Sponsorship notes ahead of SmackDown premiere.
AdAge reports that insurance company Progressive has signed on as a presenting sponsor of WWE ahead of the Oct. 4 SmackDown premiere on Fox. Pizza Hut, Boost Mobile, Snickers and Paramount are listed as other key brands that will be involved in the premiere. Fans can expect to see trailers for "Gemini Man" starring Will Smith and "Playing With Fire" starring John Cena during the Fox broadcast.
Fox Sports executive VP, sports sales Seth Winter, who helped put the deal with Progressive together, says the sponsors will “have a significant presence in the show that goes beyond paid units.”
Winter says that demand for Fox’s new WWE package was sufficient enough in recent months to bring into the fold 20 sponsors that had previously never bought time in a wrestling program. Winter went on to say Fox “may look at reducing inventory loads” during the SmackDown broadcasts, which means cutting the amount of ad spots by somewhere “in the 10-to-20-percent range.”
The article also notes "many other opening night appearances are being kept under wraps" and hints that The Rock could pop on the show. It is not stated if The Rock would make a live appearance, a pre-taped appearance, or show up in a commercial promoting an upcoming film.
WWE has confirmed the likes of Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Sting and more for the show. The night will be headlined by a WWE Championship bout between Kofi Kingston and Brock Lesnar.