WWE Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios was recently a speaker at the 20th Annual Needham Growth Conference. He spoke on subjects such as the company’s financial growth, content strategy, company transformation, and more.
Barrios opened the presentation by stating that the company has done $784 million in revenue over the past 12 months, which is an all-time company high, and about two-thirds of that revenue comes from media, 20 percent from live event ticketing, and 14 percent from consumer products. 75 percent of the revenue is from the United States, while the other 25 percent is international.
After presenting for about 25 minutes, Barrios opened up the floor for Q&A. One question addressed talent contract agreements.
“We’re not specific about our talent agreements, but generally, what we like to say it is a usually beneficial association,” Barrios said. “So, they’re under agreement, but both parties could terminate them in pretty short order. So, we’re not trying to lock anyone up, it has to work for both parties, and that model has worked for a long time and led to a succession of iconic stars. Starting with Bruno [Sammartino], ending with John [Cena].”
Oddly enough, both Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan have experienced a great deal of difficulty taking advantage of this ability stated by Barrios. Regarding Mysterio, we reported in 2014 that he was missing in-ring competition due to suffering a hand injury, but still had his contract renewed by Vince McMahon despite desiring to get out of his contract when Vince renewed it.
Ever since being forced to retire by WWE, and making a formal retirement speech on the February 8, 2016 edition of Raw, Daniel Bryan has made it known that he wants to return to in-ring competition. He has been cleared by various doctors, but not WWE.
In an interview with ESPN in 2016, Bryan stated that he would often talk about wrestling and threaten to quit WWE to Brie Bella. Bryan has also teased wrestling in Ring of Honor, and other promotions if not cleared by WWE once his contract is up.
If any portion of these quotes are used, be sure to H/T the Needham Growth Conference via WrestlingINC for the transcription.