Saturday, August 21, 2021

 WWE's Khan Following Disney's Lead in Leveraging IP for Growth

_Editor Note: JohnWallStreet will be on vacation next week. In his place, the newsletter will deliver a five-part series taking readers inside BSE Global, owners of the Nets and the Barclays Center, among other holdings. _

On Wednesday, WWE announced Spotify is now the exclusive home of the company’s audio content—including new podcasts they will develop in partnership with The Ringer (Spotify acquired Bill Simmons’ digital media and podcast outfit in 2020). WWE also announced plans for its second NFT release (featuring John Cena) and disclosed MLB-branded championship title belts will be coming to market in 2022.

Leveraging intellectual property to drive revenue is nothing new for the sports and entertainment giant (see: Hasbro figures, Tonka Wrestling Buddies, Technōs WWF WrestleFest). But since president Nick Khan joined the company last August, WWE has worked to monetize its exclusive IP beyond toys, T-shirts and memorabilia. “One of the key reasons for Disney’s success is their unparalleled abundance of intellectual property,” Khan said. “If you look at our intellectual property, which we are quite proud of, it is largely untapped.”

Since April, Khan hired Scott Zanghellini, Alex Varga and Samantha Greenberg, all formerly of CAA, to lead a new revenue strategy and development group focused on expanding the business and reaching new audiences.