In an interesting chat with Fortune, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon expanded on where she sees WWE headed in the future. The interview starts with Stephanie’s claim that WWE “can be as big or bigger than Disney.” She backs that up with a list of accomplishments that includes SmackDown’s movement towards FOX, her own show on the recently announced streaming platform Quibi, and various other digital ventures. “What has changed is that we now have the ability to go, more than ever, direct to consumer. Whether that’s through our WWE Network, through digital and social media, it’s allowing us to have the one-on-one engagements with our fan base.”
Of course, WWE isn’t the only game in town anymore when it comes to their core product, professional wrestling. When asked about the rising tide of federations like AEW, Stephanie gave a surprising answer. “I think it will ultimately make us all better, I really do.” While it’s not dissimilar from other comments she’s made recently on the subject matter, it is a stark contrast from the days of claiming that WWE was competing with other entertainment programs rather than wrestling companies.
Even if the competition has risen, the scope of WWE is something others can’t match. When asked about where she sees WWE going in the future, she sees a wide world of opportunity in tech.
We have the most passionate fans in the world so wherever they are we want to be. I want to figure out fantasy sports for WWE, e-sports, podcasts, V.R., A.I. We are doing all of those things in different ways, but we can always improve.
For more from the interview, including talk about the Women’s Revolution and WWE stars breaking into Hollywood, you can check out the full interview.