×

Kmart in WWE ring

Retailer signs on as events sponsor

World Wrestling Entertainment has pinned down its largest advertising deal with a single marketer to date, signing Kmart as the exclusive presenting sponsor of all of its live events, including pay-per-views like “WrestleMania” and its weekly TV shows on USA Network and Syfy through the rest of the year.

Kmart will pony up several million dollars to pair up the retailer with WWE’s 250-plus events. Specific financial figures were not revealed, but it’s said to be less than $10 million.

Deal officially starts March 1 and runs through Dec. 31. Timing comes as “WrestleMania 27” is set to take place in Atlanta on April 3. Altogether, pact includes the remaining 11 PPVs that WWE will produce this year.

It also covers TV shows like “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night SmackDown” that air each week on USA Network and Syfy, respectively.

Kmart will run 30-second spots during those shows, as part of the pact, benefitting those cablers, as well.

Either way, the exposure Kmart is paying to receive is considerable. In the past, WWE has inked deals with 7-Eleven, Slim Jim and the National Guard around individual PPVs. But given that WWE revolves around live events, Kmart will essentially serve as the company’spany’s primary advertiser across its core biz.

The retailer is guaranteed to appear on air during all of the TV shows and PPVs through graphics and signage in the arenas where the events are held. It will also be featured on all marketing materials, tickets, websites and in WWE’s magazines.

“WrestleMania” alone attracts over 70,000 WWE fans and this year’s show is aiming for a 1 million buy rate.

But weekly ratings for its shows and interest in “‘Mania” has now increased in recent weeks with Dwayne Johnson agreeing to return to the ring as The Rock, which will put the Kmart moniker in front of more viewers.

WWE has also created a “Live Tour” logo it will use across its properties and features Kmart embedded into the design.

In return, Kmart will promote WWE through sweepstakes and lucrative shelf space in its stores. Retailer will also host 12 in-store appearances by WWE’s wrestlers.

Kmart already had an existing relationship with WWE, having produced a “Royal Riches” campaign over the past three years, through which it gave customers discounts to the “Royal Rumble” PPV, depending on how much WWE-branded merch was purchased.

WWE apparel and toys have been consistent top sellers for the retailer, especially after a new line of playsets and action figures were produced by Mattel.

And with Kmart, which is owned by Sears Holdings, showing healthier sales overall it only made sense to court WWE’s fanbase with a larger partnership.

“Kmart is excited to expand its relationship with WWE,” stated Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer for Kmart. “This partnership will allow our customers to engage with an exciting entertainment brand and enjoy exclusive offers and promotions throughout the year.”

More TV

  • Tony Romo

    CBS Sports Re-Signs Tony Romo in Deal Valued Around $17 Million Per Year

    CBS Sports signed prize football analyst Tony Romo to a new deal, a major step in parent company ViacomCBS’ efforts to strike a new rights pact with the National Football League as its current contract heads toward the end of its term. CBS Sports said the company had signed Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Says It Helped Negotiate 100 Deals for Agent-Less Members

    The Writers Guild of America has asserted that it has assisted in negotiating more than 100 deals in recent months for members without agents. The missive from the WGA West board of directors comes nearly a year after the guild leaders ordered their 15,000 members to fire their agents if the agents had not agreed [...]

  • Hilary Duff

    Hilary Duff Asks Disney to Move 'Lizzie McGuire' Revival to Hulu

    Hilary Duff has posted a statement asking that the planned revival of “Lizzie McGuire” be moved from Disney Plus to Hulu. “I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30 year old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating,” Duff wrote on Instagram. “It’s important to me [...]

  • Tan France Jameela Jamil

    TV News Roundup: Tan France, Jameela Jamil Among OZY Fest Headliners

    In today’s TV news roundup, OZY Media announced Tan France, Jameela Jamil and others as headliners of OZY Fest, and Netflix dropped the official trailer of “On My Block” Season 3. DATES Disney Channel‘s second season of “Just Roll With It” will premiere on Sunday, March 15 at 8:45 p.m. The sitcom follows the Bennett-Blatt family [...]

  • Lorraine Toussaint

    Queen Latifah's 'Equalizer' Reboot Pilot at CBS Casts Lorraine Toussaint

    Lorraine Toussaint has joined the CBS’ reboot pilot for “The Equalizer,” Variety has learned. She joins previously announced series lead Queen Latifah and recently announced cast member Liza Lapira. In the reimagined version, Queen Latifah stars as Robyn McCall, an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. Toussaint [...]

  • Ben Schnetzer

    'Y: The Last Man' Series at FX Casts Ben Schnetzer as Yorick

    Ben Schnetzer has stepped into the role of Yorick Brown in FX’s upcoming “Y: The Last Man” series, Variety has learned. He takes over the role from Barry Keoghan, who exited the series at the beginning of this month. The show is based on Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s award-winning DC Comics graphic novel series [...]

  • Herb Dorfman Obit Dead

    Herb Dorfman, Orion Pictures Home Video Executive, Dies at 77

    Herb Dorfman, former Orion Pictures executive and a home video industry veteran, died Feb. 25 of complications from Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He was 77. Dorfman served as head of home entertainment for Orion Pictures from 1987 to late 1996. Orion was a prosperous independent studio in those days that turned out a steady stream [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content