WWE’s John Cena brand worth $106 million

January 11, 2012

The WWE claims that the brand for WWE pro wrestler John Cena is worth an estimated $106 million in 2010. The report comes out with the announcement of a huge sponsorship deal between Cena and Post Cereal’s Fruity Pebbles.

ESPN’s Michelle Steele reports that Cena was an $106 million brand in 2010. It was confirmed by wrestling site, PW Torch, which added, “In 2010, WWE reported $477.7 million in total revenue, which translates to Cena directly contributing to 22.2 percent of revenue two years ago.” The Torch indicated that its the number it tells corporate sponsors about Cena’s brand value.

Post Fruity Pebbles and the WWE sent out a joint press release (a portion of which is below) to announce the sponsorship deal (h/t Cageside Seats):

Post Fruity Pebbles and WWE Superstar John Cena are teaming up for a new partnership, which includes a collectable cereal box and an instant-win promotion awarding a VIP meet-and-greet with the talent.

Cena’s passion charity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, for which he has granted over 250 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions, and ‘be a STAR,’ the anti-bullying alliance co-founded by WWE and The Creative Coalition, are prominently displayed on newly-designed Fruity Pebbles cereal boxes featured nationwide January through March.

The on-pack instant win grand prize winners will each receive a VIP meet-and-greet with Cena, priority seating and transportation to a WWE live event, and an autographed “Rise Above Hate” T-shirt, in support of the ‘be a STAR’ anti-bullying message. First prize winners will receive an autographed version of the exclusive T-shirt. The second prize winners will receive the exclusive T-shirt. To enter, look inside the specially marked boxes featuring Cena for a special code to submit on www.PebblesPlay.com/Cena.

The sponsorship opportunity arose out of The Rock taunting (in perhaps an improv moment) Cena for his in ring wardrobe calling him “Fruity Pebbles.” And a sponsorship opportunity was born…

Payout Perspective:

The news of Cena’s brand value may seem outrageous to many MMA fans considering he is “sports entertainment,” but Cena attracts mainstream corporate sponsors. In addition to the Fruity Pebbles sponsorship, Cena has deals with Gillettte and Subway. He is the biggest star in the WWE but the biggest decision for the WWE creative team is whether to turn him into a bad guy this year. This seems trivial from an outsider’s perspective but it also means big business when you consider sponsors and for Cena personally as he gets a portion of the WWE’s business including  t-shirt sales and (likely) PPVs.

The Fruity Pebbles deals shows how opportunistic the WWE is with its product and its widespread popularity. The WWE probably was not looking for a deal with the cereal company prior to The Rock taunting Cena.

Will there ever be an MMA star with this much appeal and brand value? The UFC is still years away from having a star reach John Cena status. Maybe its unfair to compare but its still an interesting look at how much an individual can mean to a company.

8 Responses to “WWE’s John Cena brand worth $106 million”

  1. jasvll on January 11th, 2012 7:04 AM

    How much is that one guy from Big Bang Theory worth?

  2. Duncan Lamb on January 11th, 2012 8:04 AM

    You guys need to clarify some things, esp since you’re on the Business side…

    First, worth is not revenue. $102mm was not the amount of revenue, and this brand did not contribute 22% of revenue, it just contributed enough to get that overall value. The market cap for WWE was about $1billion in 2010 (a little more than today), so this says that that brand was worth around 10% of the value of WWE, at that time.

    Second, you could do a rough estimate of revenue, or at least profits, that came from the brand by backing out from the P/E ratio. The P/E was a little over 20 in 2010 (it is 17-18 today), so very roughly that would mean WWE realized at least $5mm in earnings from the brand in 2010, and priced it accordingly at $100mm in value. With a high growth brand like this, it might get a higher internal valuation (based on expected accelerated earnings) which would actually mean less earnings to justify that valuation, or might be lower (based on a short expected half life), but its a pretty good measure, since in theory the WWE’s value should take all that into account.

    Point is, $5mm in profit is much easier to believe. With a nice margin on merchandising sales, which I’m sure they have, it doesn’t take too much in sales of John Cena stuff to reach that number.

  3. Diego on January 11th, 2012 10:20 AM

    I don’t care how much he’s worth, his movie still sucked. Rampage is a better actor.

  4. larsenator on January 11th, 2012 11:10 AM

    We all know that ratings (like triple A) and things like the above are ONLY opinions of people who have a conflict of interest hence that number is useless. Totally.

    Please let me enlighten you: http://vimeo.com/25491676

  5. BrainSmasher on January 11th, 2012 6:35 PM

    Just like in other sports it will be rare that someone reaches that status because in real life you done have scripted situations to ramble off scripted catch phrases and come off as cool as the Fanz from happy days. WWE always creates a guy like this and they always fade within a few years. They never last because the WWE wont allow them to. The star cant keep winning because it would be predicable. So the torch is passed to someone else. I dont even watch wrestling but i know they WWE has had dozens of “huge” stars in the last 10 years. Stone Cold was a big star as was the Rock. I think both had bigger success in Hollywood.

    I think the success of WWE wrestlers is limited. You are built by them and you work for them and they are also the ones who bring you down because they control the outcome of your matches. There is no way around it. You cant quit wrestling because they own your movie career and everything about you. Its like winning American Idiot. They own a piece of you and without them you are nothing. That isnt the case in other sports. Because if you get big you can actually control your career. Of Course the UFC can give you bad match ups and get you beat. BUt if a fighters career was taking off in Hollywood they could quit fighting. Their movies are not produced by the UFC. That is the same for other sports also.

    IMO John Cena isnt worth much as a brand. I wouldnt even call it a brand. He is a character owned by the WWE Brand. He is an asset to the WWe Brand. The UFC can show that tgheir belt can add a couple hundred thousand PPV buys to a PPV. That doesnt make the Belt a Brand. It is an asset of the UFC Brand and has little value without being under the umbrella of that brand. Just like Cena.

  6. Matt C. on January 12th, 2012 2:34 AM

    I got to agree with BrainSmasher. John Cena isn’t worth much as a brand by himself. Take away the WWE brand and platform it provides him and there isn’t much left there. Without the WWE he isn’t going to be selling much merchandise.

  7. Timmy on August 2nd, 2012 5:53 PM

    Has anyone ever won the John cena gear and fantastic seats???

  8. Team Sasso on September 4th, 2013 11:36 PM

    I think we all grew up watching Entertainment Wrestling but thank goodness MMA caught on. I look forward to the day when guys like my man Daniel Cormier are getting paid that much to fight. For those of you who don’t know who Daniel Cormier is, he is a MMA champion and Olympic wrestling captain and is next in line to really challenge Jon Jones for the title at 205 lbs. He is using out product to make that cut and we are proud to be behind him. If you want to find out more about our business and what we do then visit http://www.poweredbynutrie.com

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