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Volume 26 No. 45
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Social Studies: WWE Exec VP Jayar Donlan on WrestleMania, VR

WWE Exec VP/Digital & Social Content Jayar Donlan (@WWE) may be busier in the week leading up to Sunday night’s WrestleMania 34 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome than he will be at the event itself. Donlan has a multiplatform plan for the WWE’s signature event. For one of the biggest footprints in social media, WrestleMania is another opportunity for WWE to continue its growth in the space. Donlan said, “We talk about it like a land grab. It’s really just continuing to grow our audience. We have 850 million-plus social media followers, over 20 billion views last year, the No. 1 sports channel on YouTube. We’re still leaning in.” Regardless of whether fans are in New Orleans or not, Donlan and his staff of 90 will use social media to share workouts, behind-the-scenes perspective and more.

SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
Must-follows: Up Up Down Down on YouTube. It’s really the intersection of gaming and WWE.   
Favorite app: Instagram.
Average time per day on social media: Too much time. It’s in the 2-4-hour range with it always on in the background at the office in some capacity. 

WWE’s social media philosophy:
The number one thing for us is being authentic with our fans and creating compelling and engaging content around the world.

Executing philosophy:
On a more tactical level, it’s having that real relationship with your fans. Our social media producers are working tirelessly with our superstars to create content for 500 events a year. Telling the WWE story from “Raw” to “Smackdown” to a live event, it could be WWE headquarters, coverage of a major event, something on the community outreach side. It’s all those sides coming together.

Social media plans for WrestleMania:
We are going to have some augmented reality experiences with WWE superstars. We are going to be having a lot of live look-ins with one of our popular shows, “WWE Now.” We’ll have original content like video diaries. We’ve even had an alligator predict WrestleMania matches. One of the bigger things we’re doing is our new partnership with NextVR. Leading up to WrestleMania, our presenting partner Snickers will offer fans the chance to watch WWE content in high quality virtual reality in their booth at the WrestleMania Axxess fan festival.

Working with performers on their social presence:
We are constantly working with them to make sure they are engaging with fans in a meaningful way. We have a team of social media producers who travel the world with our superstars and helping them create the attractive and engaging social content. They manage their own accounts and have direct access to the fans.

Leading a staff of 90:
The first is loving what you do, the second is having a strong social and digital plan and then executing that plan with really talented and smart people.

Managing globally differing tastes in content:
The key for us is localized content. We have social media team members in markets like Shanghai, Dubai, Munich, Mexico City and Mumbai.

Another offering:
The final episode of Mixed Match Challenge, which is a show exclusively on Facebook Watch, airs tonight, and that has been a great success for WWE and Facebook. A lot of great learning for us on how to leverage the platform and what’s important on Facebook -- from communities to interactivities to being mobile first to unique production elements and the ongoing storytelling component -- that has been a great story for WWE.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at jperez@sportsbusinessdaily.com.