Even though (or maybe because) I have a marketing background, I have a low tolerance for marketing speak. Doesn’t matter whether it’s Stephanie McMahon or Tony Khan saying it, if I hear “performance indicator” or “programmatic advertising” my eyes roll and I tune out.
Use of jargon doesn’t mean valid points aren’t being made however, or that others in the business of getting people to buy good & services aren’t impressed by those points. So while I am being snarky in general, AEW making Fast Company’s second annual “Brands That Matter” list is a nice bit of recognition for TK & company as they negotiate their next U.S. television contract and generally work to grow their business.
It’s also good for the wrestling industry in general to be recognized in a publication like Fast Company.
Here’s the press release from AEW so you can decide for yourself whether to be excited. And maybe tell me what it means that Rampage is the “fight forward” show?
AEW Named to Fast Company’s Second Annual “Brands That Matter” List
— Fast Company’s newest recognition honors companies providing compelling reasons for people to care about them and offering inspiration for others to buy in —
Oct. 25, 2022 – Fast Company announced today that All Elite Wrestling (AEW) was named in its second annual Brands That Matter list, honoring brands that communicate and demonstrate brand purpose. The award honors companies and nonprofits that have achieved relevance through cultural impact and social engagement, and authentically communicated their missions and ideals.
AEW was honored among 145 companies, including large multinational conglomerates, startups and nonprofits that give people compelling reasons to care about them, offer inspiration for others to buy in. All 145 have found an ability to forge an emotional connection with customers, whether leading on the environment or pop culture, engaging B2B customers, or responding meaningfully to current events.
“This year, we’ve expanded the Brands That Matter program to evaluate honorees in the context of how they matter within the category in which they compete for people’s attention or loyalty. The result is a wide-ranging list of honorees that are making their mark on culture, and through social impact,” said Brendan Vaughan, Fast Company’s editor-in-chief.
“The distinction of being a brand that matters perfectly describes the rise of AEW in 2022,” said Tony Khan, CEO, GM and Head of Creative of AEW. “For the first time in more than two decades, professional wrestling fans have a legitimate, competitive alternative to mainstream wrestling, and we’re not only reviving the interest of lapsed fans, but also generating the fans of tomorrow with a world-class roster of incredible athletes and creative minds. This is an award earned by every wrestler on the roster, every producer and coach, everyone backstage making our shows run seamlessly, every fan in the arenas and every viewer watching around the world.”
This year has been another banner one for AEW, recently cementing a run of 18 out of consecutive 19 weeks in the top two Wednesday cable shows in the 18-49 demographic, as well as a massive consecutive stretch of pulling more than 1 million total viewers. Earlier this year,
Tony Khan announced that he purchased independent wrestling promotion Ring of Honor, preserving the legacy of a promotion that launched some of professional wrestling’s biggest names and incorporating decades of history into AEW’s programming. AEW debuted in new markets in 2022 including Los Angeles, Toronto, Detroit and Atlantic City, among others, and produced the unprecedented AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door PPV that sold out the United Center in Chicago. “AEW: Dynamite” is seen every Wednesday on TBS and attracts the youngest wrestling audience on television. The fight-forward show “AEW: Rampage” airs every Friday on TNT.
Top talent from across the world debuted in AEW this year, including Saraya, Claudio Castagnoli, William Regal, Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, Keith Lee, Toni Storm, Athena, Renee Paquette, Danhausen and more. Additionally, AEW’s first-ever console video game, AEW: Fight Forever, won “Best Sports/Racing Game” at Gamescom 2022 in Germany ahead of its upcoming release. New titles were also launched this year, including the AEW TBS Championship, the AEW All-Atlantic Championship and the AEW Trios Championships.
Fast Company editors judged each brand on relevancy, cultural impact, ingenuity, and business impact to compile the list. Click here to see the complete list. The November issue of Fast Company magazine is available online now and will be on newsstands beginning November 1, 2022.