WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and her husband WWE Executive of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul "Triple H" Levesque are strong supporters of pediatric cancer care and research at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Stephanie and Paul became involved with Children's Hospital in 2014, when they met WWE fan Connor Michalek.
Connor, 8, was battling medulloblastoma, a rare tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord. Connor formed a special connection with Stephanie and Paul, as well as numerous WWE Superstars and Divas, while attending WWE events with his family in early 2014, including WWE WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.
When Connor lost his battle with medulloblastoma in April 2014, Stephanie and Paul decided to honor him by creating Connor's Cure, a fund within Children's Foundation at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh that supports brain tumor research.
Connor's Cure supports research by Ian F. Pollack, M.D., chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery in the Brain Care Institute at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, including laboratory-based research and a vaccine-based immunotherapy research. Dr. Pollack is examining the efficacy of a unique immunotherapy that treats the tumor using a vaccine not entirely unlike the sort of vaccines most of us are familiar with, such as the tetanus or polio vaccines.
The Connor's Cure campaign had two primary objectives:
In order to effectively achieve the campaign objectives, WWE's strategy was an integrated, 360 degree approach that utilized all of the company's global assets. These included WWE Network and WWE's television programming, digital and social platforms, live events, merchandise sales, WWE talent, employee communications and media relations.
WWE assets provided a global platform for Connor's Cure to deliver key messages regarding pediatric cancer education and resources.
WWE's execution of this campaign was fully integrated throughout its global assets.
Specific campaign tactics included:
WWE created "Connor's Cure" bracelets in support of Connor's Cure and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Fans were able to purchase the bracelets at WWEShop.com at all WWE Live Events, with 100% of the proceeds going to support Connor's Cure.
In September, Connor's Cure was integrated into WWE flagship programming RAW and SmackDown that air on USA Network and SyFy respectively. In total, WWE has nearly 14 million weekly viewers.
On Monday, September 14 and Thursday, September 17, WWE's flagship programs Monday Night Raw and SmackDown "Went Gold" in support of Connor's Cure and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. "Going Gold" consisted of
WWE Live Event Integration:
Public service announcements were also shown during all 18 live events in the month of September.
WWE Social Media Integration
Stephanie McMahon, Daniel Bryan, The New Day, former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and many more accept Ellen DeGeneres' "Just Keep Dancing" Challenge to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.
For the first time, WWE launched a Twibbon promotion encouraging the WWE Universe to "Go Gold" by changing their Twitter profile pictures gold.
WWE cross-promoted Connor's Cure with Ellen Degeneres's #JustKeepDancing initiative where fans posted videos of themselves dancing to support pediatric cancer awareness.
WWE Digital Media Integration:
Led by WWE Chief Brand officer Stephanie McMahon, WWE utilized its global assets including WWE Network, TV, Live Events, and digital and social media to raise awareness and funds for Connor's Cure.
To date, WWE has raised more than $850,000 for Connor's Cure and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. WWE raised more than $200,000 and generated over 1 billion media impressions during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month this September.