Who are your wrestling fans? If I asked you to describe them, are you able to do it?
Wrestling is a performance, and performers need an audience to perform to.
Why is this important? If you want to make a career out of pro wrestling, then you need to understand this. Because the more fans you connect with emotionally, the more booking opportunities you’ll get, the more merchandise you’ll sell, and the more recognition you’ll earn. That’s the goal, right?
But first, it’s about the fans. I help our trainees at Grapple MAX apply marketing principles in their approach to wrestling, so that they can each find success. Grapple MAX runs wrestling classes in Singapore.
And in marketing, it is as much about the product as it is about the audience. What you do is consumed by your fans. Your character speaks to them. Your attitude represents them. Your style appeals to them.
If I said, “Describe to me your wrestling fan?”
And you said, “It’s someone who likes wrestling!”
That… Wouldn’t be great. It’s not wrong. But it could be answered a whole lot better.
Imagine you’re opening a burger restaurant, and an investor wants to fund your business idea with $250,000. But first he asks you what customer you are going for. And then you respond excitedly with “someone who likes burgers, duh!” What do you think is gonna happen? I guarantee you he’s not writing you that cheque.
But, for example, if you said “someone who has outgrown McDonald’s, who can afford to spend $30 on a meal, who doesn’t wanna get on the Impossible meat trend, and who desires a high-fat wagyu patty for a cheat day because he spends 3 days a week at the gym”, then you’re getting somewhere.
Is it clearer? I’ll illustrate further.
So let me describe the Ladykiller’s wrestling fans:
I am able to go to a very specific level of detail when describing the people who support me. And precisely because I can, I am able to attract more of the same type of fan from each segment.
How do you begin?
What does that even mean? Empirical evidence means information you gather by observing the behaviours and patterns of your fans. In marketing, you gotta do your research.
First you need to look at what your current results are. Some happen by design, but a far far greater number happen by accident.
Do this simple exercise with me. Pause to think a little.
These questions outline the fans you have at the current level of effort you’re putting in. That’s how I arrived at the profile of the average Ladykiller fan. Have you got a better picture of the wrestling fan that supports you specifically?
Not every wrestling fan who comes to a show identifies with you specifically. And that’s okay. The more you can describe the specific wrestling fan that is unique to you, the better. Just like the burger example above.
Now that you know what your typical wrestling fan looks like, you can begin communicating with them, with more focused intention.
You know what wrestling style makes them pop? Good! Do more of it. You know what type of posts they tend to leave comments on? Great! Go to town. You found a surprising niche for yourself? Excellent. Exploit it.
What you want to do is be relatable to exactly the type of audience that you wish to engage with. For every guy like me that maintains a 6 pack for thirsty men and women, there’s a guy like the D who wears tiny little trunks and sits on opponents’ faces to make the fans laugh. I know what reactions I have control over in the fans. He knows what reactions he can elicit from the fans, too.
Great wrestlers know who their fans are. They keep strengthening those connections. And they’ll grow their fan base by looking for new supporters, through trial and error.
Complement your strategy to attract fans, by being deliberate about the other elements of your character too! Explore other guides for your…
At Grapple MAX, our wrestling classes are designed to help you create that ultimate version of yourself.