Annals of branding: WWE insists on 'superstar' and 'sports entertainment,' not 'professional wrestler' or 'wrestling'

Local officials were asked to stick to rules about what to call the people in the ring, the organizer and even that thing the winners get to wear around their waists.
Published March 8

TAMPA — It may look like mayhem in the ring, but when it comes to the brand, World Wrestling Entertainment doesn't leave much to chance.

Check out the list of "WWE Do's and Don'ts" given to local officials before this week’s news conference announcing that WrestleMania 36 will come to Raymond James Stadium on April 5, 2020:

• When referring to our talent, we ask that you refer to them as WWE Superstars both for the men and women and NOT as “professional wrestlers.”

• As of March 2016, our female Superstars are NO longer referred to as WWE Divas, so please call them WWE Superstars.

• Please refer to our company as WWE and NOT World Wrestling Entertainment.

• Please do not refer to our company as “the WWE,” but rather just “WWE.”

• Please do NOT use the term “professional wrestling,” instead using WWE or Sports Entertainment to describe our brand (E.G. "We have many WWE fans in the Tampa area" or "I have always been a fan of sports entertainment.”)

• The WWE Championship or WWE Title are appropriate names for the title. It is not called a “belt” or a “strap.”

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