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Showing posts with label Michelle Wilson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michelle Wilson. Show all posts

June 16, 2016

WWE Announces First-Ever Signing Of Chinese Wrestler, New Partnership And Live Event In China

WWE issued the following:

WWE® and PPTV Announce Exclusive Multi-Year Partnership in China

WWE Live Event Returns to Shanghai in September; WWE Signs First-Ever Chinese Talent to Developmental Contract

WWE ushered in a new era in China today, announcing an exclusive multi-year content distribution agreement with PPTV; the return of a WWE live event to Shanghai on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 7 pm; and Bin Wang as the first-ever Chinese talent signed to a developmental contract. The historic announcements were made today at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai by WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Michelle D. Wilson, WWE Superstar John Cena®, WWE Vice President & General Manager of Greater China Jay Li, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul "Triple H®" Levesque, Vice President of PPTV, General Manager of PPTV Sports Stephen Zhang and CEO of Shanghai Expo Development Ltd. Ding Hao.

"Today's historic announcements further demonstrate WWE's long-term commitment to China," said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. "Partnerships with PPTV and Expo Group, as well as the signing of Bin Wang, will enable us to engage our fans in China like never before."


As part of WWE's commitment to its fans in China, the company announced an exclusive multi-year agreement with PPTV to deliver its flagship shows Raw® and SmackDown® in Mandarin.

Starting June 28, for the first time ever, fans in China will be able to stream all three hours of Raw and two hours of SmackDown on demand exclusively on PPTV and PPTV Sports. Fans can download the PPTV App and watch Raw and SmackDown on Smart TV's, set-top boxes, mobile devices and tablets, as well as on PPTV.com and Sports.PPTV.com. In addition, WWE short-form content will be available on PPTV's digital platforms and PPTV will leverage popular digital and social platforms, including WeChat and Sina Weibo, to share WWE content with fans throughout China. PPTV will also launch and manage a new WWE website in China.

"There's a long history between PPTV Sports and WWE in programming distribution. Now with the new exclusive partnership, these joint efforts will bring passion and family-friendly fun of WWE programing to millions of fans here in China just like in the U.S.," said Stephen Zhang, General Manager of PPTV Sports.


WWE returns to China with its first live event in more than three years with WWE Live 2016 China on Saturday, September 10 at 7 pm at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Tickets for WWE Live 2016 China will go on sale this Saturday, June 18 at 12 pm and can be purchased online at gewara.com and wesai.com, or by calling the Gewara ticket hotline at 1010 1068. WWE Superstars scheduled to appear include current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, current WWE Women's Champion Charlotte and WWE Superstars John Cena, Seth Rollins and Sasha Banks.

"WWE's China debut rocked Shanghai Expo in 2010, and now we are excited that deafening cheers from WWE fans will be heard again in 2016 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena," said Ding Hao, CEO of Expo Group.


WWE made history today by signing Bin Wang to a developmental contract, giving him the opportunity to train to become the first-ever Chinese Superstar in WWE history. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, the 22-year-old from Anhui has been training for the past two years in Japan at Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), a wrestling and MMA promotion founded by WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki.

Wang will relocate to Orlando, Florida this Sunday, June 19, where he will begin training out of the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center. With seven training rings, a world-class strength and conditioning program and cutting-edge edit and production facilities, the Performance Center will allow Wang to develop his skills through a comprehensive program that includes in-ring training, physical preparedness and character development.

"It is an honor to be the first-ever Chinese talent in WWE history," said Bin Wang. "There are no fans in the world that show the same passion as the WWE Universe, and I look forward to training and developing my skills so I can perform for them in the future."

March 2, 2016

Three WWE Execs Trump McMahon’s 2015 Pay

Three executives of World Wrestling Entertainment received the first of two big stock awards — the 2015 installment totaling $3.1 million — to keep them on board and reward their extra duties as the Stamford-based company builds up its WWE Network.

