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20.9.14 1910
The W - Pro Wrestling - Where should WWE have spent the IPO money?
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AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

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#1 Posted on
Okay, a couple of years ago the WWF had their IPO (Initial Public Offering) and had a whole heap of cash to spend on growing the business. They chose to invest in XFL, WWF New York / The World, Smackdown! Records, and a number of other ventures that have either gone nowhere or gone into the toilet. Which then raises the question, where should have WWF invested the money?

Personally, I think they should have either invested in a couple of "made for wrestling" arenas or better training facilities. Your thoughts?
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humanmeal
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Since: 17.3.02
From: East Bay Area, California

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#2 Posted on
Arenas? Sure, if they were built ground up on land owned in fee simple, because real estate is THE long term investment. However, their experience with Titan Towers during the last big slump probably made that a psychological impossibility.

They didn't know for sure that WCW was going to fail, but they definitely knew how much trouble ECW was in, at the time of the ipo. What they SHOULD have done is tie up every good indie wrestler-- or any such whose name one of us sent in-- in an exclusive deal for three or so years. Think of just how cheap forestalling ANY conceivable competition would have come, in a situation where, e.g., Low-Ki will work for mere hundreds per night. Do the math: one hundred indies for four years exclusively for, say 50K per year plus $10K cash signing bonuses... $22M total, five mill per year-- and there CAN'T be any competition for nearly half a decade, and you've SIGNED everyone good you could've ever developed anyway.

I know that when they want to save money, they CUT talent, but that's just the usual American corporate anti-labor reflex (fire everyone before we look at my expenses), not anything based on what will actually, you know, SAVE MONEY in the long run.



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Stephanie
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Madison, WI

Since last post: 488 days
Last activity: 26 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.22

    Originally posted by AJ_Levy
    Okay, a couple of years ago the WWF had their IPO (Initial Public Offering) and had a whole heap of cash to spend on growing the business. They chose to invest in XFL, WWF New York / The World, Smackdown! Records, and a number of other ventures that have either gone nowhere or gone into the toilet. Which then raises the question, where should have WWF invested the money?


1) Humanmeal's idea to tie up good independent wrestlers with (relatively) low-cost, long-term contracts is valid. Many of those wrestlers would be glad of a reliable paycheck, as well as being available to the WWE star-making machinery. Vince would have obtained dozens of solid or relatively-solid workers for a relative pittance.

2) Establish the WWE cable channel. They have all of the old WWF/WWE archives, plus everything they got from WCW. If they could add in the ECW archives, as well as delayed repeats of the major shows (RAW, Smackdown!), I believe such a channel would be a viable enterprise.

3) Put more money into the Internet/New Media side of business. There's still opportunities out there on the Internet, more than in old-line media ventures like records and restaurants. They just need the capital for the appropriate equipment and programmers - and now, after the big tech bust, both should be available cheap.

Steph



I'm going twenty-four hours a day...I can't seem to stop
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AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

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#4 Posted on
    Originally posted by humanmeal
    Arenas? Sure, if they were built ground up on land owned in fee simple, because real estate is THE long term investment. However, their experience with Titan Towers during the last big slump probably made that a psychological impossibility.

    They didn't know for sure that WCW was going to fail, but they definitely knew how much trouble ECW was in, at the time of the ipo. What they SHOULD have done is tie up every good indie wrestler-- or any such whose name one of us sent in-- in an exclusive deal for three or so years. Think of just how cheap forestalling ANY conceivable competition would have come, in a situation where, e.g., Low-Ki will work for mere hundreds per night. Do the math: one hundred indies for four years exclusively for, say 50K per year plus $10K cash signing bonuses... $22M total, five mill per year-- and there CAN'T be any competition for nearly half a decade, and you've SIGNED everyone good you could've ever developed anyway.

    I know that when they want to save money, they CUT talent, but that's just the usual American corporate anti-labor reflex (fire everyone before we look at my expenses), not anything based on what will actually, you know, SAVE MONEY in the long run.



Purpose built arenas, aside from the investment in real estate, could have seriously cut costs, while creating an income source and improving the TV product.

Traditionally, wrestling shows are held in basketball / hockey arenas, or for big shows football stadiums. This often means 'floor seats' on the stadium floor, and a rectangular shaped arena.

Instead of this, imagine a U shaped arena, with every seat having a view of the ring and the enteranceway. Sloping seats right down to the fence. Three tiers, so 'floor' seats slope 30 degrees, second tier at 45 degrees, and third tier at an increaing angle. The crowd would feel close enough to almost touch the wrestlers, and generally have a much better viewing experience.

