WWE Cheif Brand Officer and Daughter of CEO Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon recently spoke to Ad Age about WWE and how they transitioned to holding shows in empty arenas. WWE was forced to cancel all live events and hold its shows inside the WWE Performance Center, which was empty of course.
Stephanie stated that she misses the fans.
Stephanie McMahon States that she Misses the fans
"For WWE, we definitely miss our fans," McMahon said. "For any live event, our fans are apart of our show. They've always been our secret sauce, and we miss them dearly, but that doesn't mean they're not there [or] they're not watching.
They're just not live giving us that real-time feedback. "We've always leveraged our social media channels to listen to our fans as well, but certainly now that's heightened from a data and analytics perspective."
She then started speaking about stuff that WWE has learned during this time. They learned how to shoot shows without having a live crowd. She also mentioned that they had to use AR to hide fans that looked very out of place.
"We've also had a few key learnings in terms of camera angles. How not to shoot the audience," McMahon explained. "Our commentators, we used to encourage them to lay out more so you can get more of the natural sound.
Now we're encouraging them to fill that gap. "We've experimented with various forms of augmented reality. Typically, in our Performance Center, there are these big actual fans. It doesn't necessarily look good on TV, so we put in a virtual ceiling which is pretty cool.
You can experiment with that and try different things." The WWE has also been experimenting with audio. "We've tried sweetening the audio," Stephanie McMahon noted. "We do have our developmental superstars act as fans socially distanced with masks to provide some audio and atmosphere, and we've experimented with sweetening that audio turning it up so you can actually hear the cheers, the boos etc.
We've learned a lot. Sometimes we've overdone it. Again, we've tracked the feedback from our fans who said, 'yeah, that was too much. It wasn't believable, or I really loved that. I really felt more engaged.'
We're constantly evaluating and shifting in accordance with what our fans are saying and also what technology is available."