The stock awards to George Barrios, Kevin Dunn and Michelle Wilson pushed their total compensation past that received by CEO Vince McMahon, with Dunn getting $4.8 million as executive producer and Barrios receiving $4.5 million in his role as chief financial and strategy officer.

Wilson’s $4.5 million payday as chief revenue and marketing officer bumped the company’s film division head Michael Luisi from the lineup of the top-paid WWE executives, with Luisi making $1.9 million in 2014 as president of WWE Studios.

WWE (NYSE: WWE) paid McMahon $3.3 million, a 37 percent increase from 2014, with McMahon controlling 94 percent of WWE’s class B shares that wield 10 votes on corporate matters to every one vote awarded to holders of class A shares that are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and which are convertible to class A shares.

Paul Levesque received $3.1 million, including $1.7 million from his “Triple H” persona performing at WWE events. Levesque is executive vice president of talent, live events and creative at WWE.

WWE’s compensation committee is chaired by Frank Riddick III, CEO of FloWorks International, a Houston-based pipe and valve supplier. The largest holder of WWE’s class A stock is Lindsell Train, a fund based in London, which held 16 percent of the outstanding shares at last report.

WWE scheduled its annual meeting for April 21, 2016, at the Hilton Stamford Hotel in Stamford.

source: stamfordadvocate.com

November 4, 2015

WWE Steps Into Virtual-Reality Ring With Samsung

WWE is the latest entertainment company to take a test run at virtual reality, launching two VR videos exclusively on Samsung Electronics’ Milk VR content service to give fans a front-row perch to soak up the grappling action.

The videos are available on the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, powered by Oculus VR, as well as on the forthcoming $99 Gear VR consumer headset slated to go on sale in time for Black Friday (Nov. 27). WWE worked with studio Reel FX to produce the VR segments, shot at its tentpole SummerSlam 2015 event this August at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

“It’s a first step for us into virtual reality world,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE chief revenue and marketing officer. “I don’t know if (VR is) going to be the next big success or not, but we’re going to be platform agnostic — and go where our fans go.”

For Samsung, getting VR content seeded into Milk VR is a linchpin of its consumer launch.

July 12, 2015

WWE HQ turmoil: one executive fired by Vince McMahon, another one leaves of his own accord

In a worrying sign for WWE investors, the quick turnaround of high ranking executives within the company has continued over the past month with one being fired by Vince McMahon and another leaving of his own accord.

Outside of family members whose jobs are guaranteed for life and big hitters like WWE's Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson and their Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios (whose jobs are likely secured in the short term due to being named in the WWE stockholders lawsuit along with Vince and Stephanie McMahon), the past five years has been marked by a series of corporate departures, particularly in roles related to the company's creative direction.

The first sign of increased volatility at WWE headquarters was seen by the shocking resignation of WWE's COO Donna Goldsmith in late January 2011, believed to be tied to the disappointing financial results of the preceding quarter, despite having earlier success in her role through landing the company's lucrative Mattel deal.

Michael Pavone, the Executive Vice President of the money bleeding WWE Studios division was not surprisingly the next victim, resigning from his position in August 2011. However, worse bloodletting was yet to come.

With slowly eroding television viewership and the teething pains of setting up their own online channel, the WWE Network, executive turnover has spiralled out of control since the autumn of 2012.

Brian Gewirtz, the long time head writer of Monday Night Raw was the first to be punished on the creative side of things when he was removed from the writing team and demoted to a mere consultancy role on Oct. 8th, 2012 over poor ratings. Next to fall out of favour was WWE's SVP of Creative and Development, Eric Pankowski, who was let go after just 15 months in the position in March 2013. Pankowski's replacement, Adam Rudman, lasted just six weeks in the job before Stephanie McMahon gave him his marching orders, likely due to his limited knowledge of the WWE product. The next head writer, David Kreizman, wanted out almost immediately upon being promoted, but was convinced to stay on for a few months longer.

In 2014, it was largely the people involved in the launch of the WWE Network that either got out while the going was good or were given their pink slip.

