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WWE Pins First Snapchat Show for WrestleMania 33, Angling to Drive Paid Subscribers

WWE is getting its talent and brand in front of millions of Snapchat users ahead of Sunday’s WrestleMania 33 with its first-ever original show for Snapchat Discover.

The Snapchat Show launched Friday morning and will be available in the app through Sunday, April 2. In promoting its annual franchise event on the Snapchat app, WWE is hoping the youth-skewing audience will be moved to sign up for its $10-per-month WWE Network streaming service — which is the only place to watch the full coverage of WrestleMania 33.

WWE’s Snapchat Show includes a five-minute segment with WWE star Goldberg (pictured above) and manager-performer Paul Heyman discussing the lineup for WrestleMania 33; a feature on “forgotten” WrestleMania celebs like Kim Kardashian, Pee-wee Herman and Mike Tyson; and segments on WrestleMania hosts and the history of secret WrestleMania debuts.

Snapchat also is rolling out an augmented-reality selfie lens from WWE that will let fans turn themselves into the Undertaker and share the Snaps with friends or post them to their Stories. No money is changing hands between WWE and Snap for the lens and WrestleMania-themed show, which will not carry advertising, according to Jayar Donlan, WWE’s EVP of digital and social content. Separately, Snapchat also will promote WrestleMania via ad-supported Live Stories, under the multiyear pact WWE reached with Snap in 2016.

“Snapchat is our fastest-growing social platform overall,” Donlan said. The new show “lets us reach existing fans and new fans, and a younger demographic of fans.” He declined to share how many followers WWE has on Snapchat but overall, the company has more than 750 million followers across all social platforms.

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Snap in recent months has landed deals with several media partners to produce original shows for Snapchat. In the sports category, WWE joins ESPN and the NFL; other partners include Vice Media, ABC, NBC, the BBC, Turner, Discovery Communications and A+E Networks’ 45th & Dean.

WrestleMania 33 will be available in the U.S. and most countries worldwide through the WWE Network subscription-streaming service, priced at $9.99 per month. In the fourth quarter of 2016, WWE Network averaged 1.41 million paid subscribers, up 14% from the year-earlier period. The company projects 1.48 million average paid subscribers to WWE Network for Q1 2017 (which does not include WrestleMania 33).

WWE wrestler Sasha Banks in the Snapchat Show.Courtesy of WWE

The Snapchat activations are among a host of other digital promos WWE is tucking around WrestleMania 33, which include:

  • 4K Behind the Scenes Content: For the first time, WWE will shoot exclusive behind-the-scenes content from WrestleMania 33, NXT Takeover: Orlando and the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony that will be available on WWE’s YouTube channel.
  • Slow-Motion Footage: In another first, key moments from the WrestleMania kickoff matches will be made available in slow-motion video across WWE’s digital and social channels including WWE.com, Facebook and YouTube.
  • 360-Degree/Virtual Reality Interviews: In advance of WrestleMania, WWE will release three special 360-degree VR sit-down interviews with Daniel Bryan and Kurt Angle (moderated by Renee Young), Chris Jericho and Sasha Banks that can be viewed on WWE’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
  • Hall of Fame Red Carpet 360 Degree Live Stream: Fans will be able to view 360-degree live content from the WWE Hall of Fame red-carpet ceremony Friday on WWE’s YouTube and Facebook pages. (The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on WWE Network starting at 8 p.m. ET.)

WrestleMania 33 will be held at Florida’s Orlando Citrus Bowl. Matchups include Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar; Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton; Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax; Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker; and John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse.

This year’s WrestleMania also will feature performances by Pitbull, Flo Rida, Stephen Marley and LunchMoney Lewis on Sunday, April 2.

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