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WWE, Snapchat Ink Multiyear Deal Kicking Off With WrestleMania (EXCLUSIVE)

Wrestling powerhouse WWE has signed a multiyear partnership with Snapchat, which will produce and distribute Live Stories on the popular social app from WrestleMania and other events.

Snapchat will cover WrestleMania 32, which takes place this Sunday, April 3, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, via a Live Story. Snickers, the premiere sponsor of WrestleMania, will be WWE’s first Snapchat Live Story brand partner.

For WWE, the Snapchat tie-up is another effort to expose its brand to a youth-skewing demo. It’s also aimed at driving users to sign up for the WWE Network online service, which will stream WrestleMania live starting at 7 p.m. ET Sunday. The company, which has been struggling to grow the WWE Network, is offering a free one-month trial to the service to new subs including this year’s WrestleMania.

“We are thrilled to partner with Snapchat and provide our fans with a new way to experience WrestleMania,” said Jayar Donlan, WWE senior VP of digital and social content. “The Snapchat Live Story allows WWE fans to share their stories from our annual pop-culture extravaganza and dive into the live action of WrestleMania in more ways, and from more perspectives, than ever before.”

On Snapchat, WWE fans will be able to contribute video and photos that will be curated and packaged by Snapchat along with WWE-supplied content into a brief video available to the app’s more than 100 million daily active users.

Under the pact, additional WWE events will be covered via Snapchat Live Stories throughout the year.

“By partnering with WWE for our coverage of WrestleMania and future events, we are able to bring Snapchatters and WWE fans new and old even closer to the action and behind-the-scenes of some of the biggest events in sports and entertainment,” said Ben Schwerin, Snapchat’s director of partnerships.

The new WWE presence on Snapchat is part of the company’s efforts to reach fans on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital channels. “WWE has one of the largest audiences on both social media and digital video of any creator,” BTIG research analyst Brandon Ross wrote in a blog post Thursday.

The company’s aggressive promotion of WWE Network with the hashtag #FreeWrestleMania “is a smart, calculated risk,” Ross wrote. “We will reserve final judgment on the company’s strategy until we see what the conversion of free subs looks like at the end of the company’s second quarter (as well as the churn ratio on paid).”

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