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Volume 20 No. 42
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Stephanie McMahon, WWE

Photo by: WWE

eavy travel is a way of life for many sports business executives, but Stephanie McMahon’s schedule might put even some of the busiest to shame.

McMahon, WWE’s chief brand officer and daughter of Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, says she travels 52 weeks a year to oversee an increasing number of initiatives.

Stephanie McMahon
WWE // Chief brand officer
As WWE works to modernize and advance itself, the global property has become the envy of many in the sports world. Attendance at WrestleMania 32 (in April 2016 at AT&T Stadium) topped 100,000, and WWE Network, its over-the-top service, has close to 2 million paid subscribers.

The 40-year-old McMahon plays a key role in these ventures, working with WWE’s business units and serving as its global brand ambassador.

“We have no offseason; we have five hours of live content every week at a minimum, so that keeps us busy enough — but I also travel quite extensively,” McMahon said, noting as an example that she was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, earlier this year for a tryout that included both male and female talent from all over the Middle East and India.

Recent initiatives that she has worked on include forming WWE’s women’s championship, forging global expansion, helping WrestleMania continue its ascent and growing the property’s social media following to more than 800 million people. McMahon is also active on the philanthropic side of the business, having helped found the Connor’s Cure pediatric cancer fund and forging a partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research as part of it. Moreover, McMahon helped WWE strike a partnership with NBCUniversal called “For the Heroes in All of Us,” which showcases everyday people who inspire others.

“WWE at our core is storytelling. It’s protagonist versus antagonist with conflict resolution — no different than a great book, movie or play,” McMahon said. “We tell stories, and that’s timeless. As long as we’re engaging the audience and relating to them with our content, then hopefully we’ll have an audience there.”

— Adam Stern

  • Where born: Hartford, Conn.
  • Education: Boston University, B.S. in communications.
  • Attribute I look for when hiring: Always try to hire someone I would want to work for.
  • Networking tip I’ve learned: Have consistent communication.
  • Best advice I’ve received for career development: Think big and then set your strategy to get there.
  •  Sports business industry can foster a healthier work-life balance by: Prioritizing.
  •  If I had it to do over again, I would: Do the same exact things.
  •  Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Serena Williams. As an athlete and a businesswoman, she is uncompromisingly herself.
  • Is discussion about challenges women face working in sports necessary or played out? Necessary.
  • Charities supported: Connor’s Cure (a fund my husband, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, and I founded to support pediatric cancer research), as well as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Susan G. Komen, Make-A-Wish and Special Olympics.