First to go was WWE's Vice President of Global Sales, Brian Maddox, in January of that year when he accepted a job as a Vice President at Silver Chalice Ventures, a next generation digital/video sports media company. You may remember Maddox as being the backtracking whistleblower known as Confidential Witness Number 1 or CW1 for short in the aforementioned WWE stockholders lawsuit.

WWE's Executive Vice President of Digital Media, Perkins Miller, was next to follow Maddox out the door, in order to take a job with the NFL as their new Chief Digital Officer in the spring of 2014.

Unlike Maddox and Miller, WWE's EVP of Programming, Matthew Singerman wasn't so lucky, getting the chop after just six months in the newly created role, a scapegoat for the WWE Network performing well below expectations in its early days of existence.

Basically, there's been so many departures of late that it's hard to keep track, so forgive me if I've forgotten anyone of importance.

Now, there's two more. The MLW twitter account broke the news yesterday that WWE had recently fired their Executive Vice President of Content, Lisa Fox Lee, after just six months in the role like Singerman.

Lee was someone who had worked for WWE since she left university over two decades ago, starting in their television and sponsorship sales division in March 1995 and gradually being promoted up the ranks to VP, SVP and EVP roles in TV and later Network programming. According to James Caldwell of PWTorch.com, the move in January to put all of the main content divisions under one umbrella quickly became viewed as a mistake internally and Lee struggled with her greater responsibility and workload:

"Regarding Lee, WWE went through a six-month trial run of having Lee oversee Creative, digital programming, and Network programming. The goal was to put all of the main content departments under one umbrella. But, it did not pan out....

The main issue is that before her promotion, Lee worked for WWE in various mid-level jobs contributing to TV & PPV content delivery, sales, and social media, but she did not have experience as a key decision-maker in WWE upper management.

Promoting Lee to a high-ranking executive position was viewed internally as a rash decision trying to put all of WWE's content arms under one person. And, WWE employees viewed Lee as the wrong person for the role if such a role was to be created.

The decision was made to fire Lee instead of demote her back to her previous position. It appears that sitting in on meetings with McMahon, who Lee was suddenly reporting to, led to her demise since she was no longer protected in a mid-management role.

After cutting Lee, WWE shifted back to individual content departments reporting to various executives, removing the "one umbrella for all content" approach just six months after the new set-up."

Caldwell also broke the news that WWE's Senior Vice President of Digital Content, Rob Bernstein, has left the company for a more senior position with IPG - Mediabrands Publishing, a global media agency. Unlike Lee, internally this is being viewed as a major loss for WWE's digital media division, as he was instrumental in monetising WWE's YouTube channel, launching their offshoot YouTube gaming channel UpUpDownDown that stars Austin "Xavier Woods" Creed, overseeing the development of the WWE App and growing the WWE.com website.

The latest episode of Titan Towers turmoil begs several important questions about WWE as a business. Why can't they retain the services of their most gifted executives like Miller and Bernstein? Why do they hire or promote people so ill-suited to key positions that they are fired in less than six months? Is Vince McMahon so difficult to work with and so whimsical in his thinking nowadays that he has become a detriment to the day-to-day running of WWE, even though his instincts as a promoter has a proven track record of being second to none?

source: cagesideseats.com

July 1, 2015

WWE stockholder lawsuit heats up over backtracking whistleblower

In this week's Figure Four Weekly Newsletter, David Bixenspan has an excellent cover story bringing his readers up to speed on the latest developments in the ongoing legal battle between WWE and their disgruntled ex-investors. Things started heating up in January when the plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint with information from a former high-ranking employee of WWE named "Confidential Witness Number 1" or "CW1" for short that backed up their claims, including arguing that:

WWE officers knew they wouldn't be able to get a significant rights fee hike from USA due to low ad rates ("$15,000 per spot");

WWE's own internal research studies demonstrating that their actual fan base was a fraction of what the defendants represented to the public ("at the very most, WWE had 4-6 million total fans");

Actual social media followers of WWE accounts are counted multiple times to achieve the huge totals the company loves to tout, in order to present a larger, yet inaccurate, picture of their fanbase;

Michelle Wilson had asked the witness to present false viewership data to potential sponsors, i.e., lie to them, an act he had refused to do.

