Why doesn't the WWE target college students? - Wrestling Forum : WWE, TNA, ROH, Wrestling Videos, Women of Wrestling Forums
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

WWE's 2 main demographics that they try to please seems to be kids (child-targetted programming), and long-term fans (constantly bringing back old faces). But why don't they try and target college students, and garner a cult fanbase there? Wrestling is perfect to achieve this audience: it's high energy, OTT, larger than life and ridiculous. If they put effort into it, I could see them achieving this, but it's a demographic they ignore. They target ages 5-13, and people in their 30s, but they ignore targetting the 18-24 age range. If WWE became a hit amongst college fraternities, it could become a real cult, guilty-pleasure.

Holding NXT at Full Sails is a great idea, but they really haven't taken advantage of it. They should target the show at the college students, not the local residents. It could travel from campus to campus, bringing in young adult, high-energy crowds, and make at least one part of the product feel fresh and alternative.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

Well at my college there are some WWE fans but I think the problem is few people in college who aren't already fans would buy into pro wrestling; especially now. Maybe back during 97-02 but not now. It's too cheesy and guys in frats would much rather watch something like UFC as opposed to WWE. Yesterday I met a pretty big WWE & Undertaker fan and he's tried to get his roommates interested in WWE & they saw no interest unless Brock was making an appearance or Rock was. With the product right now, it's very hard to turn people who may have never been fans into fans. I'm sure the WWE has tried or at least they should.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

Because marketing-wise college students are one of the most difficult and least rewarding markets to try penetrate, by nature theyre transient, skeptical and with very little disposable income.
Far smarter for a business of WWEs nature to target young kids and their parents.

Personally speaking my college years were a complete break from watching wrestling, too many other things on my mind in those years (namely partying).
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

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Originally Posted by Akasha View Post
Well at my college there are some WWE fans but I think the problem is few people in college who aren't already fans would buy into pro wrestling; especially now. Maybe back during 97-02 but not now. It's too cheesy and guys in frats would much rather watch something like UFC as opposed to WWE. Yesterday I met a pretty big WWE & Undertaker fan and he's tried to get his roommates interested in WWE & they saw no interest unless Brock was making an appearance or Rock was. With the product right now, it's very hard to people who may have never been fans into fans. I'm sure the WWE has tried or at least they should.
With NXT they could make new guys cult-favourites amongst college crowds. They don't have to become mega-stars like The Rock, by getting into that college culture they would feel fresh and relevant. I do certainly get what you're saying, but I think there are ways around it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

Being getting sticky fingers and wasted is more important.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

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Originally Posted by Hanoi Cheyenne View Post
Because marketing-wise college students are one of the most difficult and least rewarding markets to try penetrate, by nature theyre transient, skeptical and with very little disposable income.
Far smarter for a business of WWEs nature to target young kids and their parents.

Personally speaking my college years were a complete break from watching wrestling, too many other things on my mind in those years (namely partying).
Good point, very true. However, WWE are not a company in financial trouble, they can take risks, fail, and be completely fine. They wouldn't have to stop targetting kids and old fans, but just add some effort to targetting college students. With the WWE Network coming up, they'll have to provide some programming that seems cutting edge and different. NXT coming from college campuses every week with rowdy crowds would make the product as a whole look more relevant.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

The direction in which the product is heading now, no college students would buy into WWE. In my opinion, for them to do that, they'd have to make the product more Attitude-Era-ish, which will never happen unless WWE gets competition from another wrestling organization, and lets face it, TNA is still way far behind. From what I've saw, many college students/young adults (people around my age) seem to genuinely pick up real interest in the product whenever someone like The Rock or Brock Lesnar is on TV, or whenever it's near WrestleMania season.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

You try and appeal to someone in college who has no prior experience of watching wrestling regularly and they're going to think it's lame. Fact. What, you'd walk into any college in America right now and openly state your love for wrestling? I sure as shit wouldn't do that at any university here lol.

The bottom line is, most wrestling fans start out liking wrestling as a kid. Currently the WWE have a shitload of kids on their fanbase and people here hate on that - but in a few years time when those kids grow a little older and want something a bit edgier, we might just get it to suit them. And then when the majority of them outgrow wrestling completely - the cycle begins again, back to the kids.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

What I don't understand is why the WWE doesn't start courting the young female audience. They have all the stuff fangirls like: handsome men, unresolved sexual tension (whether intentional or not), soapy storylines. And unlike young guys, young women will spend money on merch like crazy.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't the WWE target college students?

I can tell you, that the last time I watched WWE was August 2007, and I left for school that weekend, and didn't watch again for almost 5 years... College just doesn't leave alot of time for wrestling. I just didn't have time with all the new and exciting things going on in my life.

I think likewise, I met alot of people who liked wrestling at school, but they didn't want to watch the watered down program, and a few were turned off by the Chris Benoit incident. I only know 1 person who has been a wrestling fan from the 90's through now, and he didn't go away to college, but opted to stay at home and attend trade school.
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