Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 4-19-2018


Recker, Henry. Strategic Audit of WWE. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2018.


Copyright Henry Recker 2018


WWE is a media and entertainment company that is known as the most popular professional wrestling promotion in the U.S. It has transformed from one of many regional promotions in the 1980s to the dominant force in “sports entertainment” with a market capitalization of $2.4 billion. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the situation WWE is in both internally and externally, and to develop a strategic recommendation for the company. Analysis tools like SWOT and PEST are used to evaluate the current state of WWE, and strategic alternatives are generated based on WWE’s existing differentiators and distinctive competencies.

WWE’s revenues come primarily from television, live events, and subscription revenues. Its subscription-based service WWE Network was released in 2014 and allows viewers access to large amounts of on-demand content. WWE has developed distinct competitive advantages in the market through its high-quality writing, exciting and charismatic performers, and through effective marketing and promotion. Its weaknesses include the growing, costly amount of content it must continue to produce and the issues it has had with treatment of its wrestlers.

The entertainment industry is very competitive, and WWE faces challenges from many competitors. WWE has opportunities in its environment thanks to its social media presence and the infrastructure it has already built for WWE Network. It faces threats from the general decline of television and the popularity of competing live sporting events.

The strategic recommendation for WWE is to introduce exclusive content to WWE Network, while bringing back the TV-14 rating that was abandoned in 2008. There should also be an increased focus on international expansion and crossover events with “true” live sports. This strategy will capitalize on the company’s competitive advantages and build up WWE Network as television’s popularity continues to fall. Six months to a year after introducing these changes, various metrics should be evaluated, and, if necessary, WWE can change course.