WWE's reaction was to file a memorandum of law in support of their motion to dismiss the updated complaint in March, which included an affidavit of Brian Maddox, the Vice President of their global digital advertising sales team from December 2010 to January 2014, who claimed that he believed he was CW1, had not consented to the use of any of his purported statements in the complaint, and then went on to deny all those statements:

"I am submitting this affidavit because the statements attributed to me in the Amended Complaint are not accurate and do not accurately reflect what I said to plaintiffs' counsel. Contrary to the Amended Complaint, I am not aware of any instance in which the Company or anyone else made inaccurate or intentionally misleading public statements about the size of WWE's fan base, the number of its social media followers, the potential outcome of its negotiations of television contracts, the launch and ultimate success of the WWE network, the potential impact of those on its future financial results, or anything else referenced in the Amended Complaint."

According to Bixenspan, the plaintiffs have fought back with a strongly worded opposition to WWE's motion to dismiss, arguing that Maddox's affidavit should come under scrutiny because he could have been coerced by the company to rescind his original statements:

"If the Court reviews the Affidavit at face value and in its appropriate context, it is the preparation of the Affidavit, not the Amended Complaint, that should come under scrutiny. Indeed, should the Court come to the logical conclusion that Mr. Maddox was pressured by Defendants and their counsel to submit the Affidavit, especially in light of the fact that Mr. Maddox provided his confidentiality agreement with WWE to KSF [Kahn Swick & Foti, the plaintiffs' attorneys] because he feared reprisal from the Company, and that the Affidavit does not represent a truthful depiction of his correspondence with Lead Counsel, the allegations attributable to Maddox in the Amended Complaint should be deemed more compelling and foster an even stronger inference of scienter [a legal term referring to knowledge of wrongdoing]."

March 25, 2015

ABG and WWE Launch Tapout Joint Venture

WWE (NYSE: WWE) and Authentic Brands Group, LLC (ABG) today announced a joint venture for Tapout™, a newly repositioned fitness lifestyle brand. Tapout™ is now the official fitness and training partner of WWE, and will be integrated across WWE’s global platforms including TV programming, WWE Network, pay-per-view broadcasts, live events, digital, and social media.

“Tapout was ABG’s first acquisition and it continues to be a global brand with strong sales and blue chip partners all over the world. We have a very strong commitment to the brand’s ongoing success,” said Jamie Salter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ABG. “WWE is a media and entertainment force and we are excited to partner with them on Tapout’s future growth.”

“WWE is always looking for new opportunities to partner with best-in-class organizations, develop new products for our fans and drive shareholder value,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “This joint venture aligns with our strategic approach, and we look forward to building the Tapout brand.”

As part of this strategic partnership, WWE will create new content featuring its Superstars and Divas in Tapout™ apparel and market the brand across all platforms. Tapout™ branding will also be featured at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and all performers, trainers, and staff will be outfitted in Tapout™ workout apparel.

“WWE’s expansive reach provides a global platform to broaden Tapout’s presence and consumer base,” said Nick Woodhouse, President and Chief Marketing Officer of ABG. “This is a powerhouse pairing given the synergy between Tapout’s brand promise to be the premiere hard-body fitness brand, and WWE’s commitment to training and fitness.”

“Combining ABG’s strengths in retail brand development, licensing and distribution with WWE’s marketing expertise, global reach and passionate fan base, makes for a powerful partnership,” said Michelle D. Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “The Tapout brand will enable us to expand into new product categories and further grow our current $1 billion consumer product retail business.”

The next generation of Tapout™ preserves the original brand essence and drives a hard-body, fitness-centric message positioned around motivation, discipline and determination. An all new line of men’s and women’s performance apparel and accessories will launch at retail in Spring 2016. New Tapout™ branding and packaging will roll out in key categories throughout 2015 starting with beverages, supplements and fitness centers.

