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WWE Taps Social Media To Entice WrestleMania PPV Buys

3/30/2012 1:06 PM

The WWE is looking to pin down pay-per-view buys for this Sunday’s WrestleMania XXVIII event through a late, heavy social media marketing blitz.

The organization will stream live content leading up to its marquee PPV event on YouTube, Facebook and WWE.com as part of an overall social media push that it hopes will convince viewers to fork over the suggested $55 retail price for the PPV show, according to Jason Hoch, senior vice president of digital operations for WWE.

“The passion of our fans is so great – 60 million Facebook fans and 20 million on Twitter following all the superstars,” he said. “[Social media] is incredible as a promotional vehicle, and we’re able to push exclusive content to let fans get closer to the superstars.”

As part of the WWE’s social media outreach, the network today (March 30) will take over YouTube’s home page with  exclusive WrestleMania videos featuring WWE superstars The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, Undertaker, CM Punk, Chris Jericho and Santino Marella.

The company this weekend will also allow fans as well as WWE superstars and legends to weigh in via Twitter on the WrestleMania’s main event match between The Rock and John Cena, utilizing the stars’ respective Twitter hashtags #TeamBringIt vs. #Cenation, according to WWE officials.

Also for the first time on Sunday the WWE will live stream a WrestleMania pre-show event via YouTube, Facebook and WWE.com.

Hoch said the stream will hopefully reach both hardcore WWE fans and casual fans and entice them to purchase the event.

“There are a lot of folks that we’re still reaching (through social media) all the way up to the last minute, and social media provides that steady media connection to just remind fans that this is happening, and that’s key.”

The company is hoping to improve on last year’s WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta, which generated $36 million in revenue for WWE, including $24 million in pay-per-view revenue, according to the Hartford Currant.

Hoch said the social media outreach – which included a Wednesday afternoon live stream of its WrestleMania press conference – compliments the company’s traditional PPV marketing efforts.

“I think what we like is we continue to build new ways to reach fans … I don’t know that it replaces anything that we’re doing or it becomes THE one thing that we’re doing, but I think anytime you use all of these big, global platforms it allows us to get the message out in non-traditional ways to reach fans,” he said.