During Wrestlemania week, the Ernest Morial Convention Center was transformed into equal parts theme park, meet and greet, museum, and atm. Once inside Hall B, the overwhelming impression given was that the WWE goes to great lengths to truly give its fans an overwhelming experience. WWE Superstars are endlessly fed to the carnivorous fans who line up for hours for photo ops, conversations, and autographs. Good humored and gracious, the Superstars smile, sign, and pose with the numerous attendees with appreciation and apparent enjoyment of the spectacle surrounding them. Memorabilia from the thirty-four years of Wrestlemania history was displayed throughout the exhibition hall. Set pieces, elimination chambers, and life-size statues of WWE Hall of Famers were displayed to provide perspective as to the size and scope of the industry as well as the size of Andre the Giant’s handprints. WWE’s farm league, NXT, held a tournament in corner stadium with TV side stands and all of the spectacles one would expect from a live show. Former Superstars, Hall of Famers, and On-Air personalities graced the stage between matches for interviews, presentations, and general appearances. With everything WWE brought to the convention center, however, one thing was the most impressive, and, oddly enough, required no admission fee. The WWE Superstore provided multiple versions of shirts, jackets, hats, and accessories for every Superstar, Brand, and event imaginable. An entire wall was dedicated to this year’s Wrestlemania, with variations of New Orleans worked into Superstar catchphrases. As examples, and as personal favorites, were “Hardy Gras,” NOLA 3:16,” and the Rock’s classic “NOLA your role.” As impressive as the WWE is at providing memorable experiences to its fans, it is, perhaps, even more effective at merchandising its brand. You can’t throw the same party successfully for this many years without being good at what you do.
FOR THE INSIDE SCOOP ON DINING, MUSIC, ENTERTAINMENT, THE ARTS & MORE!