November 6, 2014

WWE NXT Moving To Wednesdays On WWE Network

Michelle Wilson, chief revenue and marketing officer, WWE, told Variety that NXT will move to Wednesday nights at 8 PM on the WWE Network in response to Smackdown’s move back to Thursday nights. You can read their coverage at this link.

October 13, 2014

WWE Network To Begin Airing Advertisements During Videos

WWE sent out the following email today to WWE Network subscribers concerning advertising which will now be featured before and between Network shows:

"Dear WWE Network Subscriber,

Today WWE Network will begin to run limited video advertisements. Here's what you can expect:

No commercial breaks during scheduled programming
Limited advertising between shows
Occasional advertising before our video-on-demand content.
If you have any questions regarding your subscription, please visit wwe.com/help. Thank you for being a WWE Network subscriber.

WWE Network Support"

Advertising from marketers including Pepsi, Mattel and Kmart will start appearing on WWE Network from this week. Averts will range from 30-60 seconds on every fourth stream according to Michelle Wilson, WWE's chief revenue and marketing officer.

September 24, 2014

Rumor Mill - Backstage Talk on a Power Struggle Involving Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Other Execs

There's talk within WWE of a power struggle involving Stephanie McMahon and Triple H on one side, and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer George Barrios and Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson on the other side.

Barrios and Wilson were the ones in charge of the WWE Network launch and WWE's new TV contract. Both deals were nowhere near as successful as the company hoped for.

April 15, 2014

2014 WWE Business Partner Summit Presentation

During WrestleMania Week, WWE presented the company's strategic plans at its annual Business Partner Summit.

Highlights from the Summit, found in the video above, include an introduction by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, special appearances by WrestleMania 30 host Hulk Hogan and WWE Superstar John Cena, and a discussion from senior executives about key growth areas.

WWE's senior management team spoke about these plans and highlighted the following:

"Then, Now, and Forever" - Recent Accomplishments, Immediate Plans for 2014, and the Future Where WWE is Poised For Success (Michelle Wilson, Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer & George Barrios, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer)

30 Years of WrestleMania, Brand Reach and WWE's Dedication to Community (Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer)

WWE Studio's Strategy, Extension & Successes, Partnerships and Movie Slate for 2014-2015 (Michael Luisi, President, WWE Studios)

International Growth, Reach & Partnerships (Gerrit Meier, Executive Vice President, International)

New Consumer Products (Casey Collins, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products)

Technological Innovations - WWE Network, WWE App, and Social Media Command Center (Perkins Miller, Executive Vice President, Digital Media)

The video can be viewed here.

April 2, 2014

WWE Working on Streaming & Monitoring What Network Users Are Viewing

Variety has a new article up on the WWE Network and WrestleMania XXX. WWE's Michelle Wilson notes that they continue to put a lot of resources into the technical side to make sure fans have a great viewing experience for WrestleMania.

The article notes that WWE has been keeping a close eye on what people are watching on the Network and so far, most viewers are splitting their time between new series like WWE Countdown and old footage in the vault. They noted that anything that airs live gets a good audience, the RAW pre-show and post-shows do well and as WrestleMania XXX approaches, the older WrestleMania events have been popular.

March 26, 2014

Vince McMahon's Over-The-Top Move: Why The Billionaire CEO Is Betting Big On The New WWE Network

Forbes has a really good interview up with Vince McMahon. Here are some quotes:

His wealth:
“I don’t consider myself a rich person,” he says in a rare moment of modesty. “I know that I am, but it’s not like I belong to any country clubs. I have a car that goes very fast and a motorcycle that goes extraordinarily fast,” he said of his Bentley and a Boss Hoss 502. “I love speed. Beyond that, I don’t really have anything in common with anyone in Greenwich except zeros. Normally I do not like rich people.”

A McMahon running the company when he's no longer able to:
“I would like to see a degree of that. I just think as times go on, things will evaporate. Eventually Uncle Sam sees the benefit. You can’t do anything without Uncle Sam taking a huge bite of it.”