If the show is a small house show, the fed has the option of just using the bottom tier. For Raw or Smackdown the second tier is opened, and for a really big show the top level is opened up. More flexibility and reduced costs, as the fed can control supply of seats, and by choosing which areas to open up, save costs by not having the unused areas cleaned or staffed.

The fed can also start offering "Season tickets", with x Raws, y Smackdowns, z PPVs, w House shows guaranteed. Less money spent on ring crews, and setting up sets and rings as you can leave the sets up permanently. Sets also don't need to be truck, and road agents become less of a necessity. No hiring the arena as the fed owns it.

More elaborate permanent sets, guaranteed crowds care of season ticket holders and closer crowd plus permanently set up editing equiptment at a level impractical to truck make for a better viewing experience.

Plus, while there's no wrestling on, the arenas can be used for political conferences, fashion shows, boxing or other martial arts, and concerts. That's not counting mini-theme parks, restaurants, nightclubs, halls of fame, wrestling museums, studios, gyms, hotels, corporate luxury boxes, naming rights, advertising space, and other revenue generators you could either lease space in the building or have the fed profit from.

And you can have several states and counties / boroughs bid against each other on how much they'd subsidize contruction to have them built in their juristiction with the jobs and revenue it'd create. Similarly, catering or restaurant chains who would pick up that business, ticketing companies, media companies (eg Viacom) who would also use studios and the arena, and other businesses might be interested in chipping in the construction and land purchase cost, so Vinny mac wouldn't have to pony up all the cash for their construction, or allow for as many as maybe 5 or 6 scattered across the US and possibly Canada.

Deffinately a lot of potential there.

As for the contracts thing, might be better to set up a chain of WWF / WWE official training schools. Especially now WWE has got a major-league wrestling monopoly in America, people interested wouldn't bother with other wrestling schools as they know that the only place WWE hires is from their schools and their linked minor league feds. And you could get the minor leagues interested by saying that they either take all WWE school talent or none, keeping the indies in line. To sign up, talent sign a 10 year contract saying that they will only wrestle for the WWE or WWE affiliated federations. After this time they can either renew these developmental contracts, or sit out for 5 years. Hell, screw 18 months cooling off on most of the WWE talent too; 5 years no-compete or nothing. So when WCW and ECW go under, any new fed wishing to compete has to develop their own developmental system and compete with WWE's.

(edited by AJ_Levy on 3.10.02 2319)
Stephanie
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Madison, WI

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.22
And where would you place these arenas where they wouldn't compete with pre-existing arenas? Purpose-built arenas are a nice idea, but I don't know if they would be viable in practice.

Steph



I'm going twenty-four hours a day...I can't seem to stop
- "Turn Up The Radio", Autograph
AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

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#6 Posted on
    Originally posted by Stephanie
    And where would you place these arenas where they wouldn't compete with pre-existing arenas? Purpose-built arenas are a nice idea, but I don't know if they would be viable in practice.

    Steph



They'd probably end up being more like really large theaters than arenas. And if they had better accoustics, I'd iamgine they'd attract more musical acts than normal arenas and stadiums. Especially given a lot of concerts use the "Lead singer / Vocalist on a catwalk, dancers, singers and the rest of the band on stage" or "band in the middle of the arena" set up anyways. Fashion shows and catwalks - no brainer. And many martial arts and boxing matches would benefit from a similar venue to pro wrestling anyway.

Plus it can tie up the indies too, and has a guarantee of x WWF events a year...

(edited by AJ_Levy on 3.10.02 2335)
ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 12 days
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#7 Posted on
Arenas and stadiums are bad investments. Why do you think all sport's owners force cities and states to pay for them? If there was money to be had or saved in arenas, the owners would build them with their own money.

As far as investing goes, investing back into wrestling would be pointless. The reason you go public is to generate capital to expand your operation. Vince probably didn't need the money if all he is going to do is invest back into wrestling. Also, selling the stock to people who want a return on investment would probably be a tough deal. How is "We are going to take the money and lock all the independent wrestler's into contracts" going to get investors excited? Where's the increase revenue in that? The selling point was that the WWE was going to use to money to expand beyond wrestling (and thus greatly increasing revenue, at least in theory).

