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…
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.