Will he ever be satisfied by his success?
“I have a voracious appetite, for life and everything in it. To a certain extent I will die a very frustrated man because I didn’t do this or accomplish that.”

From left, Chief Financial Officer George Barrios; Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Michelle D. Wilson; Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon; Paul Levesque.

Read the full article here.

March 17, 2014

WWE Superstars Get Animated

WWE and Mattel, Inc. today announced the launch of WWE Slam City™, WWE’s new kids property that includes an original animated short-form series and a complete line of WWE Slam City merchandise. The 26-episode series, which launches today in the U.S., Canada, and U.K., is comprised of two minute shorts featuring WWE Superstars in their new animated world, WWE Slam City. The first four episodes begin airing today at WWESlamCity.com and Cartoonium on YouTube. WWE Slam City toys, including action figures, ring sets and more, are currently available at major retail stores.

The series, filmed in the next generation of stop-motion animation, features a new WWE animated character The Finisher, who fires all of the WWE Superstars and sends them to WWE Slam City to find day jobs. WWE Superstars are plunged into new career challenges as John Cena®, Randy Orton®, Sheamus®, The Miz™, Rey Mysterio®, Kane®, Alberto Del Rio® and Mark Henry® pack every street corner with work to do and scores to settle. With John Cena as an auto mechanic, Alberto Del Rio as a coffee house barista, Randy Orton as a zookeeper and Sheamus as a theater usher, these Superstars have a new life outside the ring, but still stay true to their WWE personas.

January 24, 2014

WWE Network coming to Apple TV, company executive suggests

Earlier this year, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held a press conference to announce that it will be bringing its wrestling content to television and mobile devices via a new WWE Network. At the event, WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing officer Michelle Wilson announced hardware partners and that the network will provide its content via a 24/7 stream that costs $9.99 per month.

Wilson said that the network would become available on a slew of devices, including iOS devices, Android devices, Rokus, Amazon Kindle devices, Xbox hardware, and PlayStations. Rounding out the list of supported devices, Wilson said, is “a connected device that I am not allowed to mention at this press conference…”

The only major connected TV device not explicitly announced to support WWE is the Apple TV set-top-box, leading us to believe that the secret supporting product is the Apple TV. It is widely known that Apple enjoys controlling all aspects of its products, right down to the content makers that it works with. In addition to that speculation, audience attendees were given Apple TVs in special WWE packaging.

When Wilson made her statement about the device she is “not allowed to mention,” an attendee in the front of the auditorium raised up the gifted Apple TV. In response, Wilson said, “you got the joke, I love it.” The WWE Network officially launches on February 24th, so perhaps the channel will show up on Apple TV boxes on or around that date. Another possibility is that the WWE is looking to be a launch partner for Apple’s upcoming Apple TV successor.

Yesterday, we reported that sources have indicated that Apple has a revamped Apple TV set-top-box in the works. We have been told that the new product will likely be introduced in the first half of 2014 and that new downloadable content types (such as applications) is a strong possibility for inclusion.

Last year, Apple added several new content channels to the Apple TV, including Bloomberg News, MLS Soccer, new Disney offerings, Watch ABC, and Vevo. We’ve previously published an extensive profile regarding how Apple and content providers work together on new Apple TV channels. Phone calls and emails to the WWE have not been returned.

source: 9to5mac.com

December 17, 2013

WWE Aims to Pin Down Rich New TV Rights Deals

If USA Network wants to retain its biggest hit, “Monday Night Raw,” it’s gonna have to pay.

Next month, for the first time, WWE will shop the rights to “Raw” and all of its shows at the same time — a list of weekly series that includes Syfy’s “Friday Night SmackDown,” “Main Event” on ION Television, the CW’s “Saturday Morning Slam” and reality show “Total Divas” on E!

