November 1, 2010: THQ and World Wrestling Entertainment have signed a "new, comprehensive marketing agreement" that greatly expands the alliance between the two companies. The expanded deal includes product placement, social media and experiential marketing at WWE events.
Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed. The new alliance builds on THQ's exclusive eight-year deal signed this past December to make and market WWE-based videogames. THQ first signed a licensing deal with WWE in 1999, but was involved in legal disputes with other gaming companies until the latest deal took effect in January 2010. Industry analysts said that from 2000 through 2009 the THQ-WWE alliance has generated more than $1.4 billion in sales.
According to the videogamer and wrestling-based entertainment company, THQ-developed, WWE-branded videogames will be integrated into domestic and international events, pay-per-view and TV sponsorships, magazines, WWE.com, WWE DVDs as well as other elements. In addition, for the first time, THQ will host interactive gaming kiosks at 40 WWE live events.
This significantly expands THQ’s previous marketing efforts that were concentrated around the launch of individual WWE video games.
Among the highlights of the new deal, THQ will have "significantly increased online presence, including year-round participation on WWE.com"; THQ will have high profile sponsorship of WWE pay-per-views and TV programming, with greater in-program integration of THQ video games; and THQ videogame kiosks featuring WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 and WWE All Stars hosted at 40 WWE live events between Oct. 26, 2010 and April 16, 2011.
There also will be integration of videogame launches with WWE international events and cross-promotion in 15-20 WWE DVDs.
“This strategic marketing agreement reflects the benefits of working more closely with WWE to maximize the interactive entertainment experience for fans of this leading sports entertainment brand,” THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell said in a statement. “We expect to increase awareness of our games through this new integrated program. Beyond that, we are expanding our WWE video game offerings with social applications and brand extensions to help WWE fans enjoy different interactive experiences throughout the year.”
“This strategic marketing agreement reflects the benefits of working more closely with WWE to maximize the interactive entertainment experience for fans."
In addition to working more closely with WWE from a marketing perspective, THQ said it would develop an array of products built around the WWE brand, such as social media, iPhone and iPad applications, console brand extensions and a "powerful community site . . . to enable WWE videogame fans to stay connected all year long.
According to WWE COO Donna Goldsmith, “We are pleased to move our partnership forward in a broader, more comprehensive way. Working together, we plan to give our fans more access to all of the great interactive entertainment being created by THQ, as well as develop robust promotions to increase awareness of all WWE platforms.”