The WrestleMania dirt was a smash success.
WWE's senior vice president of consumer products, Sarah Cummins was interviewed in the June 2020 License Global magazine in a piece that highlights WWE's branding success over the years and especially now in the time of the pandemic.
When choosing to single out a superstar that has had great success in terms of marketability, Cummins highlighted the creepy, albeit collector-friendly “Fiend” adaptation of the Bray Wyatt character.
“Over the last year, we’ve had incredible success with Bray Wyatt and the Fiend,” says Cummins. “As his storyline crescendoed, the audience was watching to see where that would go, [and] we’re watching to see where that will go from a consumer products standpoint. How are people responding to that? How are people reacting to that? Then, from that reaction, we are building products to feed that passion and create new engagement opportunities. So, we’ve created a lot of collectibles associated with Firefly Funhouse, we’ve had a lot of fun with these subscription boxes that sell out very quickly when we launch them, or his mask or lantern. But if fans aren’t reacting to the character, you’re not going to see that same success for those products. It’s very much driven by that fan reaction and that fan engagement.”
The global Coronavirus pandemic completely altered WrestleMania weekend. What is normally a major marketing success just by the sheer mass of people who attend the event from all over the world had to essentially be canceled in favor of an empty arena event at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. However, that did not stop the WWE from putting out some unique collectibles in honor of the event.
“We put the WrestleMania ringside seats up for sale on the website, and people immediately bought them,” says Cummins. “At WrestleMania, we created some cinematic matches. For the Boneyard match with AJ Styles and the Undertaker, we managed to secure some dirt from that event and package that up with some iconic imagery and frame it. Fans loved it, and they went all over social media and were talking about it. They were grabbing those up, so that’s a good example of how the WWE was able to pivot and give fans something else to satisfy that experience.”
You can view the full issue of License Global magazine for June 2020 at this link.