WWE’s Future in Question: Rumours of Sale to Saudi Arabia’s PIF
As rumours swirl about WWE potentially being sold to Saudi Arabia, a report suggests that few WWE stars would be looking to leave if that happened. January 10th saw major changes to the landscape of WWE as Stephanie McMahon announced her resignation from the company.
Her decision comes mere days after her father Vince McMahon was reinstated to the WWE Board of Directors, and immediately after her announcement, the company issued a press release stating that Vince had been unanimously elected Executive Chairman of the Board. Vince McMahon’s return to the company was said to have been done in order to prepare the sports entertainment empire for sale, and according to reports that have emerged that sale may have already been finalized.
Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net and Steve Muehlhausen of DAZN both reported that WWE may well have already been sold to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The PIF is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia which helped fund the takeover of Newcastle United Football Club in England as well as start the controversial LIV Golf organisation.
As an extension of the Saudi Arabian state, the PIF has courted controversy due to the human rights record in the country as well as the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi which has been linked to the Kingdom’s government and royal family. It should be stressed that there is no confirmation as of yet that this sale has happened. However, Fightful Select has noted that while nobody they have spoken to within WWE has heard about the sale, one WWE talent noted that they’d be “done” if such a takeover took place. Regardless of the alleged sale, it is also noted in the report that there is an “incredible amount of concern” in the company due to the resurgence of Vince McMahon in the company.
WWE BRAND VALUE
The WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) is a highly valuable brand. The company generates revenue through live events, television programming, and merchandise sales. In 2021, the company’s market value was around 3 billion dollars, as it is a publicly-traded company on the NYSE.
WWE has a global reach, with fans and viewers in more than 180 countries and 30 languages. The company’s flagship program, Monday Night RAW, is the longest-running weekly episodic cable television show in the United States. The company also owns and operates the WWE Network. This subscription-based streaming service features a vast library of the company’s content, including original programming and its pay-per-view events.
In addition to its traditional revenue streams, the WWE has also made strategic moves to diversify its revenue, such as by expanding its digital and social media presence, and by leveraging its IP to launch new ventures, like the WWE Performance Center, which trains new wrestlers, and WWE Studios, which produces movies, TV shows and web series.
Furthermore, WWE has created a massive global fan base, which is an extremely valuable asset, the brand loyalty of fans towards the WWE is immense, these fans are the reason behind the strong merchandise sales.
The company’s merchandise includes everything from t-shirts and hats to action figures and costumes. The merchandise sales alone account for about 10% of the company’s revenue.
Overall, WWE is a powerful and established brand with a wide range of revenue streams, a large global fan base, and a successful history of creating new ventures.