the maximum followers but we are wrong in our assumptions. To quote WWE Corporate Website “They have 21.7 p ercent viewers who are under 18-years-old” this means that around 78 percent of the followers are its mature audience.
Now keeping in mind the fact the ratings have dropped at thrice the rate from the good old days we can conclude that the maximum audience lost is the mature audience.
The mature audience has left because they saw more promos than actual wrestling. Now where do they get their “relentless action” fix? The answer is MMA and UFC.
By providing the things which WWE lacks, these organizations are automatically drawing more followers than before and gradually the WWE will start loosing its followers as well.
By inviting a mature audience they are serving one more purpose. The purpose being that, rather than driving their kids into watching WWE, the current crop of mature audience will be driving their kids into these promotions. Thus they have created a bank for themselves which ensure good amount of fans in the future as well.
As a result, rather than being raised on WWE the next generation “most probably” will be raised on MMA/UFC etc.
The bottom line is that Vince should not ignore its rise now or else he will find himself cornered due to the sudden rise of these companies.
As far as TNA goes, we have all been saying that it has no chances of making any Impact what so ever. But we need to look at it from a businessman’s point of view. Dixie Carter might be allowing Hogan and his associates to ruin the business but once she realizes that her company can’t be run by them, she will surely spring into action and take steps which will go down well with the fans.
We need to realize that a company can’t survive on Bull S**T! TNA does not even have the extra hype and importance the WWE does so they will have to take calculated steps cause if Dixie has some sensibility left (Which I assume she does) , she will realize that her company is nearing Doomsday pretty soon with current product.
Code No. 2: The Non-Stagnant Audience
The WWE managed to get tons of fan support which has helped them in the current era of wrestling. The Attitude Era and The Ruthless Aggression Era, were two of the most exciting and appealing era’s for the fans.
It was during that time period when the WWE managed to win support from the mature audience which guided their kids and juniors into this business. Currently The Dynamics is on their side because these children were guided into the sport by their seniors.
As a result the current stale product and PG King John Cena (who I am a fan of due to other reasons BTW) is being well received and the business is still a huge success to hold its head high.
But! What will happen as this current crop matures and looses the love for a product which is only meant for the kids?
Many might say that another crop of kids will be ready to watch the product but the truth is, that they won’t be lead into this sport anymore by their seniors for the mature audience has already started to loose interest in the current product.
The bottom line is that with the passage of time, which will lead to the maturing of the current fans and with the reduction in the amount of kids being led into the WWE, due to seniors which no longer have any love for the business, the followers will reduce and gradually the WWE will have to revamp the business model to suit the mature audience.
Thus! “Being Patient” is the key here. I am saying this from my own personal experience. When I was not a part of the IWC, I like any other kid would rave and mark out for any lame segment but as I matured and became a part of the IWC, I realized as to how stale the product has become.
Same is the case with many of my friends and same will be the case with all the children who currently bask in the stale product.
The added burden of bearing the sudden development of the new companies along with further drop in its ratings will further make the WWE reconsider the formula.
Code No. 3: The WWE is going to be caught in a trap of its own
As I was working on this article, one thing continued to bother me. It was nothing else but a statement which was putting all my logic to shame, it kept proving me WRONG!
The statement being “ In spite of this current stale product, Vince is still making more money than ever and nothing but a miracle can lead him into making the desired change”
I kept thinking, as to why would a Successful Businessman whose primary concern is earning money want to change his product even though he is making more money than ever?
After a lot of analysis and brain storming I finally came to a conclusion.
I realized a couple of things:
1. The Money is not earned via the shows and the PPV’s alone
2. These shows which are the “core” activity account for around ¾ of the revenue
3. A Company needs to have sponsors to sponsor the product (commercial sponsor)
Taking into consideration the three points I mentioned above we can safely conclude that the WWE does not rely on its product alone but on the sale of merchandise and WWE Studios to take care of its financial needs.
But we need to realize that the money they generate alone is not enough hence they turn to the SPONSORS finance many of their activities.
I am no insider but it is my general thought thinking that sponsors are needed when you want your activities to be financed by some other company.
Because Sponsoring is not a one way street, by getting financed you allow a company to share the spotlight with you and if a company had the money then it won’t need sponsors.
Thus, to earn that extra cash and cover up the target profit which they were not able to achieve courtesy the stale product, the WWE would ultimately be turning to sponsors. They would help them with reducing the financial burden assisted with extra activities like merchandise sales, WWE Studios etc.
The bottom line being that the WWE needs sponsors for these extra activities which are helping them sit pretty even with the current product.
With that said, we can conclude that sponsors are a necessity for the WWE.
Many might believe that the WWE has a good standing and can easily draw sponsors but this is far from the truth. The WWE has a large fan base but companies are hesitant to enter into any agreement with them.
To prove my point, I will quote an interesting paragraph from an article which analyzed the WWE and its standing in the market in terms of Sponsorship.
" An IEG colleague, Jon Kander, saw Basil DeVito, a former vice president of WWE, speak last year. DeVito highlighted that although WWE has a dedicated fan base and attracts a prime demographic (men 18-34), companies have been hesitant to associate with WWE because of the problems it has had with its image, namely steroid scandals, overtly sexual content and programming that was violent and graphic. Additionally, he said that WWE fans typically represent a lower income bracket, which some companies view as a negative. Finally, the companies that had partnered with WWE in the past had not seen the desired benefits "
What do we conclude from this?
The WWE does not look to stand as high as they could have hoped and as high as we thought they would.
One more thing we need to realize here is that sponsors are drawn to a company which has a good product/output and which they think will bring them profits.
Seeing as the WWE is not putting up a good product, it will loose the sponsors and won’t be easily able to attract any more sponsors because no one supports a company which is going downhill.
Add to this the fact that the WWE does not have a glorious past either which induce the sponsors.
Gradually the WWE will have to stop relying on any extra activities (due to loss/reduction) of sponsors and will have to end up concentrating on the product and will have to work hard to improve it.
Let's look at the recent CeNexus angle. The WWE made a move which was well received with the mature audience. This helped them earn ratings gradually improving their standing in the market thus ensuring sponsors. Had they decided to rely on the merchandise sale formula and allowed Cena to bury the Nexus, it would surely have allowed an increase in revenue derived through it but the ratings would further decline. As a result the market standing would be affected in the wrong way.
This further adds to my point that, a good product can bring around association and sponsorship etc where as a stale product which will focus on merchandise sales won't be able to achieve much as the continuous low ratings will even drive the sponsors away. Thus the WWE will be caught in a FIX.
I would like to conclude this article by stating that, no matter how much money the WWE is making now, Vince and his men can’t run sports entertainment with mediocrity and will sooner or later be pushed to better their product or else they will no longer be…The Real King’s Of Sports Entertainment!
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