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WWE inks licensing pact with Kids Media, targets $10 mn from consumer products biz Team

(17 September 2008 6:00 pm)


MUMBAI: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is aggressively pushing its consumer products business in India. The sports entertainment major has appointed Kids Media India (KMI), a subsidiary of Dubai-based Spacetoon Media, as a licensing partner in the country for WWE consumer products.

WWE, which will make the products available by the year-end or early next year, is eyeing revenues of $10 million from its licensed consumer goods business in India within a span of three years. Presently, it is generating revenues in the region of $1 million.

KMI expects to create a base of 10-12 licensees, to market its product by next year and has already announced appointed Bioworld Merchandising, a US-based company as its first. It will launch WWE apparels, footwear, bags, belts, head gear and imitation jewelry in India.

The announcement coincides with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Batista touring India. WWE International consumer products director Ross Walker notes that if the licensing deals are done properly, India could become a top three market in this category for WWE.

"India has the second largest viewership for our content. It is second only to cricket. When the 'Great Khalli' came down earlier this year, it gave us an idea of how loyal and passionate Indian WWE fans are. Of course, in the licensing business, piracy is a challenge," Walker says.

To counter this, the company has adopted a three-tier strategy, 'premium,' mid-tier' and 'mass,' to cater to consumers across the country.

In online, India accounts for four per cent of traffic to "We therefore have plans to launch an India centric site within the next six months. This would also be available in Hindi," says Walker.

The consumer products business contributed $154 million in revenues last year. A large part came from the home video segment. In India, WWE has a deal for mobile content.

"We have 160 licensees globally and a thousand product lines. This year WWE opened offices in Sydney and Tokyo to cater better to the burgeoning Asia Pacific region. In the UK, our biggest international market, we have more than doubled our growth with categories like videogames and apparel. We also do cross category promotions with Woolworths and Tefsca," adds Walker.

KMI MD and CEO Rajiv Sangari says that the company is looking for tie-ups in India for categories like toys, vidogames and sleep wear. "We are also looking at promotional licensing tie- ups. This is where the company will use WWE footage or a star in an ad and marketing campaign. For instance, in the US John Cena shot an ad for Subway. We will talk with FMCG companies, health products and banking companies to see how we can deal with them. We could also do road shows with these companies," he adds.

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