The goal is to significantly increase the $139.5 million in TV licensing fees WWE earns each year for its shows, and attempt to get closer to the rich network deals that sports organizations like the NBA, NHL NASCAR, as well as soccer command.

In the past, deals for WWE’s series were brokered individually on a staggered timeline, usually every three to four years or so. But WWE has spent nearly two years quietly lining up rights to expire simultaneously in an effort to secure higher fees and appease shareholders who have grown increasingly frustrated that the company’s TV deals are not worth more at a time when live “event” programming is more valuable than ever.

December 4, 2013

WWE Promotes Key Executives to Lead Future Growth

WWE (NYSE: WWE) is poised for transformative growth in important areas, including the renegotiation of its four largest television rights agreements, the potential launch of a WWE Network, expansion in key international markets, distribution of content on emerging platforms and new strategic partnerships. Michelle D. Wilson, George Barrios and Stephanie McMahon have been promoted to lead WWE in the execution of these strategic growth initiatives.

Michelle D. Wilson, formerly Chief Marketing Officer, has been promoted to Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer and will now oversee all of the company’s revenue lines and assume responsibility for WWE’s $900 million retail consumer products business. Wilson retains her current revenue generating responsibilities for Sponsorship Sales, Pay-Per-View and New Business Development and will continue to oversee all WWE Marketing and Corporate Communications. Wilson is also spearheading the company’s efforts to launch a WWE Network and will continue to report directly to WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon. Casey Collins, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products will report to Wilson.

George Barrios, formerly Chief Financial Officer, has been promoted to Chief Strategy and Financial Officer and will now oversee all of the company’s strategic planning processes and take over management of WWE’s day-to-day Television Operations. He will retain his management of Financial Planning and Investor Relations. With Wilson, Barrios is co-leading WWE’s television rights negotiations and will continue to report directly to WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon. Will Staeger, Executive Vice President, Television Production will report to Barrios.

Stephanie McMahon, formerly Executive Vice President, Creative, has been promoted to Chief Brand Officer and will lead WWE’s efforts to further enhance its brand reputation among key constituencies including advertisers, media, business partners and investors. McMahon will serve as the company’s brand ambassador and work with WWE’s business units to support key growth initiatives. McMahon will also lead WWE’s targeted youth and moms marketing programs and will continue to report directly to WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon.

Kevin Dunn will serve as Executive Producer of all WWE programming, including Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, WWE Main Event and Total Divas and will continue to report to Vince McMahon.

“WWE is entering a new era of unprecedented growth,” said WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vince McMahon. “I am confident that my senior executive team is now organized more effectively to capitalize on the wealth of opportunities.”

Additionally, Perkins Miller, Executive Vice President, Digital Media will report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon, and Eddie Feldmann, Senior Vice President, Creative Writing will report to Paul Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent and Live Events.

Looks like Triple H may finally get to run the creative department.

April 20, 2013

2013 WWE Business Partner Summit Presentation

During WrestleMania week, WWE presented the company's strategic plans at its annual Business Partner Summit.

Highlights from the Summit, found in the video above, include a discussion around market growth in key areas such as diversification of content, brand strength, global expansion, talent development and product innovation.

WWE’s senior management team spoke about these plans and highlighted the following:

Company’s Financial Outlook, Launch of the WWE Network and International Expansion (George Barrios, Chief Financial Officer)

Content Development and Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies (Michelle Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer)

Social Media Development and Gamification (Perkins Miller, Executive Vice President, Digital Media)

Expanding Content Beyond the Ring and Growing Social Media Presence and Second Screen Experience (Stephanie McMahon, Executive Vice President,Creative)

WWE Studio’s Strategy, Partnerships and Movie Slate for2013-14 (Michael Luisi, President, WWE Studios)

New Product Development and Strategies (Casey Collins, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products)

Live Event Experience, Talent Development and Unveiling of WWE Performance Center (Paul Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent and Live Events)

You can view the video here.

