Smart for WWE to brand itself a 'Sports-Entertainment' entity over a 'Pro-wrestling' one!
This past Monday, after WWE’s flagship program Raw, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin asked COO (Chief Operations Officer) Triple H if he’s on the pro-wrestling side or the “Sports Entertainment” side, when it comes to what the business should be called. Austin first asked this question too WWE Chairman Vince McMahon on his first live podcast on the WWE Network a few weeks ago, but Triple H gave the best answer. Triple H basically said that for him, pro-wrestling is what wrestlers have to do before they reach the WWE; when they finally make it to the WWE they become “Superstars” - sports entertainers.
This is an argument that has been going on since the WWE started calling the wrestlers “Superstars,” and when they began calling pro-wrestling “Sports Entertainment.” CM Punk even alluded to the argument in his infamous “Pipe Bomb” promo when he emphasized the word wrestler when he said, “I am the best wrestler in the world.” But no matter what side you're, on calling professional wrestling “Sports Entertainment” is a lot better from a marketing standpoint.
It’s a lot easier to pitch “Sports Entertainment” to a company than it is pro-wrestling, and here’s why.
Sports entertainment for one just sounds a lot more appealing than pro-wrestling, and explaining pro-wrestling to someone who may not know what it is could be difficult.
When you hear the words “Sports Entertainment”, it is a little easier to grasp what it may be if you don't know what it is. It’s also a lot easier to explain that “Sports Entertainment” is a scripted sport, with drama and comedy rolled into one big package. When you use the words professional wrestling, and explain that it is a scripted sport it could come across a little funny, and may not make much sense to someone that is unfamiliar to the product.
From a marketing standpoint calling professional wrestling “Sports Entertainment” makes more sense, because WWE provides more than just professional wrestling.
WWE isn’t just two guys competing in the ring, it’s one big story that plays out for an entire year. The WWE marketing its brand as “Sports Entertainment” is just smart business, because it sums up what the WWE is in two simple words.