This Week's Duel
I respect McMahon, a third generation wrestling promoter who was able to take on a fragmented wrestling entertainment industry, divided by region, and create a national powerhouse. Unfortunately he also paved the way for the WCW and ECW of today. There are way too many competitive risks and long-term industry viability risks to bank on any one company.
If wrestling or "sports entertainment" is such a passing fancy, why is McMahon a "third generation wrestling promoter?" The truth is that men in tights knocking one another around is as old as the gladiators. Modern day versions are just less dire in the consequences. It was big fun in ancient Rome, it's big fun today, and it will be big fun for centuries to come.
Further, Rick takes the time to talk about what a sensational job McMahon has done in taking a fragmented business and making it into a national powerhouse only to argue that the competition that comes with any successful enterprise will hurt them. That's like saying that you shouldn't have invested in McDonald's because Burger King came on the scene, or Coke because of Pepsi. Ridiculous.
Speaking of Coke and their recent pulling of advertising, it's all pretty hypocritical and doesn't really matter in the end. Those companies caved to pressure from a political group. I'm guessing that their boycott of this incredibly popular and demographically strong product will be short-lived. Even if it's not, the crowd of advertisers that want to market to this demographic is Standing Room Only.
The real question for WWF shareholders isn't the inevitable competition that comes from being the best or the longevity of this time-tested business. The real question is how they intend to grow from here. The popularity of the product continues to grow, the venues get larger and the distribution channels get fatter. Before you know it, WWF will be more than just wrestling, they'll be all sorts of entertainment. The one thing I'm confident of is that the McMahon's (and that includes 29-year old Shane) are absolute masters when it comes to reading the pulse of the consumer and that will translate into success with their other entertainment ventures if they stay focused
Geesh, I feel like Andre the Giant after beating five guys in a row and not breaking a sweat. I hope Rick will forgive me for beating him to a pulp.
This Week's Duel