clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE explains its ‘long-term investment strategy’ in recruiting college athletes

WWE logo

Earlier today, Sports Illustrated revealed details on WWE’s next round of tryouts for college athletes. It will take place this week across two days:

WWE will hold tryouts Wednesday and Thursday [at] IMG Academy’s campus in Bradenton, Florida. The tryout is part of a new recruitment strategy for WWE as it aims to attract and elevate its profile among elite former college athletes...Approximately 30 to 35 athletes will participate in the IMG tryout, and the venue is important. IMG Academy prides itself as an elite training ground, and its 600-acre, state-of-the-art campus also serves as a training and competition venue for amateur and pro teams. Its first-class training facilities and air of prestige are a great combination for WWE.

This will be WWE’s third tryout of this nature in 2022, following similar events around the time of WrestleMania and SummerSlam. 33 developmental contracts were offered to the participants of those tryouts.

The latest tryouts will also mark one year since WWE announced its NIL program for college athletes. James Kimball, WWE Head of Talent Operations and Strategy, said WWE’s reach into collegiate sports is just getting started and there is plenty more work to do:

“We want a clear calendar. Moving forward, we’re going to emulate what we’ve done in 2022. It’s really important there is a clear schedule, as college athletes have so many options. For wrestlers on the independents, that system is in place and that pathway to WWE is well known, so our resources are allocated to building a new pathway to collegiate sports.”

“We’re just scratching the surface. We’ve been working on this for a year, and it’s going to take years, but we’re growing. We’re adding quality and depth, and the work is just starting with college athletes nationwide...We’re building. This a long-term investment strategy, and we’re all really excited about the potential.”

How do you think WWE’s investment in collegiate sports will shape its future, Cagesiders?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats