The WWE is collaborating with the Big 12 Conference for their championship game next month, as the sports entertainment company further strengthens its relationship with various sports organizations
ByMICHELLE CHAPMAN AP business writer
November 16, 2023, 12:01 PM
The WWE is collaborating with the Big 12 Conference for their championship game next month as the sports entertainment company further strengthens ties with outside sports organizations.
The Dr. Pepper Big 12 Football Championship will be held on Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
As part of the partnership, the game’s most outstanding player will receive a custom-made WWE championship title belt and a co-branded WWE X Big 12 logo will appear throughout the stadium and on the field. The Big 12 Conference and WWE will also collaborate on a Big 12 Championship merchandise line, which will be available online and at the stadium’s team stores.
“WWE is a global brand that connects with a wide array of audiences,” Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark said Thursday. “With this partnership, we will integrate WWE and its brand power into one of the Conference’s biggest moments, further strengthening the bridge between sports and entertainment throughout the Big 12.”
WWE, which is part of TKO Group Holdings, is no stranger to such collaborations. Last year it reached a deal with the SEC and its schools for custom title belts.
In 2021 the company struck a multi-year partnership with Major League Baseball to create MLB-inspired WWE Championship title belts and accessories featuring the logos of all 30 MLB clubs. In August WWE announced a similar deal with the National Football League.
The announcement with the NFL came after Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl LVII MVP Patrick Mahomes posted a photo of himself on Twitter in February holding the Vince Lombardi trophy in one hand, and a WWE belt in the other. The post currently has more than 24 million views.
By working with the WWE, the Big 12 is gaining access to the company’s formidable social media presence.
WWE has also taken the opportunity look for potential future wrestling superstars at the college level, creating the “Next In Line” program in 2021 to provide college athletes with an avenue to explore a possible career with WWE.