Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Branding in the wrestling business

Zack Ryder, Mr. PEC-Tacular and Red Daniels
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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In the age of social media developing a brand has become big business. Marketing experts will tell you it's important to get yourself out there in front of an audience and keep followers engaged. This brand building can make or break entrepreneurs, bloggers, social media stars and athletes. That includes professional wrestlers.

My buddy Tom Harness at Harness Digital Marketing touches on the importance of branding for wrestlers briefly in the most recent episode of My 1-2-3 Cents the Podcast. A growing number of wrestlers or Superstars have picked up on branding. This post is about a few who have done a good job at reaching the masses.


WWWYKI
Courtesy: WWE
Several years ago Zack Ryder was floundering on the mid card. Maybe even lower than that. He then took to YouTube with his Z! True Long Island Story. The videos worked and soon Zack saw himself getting that push he so rightly deserved. While in the short term the action paid off as Ryder won the U.S. Championship and was rubbing elbows with the likes of John Cena, it didn't take long for WWE Creative to pull the rug out from under the Superstar. WWE took over production of the YouTube channel and eventually canceled the show. Ryder's push disappeared. But he's continued to toil and make some quick comebacks. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for him as he rehabs from an injury.


Makeup time on Tainted Dreams
Courtesy: @tainted_dreams_the_series
Impact Wrestling's Mr. PEC-Tacular Jessie Godderz is a crossover star from the reality TV world, having been on Big Brother. He has done a great job building his brand and helping get exposure for Impact Wrestling in the mainstream. Follow him on Twitter (@MrPEC_Tacular) and you'll understand what I mean. He has several projects outside the ring, including acting, music and hosting. As far as I'm concerned he's currently the biggest crossover wrestler to have never worked for WWE.


Building Stride Pro Wrestling's brand

Local indy wrestlers are getting in on the action too. I'll focus on Stride Pro Wrestling because I'm a part of that company. Established guys like Heath Hatton, Chris Hargas and Farmer Billy Hills are utilizing social media to get their names out there. Recent graduates of the Stride school like Red Daniels and Dexter Roswell are doing well in this area too. They've found characters that work for them and as they get established with the local scene I have no doubt more opportunities will come their way. Stride guys who are reading this, I'd love to help with building your brand too. Just holler at me.

Hanging with Colt
Others who come to mind immediately, include Colt Cabana. He turned lemons into lemonade after being released by WWE and has a successful podcast and still wrestles all over the world. He's making a huge name for himself without a "machine" behind him. And the "King of Dong Style" Joey Ryan took a moment from a viral video and has capitalized on it to build his career as well.

The important thing to getting your name out there is stepping outside your comfort zone. You don't have to sacrifice your privacy to do it either. Make it a habit and part of your daily routine and chances are you're going to see more growth in your following.

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