Now obviously, the ventures outside of wrestling have been a complete failure. The money has been wasted, but he still has a responsibility to the stockholders. I don't think the question is what the WWE should have done with the IPO money, it is 'should the WWE ever gone public to begin with?'. I think they rushed into the IPO and corporate expansion, without having any clue about how to actually run a music company, a football league, a club, etc. They should have at least either gained the expertise, or made plans to hire those who do have the expertise, before they ever made any IPO. I also think more planning would have made them realize that some of these ventures were not that feasible to begin with.
A Fan
Liverwurst








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 3524 days
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#8 Posted on
I have to disagree on somethings here. One, is that the World and Smackdown Records have been ok to good investments for them. Granted Smackdown Records has little talent, but it does get the job done. Remember Forcable Entry's talent roster was huge and it did sell very well. The World was a great idea and does generate money just by people going to the PPVS once a month and the occasional Raws and Smackdowns where talent does show up like HHH, Mick and Rock.

The arena idea is good, but the all wrestling channel is even better. A single channle devoted to wrestling classics and replays of Raw, Smackdown and PPVs earlier in the year would be great. Granted, this is just the pure wrestling geeks talking, but if the did a niche' week like the Best of Flair or Austin, I'm sure you'll get the casual fans in there as well. I don't know how ESPN makes money off of classic moments, but they do.. I think that is why Vince wants ECW right now, so he can get the rights and do the channel. I think it would work if he also bought some other independent wreslting vaults or had some of the independents pay for time and do their show such as OVW, CZW and others. It would at least generate some buzz about new wreslters that they could sign. The wrestling channel is not a bad idea, but it is risky. However, XFL was almost a sure thing if NBC had the nuts to put on at the same time the NFL was played ie Sunday afternoons, I don't how decided to have Friday and Saturday football, but it was terrible idea that was the network's fault as much as Vince's.

A Fan- Wondering if they should have invested the IPO in the international market i.e. WWE JAPAN, so the internet writers can actually say something good about the WWE, because the Japanesse are always the best wrestlers and none of their companies ever goes bankrupt.
Sterling Golden
Cotechino








Since: 17.6.02
From: Silk City

Since last post: 2428 days
Last activity: 2416 days
#9 Posted on
To say that The World was/is a good investment is laughable. Remember, it was WWFNY, before the name was changed to distance it from wrestling. In NYC quite a few major retail stores have shops on 5th Ave and in Times Square for the cachet of having a store in these locations. They are money losers. WWFNY/The World is no different. The rent has to be astronomical. As for what WWF should have invested the money in, how about health insurance for the wrestlers. Wait a minute, I just realized, that's about as likely as wrestling only arenas.




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StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#10 Posted on
HOw about this, they spend the money however they damn well please, since if they hadnt built an empire to begin with, nobody would have invested in it in the first place.

And, if they were to set up a wrestling only channel, why only have feds that they have recently purchased be featured? Show the old UWF, show the old Mid South, show WCCW with the Von Erichs, show AWA, show all that crap from Way back, that made names out of all the stars of the 80s, who PUT WWF where they are today. Memphis, with Jerry Lawler, the Mid South with JYD and Dibease, Magnum TA and Mr Wrestling II, WCCW withVon Erichs, Abdullah, Iceman King Parsons, old Georgia Championship wrestling with Tommy Rich, Buzz Sawyer, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes. SHow them once a week, just like they used to air, and you could actually follow story lines again, like you did when you were young, or at least like when I was young!
kazhayashi81
Potato korv








Since: 17.6.02
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Since last post: 2669 days
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AIM:  
#11 Posted on
Because they don't own the rights. And the owners of the rights won't sell. They might license the WWE to use the footage, but the E wouldn't go for that. If they don't own it, they won't give them business either other way.








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deadbeater
Morcilla








Since: 12.2.02
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#12 Posted on
They should have spent some of the money on getting very good writers, especially Joss Whedon, and not to take 'No' from Mick Foley when they offered him the book.



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redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#13 Posted on
Considering the stock dropped under $8 for a while on Friday, the better question will be: How long before the WWE stock becomes junk? The main reason they went public was Vince wanted to make sure he had an influx of cash so that in case hard times hit the business again, he wouldn't be put in the situation of the mid-90's, when he was unable to compete for talent. Also, giving credit where its due, if they waited another 6 months to go public, the IPO would have been a complete dud. As for the XFL should have gone on Sunday idea, UPN and TNN broadcast Sunday afternoon games, while NBC already had the NBA package for Sundays. Also, Vince WANTED prime time ratings success, just think back to week one of the XFL when they broke a 10 rating, thats what Vince wanted. If all he wanted was a sports league on weekends, the XFL could have found a niche like Arena Football with ratings around 1.0.



I want you to know, I agree with everything I've just said.
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Would like to throw an obscure question in here: Has a reason ever been given for Vince letting Ricky Steamboat work the Cotton Bowl show for World Class in '86?
- redsoxnation, Obscure questions about wrestling. (2011)
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