By Barry Janoff
February 15, 2017: WWE plays big, works big and has seen big results from fans, followers and marketers.
Last week, WWE said that revenue in 2016 increased 11% to $729.2 million, the highest in the company’s history, including record levels of revenue from its network, television, live event, venue merchandise and WWE Shop segments, according to the company’s financial year-end report.
Now comes word that the WWE has just eclipsed 750 million social media followers across 16 global social media platforms, which it said "further cements its position as one of the most-followed brands in the world."
According to WWE, digital engagement "continued to grow over the past year with video views up 56% to more than 15.1 billion and social media engagements up 45% to 1.1 billion from 2015."
Among the leaders not just for WWE but celebrities and athletes, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has almost 11 million followers on Twitter and more than 57.6 million likes on Facebook.
John Cena has more than 9 million Twitter followers and tops 43.3 million Facebook likes.
The Bella Twins have nearly 17 million followers combined on Facebook and Twitter.
Also among the WWE leaders are Undertaker (17.1 million Facebook likes), Roman Reigns (16.8 million Facebook likes), Randy Orton (13.8 million Facebook likes, 5.1 million Twitter followers), Triple H (12.2 million Facebook, 4.6 million Twitter), "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (7.9 million Facebook, 3.7 million Twitter), Shawn Michaels (7.8 million Facebook, 3.5 million Twitter) and Sheamus (7.8 million Facebook, 3.7 million Twitter).
WWE Network subscribers watched a total of 294 million hours of content (up 15% from 256 million in 2015), yielding an average of 194 hours per household that places it among top cable and broadcast networks
By claiming more than 12 billion video views in the last 12 months and more than 14 million subscribers, WWE said it is the "No. 1 sports channel on YouTube, ahead of the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, ESPN, Nascar and FIFA."
Last year WWE received the Diamond Play Button, YouTube’s highest honor, after surpassing 10 million subscribers, joining Taylor Swift, The Ellen Show and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
Among other big WWE numbers on social media:
• WWE’s Facebook page has more than 36 million followers.
• With 43.2M followers on Facebook, John Cena is the most followed active U.S. athlete on the platform
• WWE’s Twitter page has more than 8.7 million followers
• On Instagram, WWE has 11.6M followers
And with all of that, WWE said that Snapchat is its fastest growing social platform.
WrestleMania 32, held last April 3 in AT&T Stadium north of Dallas, generated $170.4 million in direct, indirect and induced impact derived from spending by visitors to the Dallas/Arlington region — including $25 million spent on hotels and accommodations and $8.4 million in area restaurants — and also generated about $23.8 million in federal, state and local taxes, according to a study conducted for WWE by the Enigma Research Corp.
WWE said that was a new record for WrestleMania’s economic impact and marked the fifth consecutive year that WrestleMania generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region.
In addition, the crowd of 101,763 fans in AT&T Stadium (home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys) made it the highest-grossing and best-attended event in WWE history.
WrestleMania 33 is scheduled for April 2 in the Orlando Citrus Bowl.