As we're all learning, the only thing constant is change. In just a few short weeks, life as we knew it is significantly different. To “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 spread, the world seemed to be under one order to shelter in place. Bustling cities were suddenly quiet. Storefronts were empty. If we are lucky to be working, we started doing so from home. The work/ life balance now includes making sure your children continue with their studies while you hit your benchmarks. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are our new conference room.
The live events industry came to a screeching halt during this period. At press time, there’s no clear timeline for when the public will be allowed back into a large venue. For a company like WWE, this was a challenge, as live events are crucial to its business. There is no offseason for the WWE. The sports-entertainment company travels more than any professional sports organization. WWE Superstars (plus production crew and other staffers) are on the road three-to-four days a week, 52 weeks a year. The company broadcasts its weekly shows (“RAW” and “NXT” on the USA Network and “SmackDown” on Fox) and pay-per-view events from arenas around the world. On the weekends, WWE typically holds two live events, including branded experiences where fans can walk down the ramp like a WWE Superstar or attend a meet-and-greet. But, within days, all of that stopped because of the pandemic. What did WWE do when there was no choice but to stop touring? Like most businesses, it pivoted and came up with a new plan.