March 9, 2013

Ranking the 10 Most Influential Women in Sports

1. Sharon Byers and Alison Lewis - Coca Cola North America -- Annual Sports Revenue $260 million

2. Cindy Davis - VP of Nike Inc. and President of Nike Golf -- Annual Sports Revenue: $623 million

3. Christine Dreissen - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for ESPN -- Annual Sports Revenue: $8.2 billion

4. Lisa France Kennedy - CEO International Speedway -- Annual Sports Revenue: $750 million

5. Heidi Ueberroth - NBA President of International Business Operation -- Annual Sports Revenue: $300 million

6. Michelle D. Wilson - Chief Marketing Officer of WWE Annual Sports Revenue: $525 million

Wilson has served as the Chief Marketing Officer of the WWE since 2011. Wilson oversees WWE's global marketing and integrated brand initiatives, including pay-per-view, advertising, promotions, research, creative services and public and government relations. In addition, she oversees WWE's integrated media sales and sponsorship business. Before joining the WWE Wilson was Chief Marketing Officer of the USTA (2001-2009). From 2000 to 2001, she was Vice President of Marketing for the XFL.

7. Denise DeBartolo York - Former Owner and current Co-Chair of the San Francisco 49ers - Annual Sports revenue: $214 million

8. Rita Benson LeBlanc - Part owner and Vice Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Hornets-- Annual Sports Revenue: $232 million

9. Stacey Allaster - Chief Executive Officer of Women's Tennis Association -- Annual Sports Revenue: $86 million

10. Kathryn Carter - President of Soccer United Marketing -- Annual Sports Revenue: $100 million

source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

January 3, 2013

Despite Cable-Costs Crackdown, New Channels Keep Coming

Players ranging from WWE to ABC News and Univision will again try to elbow their way onto pay-TV program guides this year. But 2013 may prove particularly inhospitable for upstart networks as cable and satellite distributors get serious about mitigating rising content costs.

WWE hopes it already has a head start for a network of its own, with huge existing fan base and experience in producing content.

The company, which produces "Monday Night Raw" and "Friday Night Smackdown" for USA Network and Syfy, intends to make an announcement this year about a launch date, according to WWE CMO Michelle Wilson. Earlier reports had the company aiming to introduce the network back in April 2012.

The most challenging part of starting a new network is gaining distribution, Ms. Wilson said, adding that she sympathizes with pay-TV companies. "I appreciate the challenge of increasing programming costs and the operators' need to control those costs," she said.

That could mean that the network appears on distributors' premium tiers, where channels such as HBO and Showtime reside, rather than the more broadly-distributed basic tier. WWE is currently in discussions with potential carriers and is looking at potential models.

Ms. Wilson said "Raw" and "Smackdown" will remain on their current homes, driving viewers to the new network, which will include new, in-ring content in the vein of "Raw" and "Smackdown" as well as pre-show and post-show coverage. WWE also plans to draw from its 100,000 hours of library content for planned series such as "WrestleMania Rewind."

WWE may also look to genres like reality TV and talk shows, Ms. Wilson said.

source: adage.com

June 11, 2012

World Wrestling Entertainment Shareholders Get Slammed

Holders of shares in World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) have already been warned. Corporate filings with the SEC say that the interests of controlling stockholder and CEO Vince McMahon may conflict with those of other shareholders. McMahon, one would think, should have a special sense of responsibility for his nearly powerless fellow owners. The financial performance of the corporation, his obscene pay package and the price of the company’s shares say otherwise.

The WWE is well known around the world and is a particularly valuable brand, but it is a very small business by entertainment company standards. Its revenue last year was only $483 million. Profits were negligible at $25 million, with a net margin of 5%. That net income was the lowest in five years. And revenue has not grown at all over that time. Total revenue was $486 million in 2007. Net income has dropped by half over the same time five-year period through 2011.

McMahon and his senior management have done very well while the shareholders have not. WWE shares traded at $14 five years ago and rose to almost $19 in April 2010. Today, the stock sits near a five-year low at $7.90 — down 57% from the April 2010 peak.

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Oderint Dum Metuant: Let Them Hate As Long As They Fear