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WrestleMania Promos Take Over Orlando

A week of magic and mayhem has ended as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) presented WrestleMania 33 – professional wrestling’s annual promo-filled Super Bowl inside Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. And, Counselor was on the scene to see all of the promotions that sponsors and hosts were running.

An all-time Orlando Citrus Bowl attendance record of 75,245 fans from 50 states and 62 countries made the pilgrimage to witness their favorite athletes clash at the nearly seven-hour event. WrestleMania 33 gained a record 18 million social media fan engagements, up 66% from last year. Digital and social media video views reached 133 million, skyrocketing 105% from 2016. For the first time, WrestleMania was made available in China on a pay-per-view basis via PPTV’s digital platform.

“WrestleMania made a triumphant return to Orlando and again broke multiple records,” said WWE Executive Vice President of Special Events John Saboor in a press release. “This success would not have been possible without the tireless support of Mayor Dyer, the Local Organizing Committee and all of the public and private sector partners throughout Central Florida.”

WrestleMania 33 grossed $14.5 million in revenue, down from the company’s record $17.3 million for last year’s event. It also generated an estimated $125 million in economic impact for the Central Florida area. That’s why each year cities bid on hosting the pop culture extravaganza – New Orleans has been chosen over Philadelphia and Minneapolis to hold WrestleMania 34 next year as part of the city’s tricentennial celebration.

"WrestleMania Week was a tremendous success for the city of Orlando and it was an honor to host WWE and their fans back in our community," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "This is a testament to the investments we've made in our community venues that continue to attract these showcase events and solidify Orlando as the nation's leading sports and entertainment destination." Orlando is home to many WWE operations including its developmental brand NXT and its training facility the WWE Performance Center.

As soon as fans arrived at Orlando International Airport, they were greeted by WrestleMania signs at baggage claim and rental car stations. The streets of downtown Orlando were plastered in WrestleMania banners showcasing top stars such as Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. There was even a 30-foot-wide, 12-foot-high championship belt replica on display at Lake Eola.

Throughout the week, fans mobbed the Orange County Convention Centerin Orlando for WrestleMania Axxess, an annual fan fest with autograph signings, exhibits and merchandise. Attendees scooped up hats, shirts, wrist bands, posters, foam hands, and inflatable Bailey buddies, all emblazoned with the WrestleMania and WWE logos. Snickers sponsored the event for the second straight year, giving out free candy bars and sharing clips through social media and YouTube. During the WrestleMania broadcast, an ad featured WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair and WWE Superstars Charlotte and James Ellsworth as part of the “You’re Not You When You're Hungry" campaign.

Elon Musks Branded Flamethrower: The Hottest Promotional Product In The World

Elon Musk is a lot of things: genius, billionaire, pioneering entrepreneur, cracker-jack hat salesman. Now, he can add another eye-opening entry to his ever-growing list of impressive epithets – purveyor of the most dangerous (but hella cool, some would say) promotional product in the world.

Last weekend, The Boring Co., of which Musk is CEO, began taking pre-orders for flamethrowers branded with the company name. You read that correctly: flamethrowers.

Through early afternoon Tuesday East Coast time, The Boring Company had reportedly pre-sold about 15,000 flamethrowers – a figure that amounts to approximately $7.5 million in sales.

In announcing the branded flamethrowers, Boring Co. pitched the items as "guaranteed to liven up any party." Indeed, Musk was having fun on Twitter promoting the fire-spewing device. Amid tweets that gave a running tally of the number of pre-orders, Musk inserted funny "pitches" that included "Great for roasting nuts" before adding later, "Obviously, a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don't buy one...Unless you like fun."

After tweeting that flamethrowers would come in handy in the event of a zombie apocalypse, Musk felt the need to address some scuttlebutt that was making the rounds: "The rumor that I'm secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers is completely false," he tweeted, with a chuckle no doubt.

While Musk and Boring Co. were hyping the flamethrower with jokes and humor, not everyone was laughing. Boring Co. is based in California, where rampant wildfires wreaked havoc in 2017, scorching vast tracts of land and claiming lives. In the wake of such tragedy, California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles criticized the flamethrowers, saying they could be a public health hazard. "We've just gone through some catastrophic fires in California," he told The Los Angeles Times. "It's a bad joke."

Still, sales of the flamethrowers were continuing to climb. The same consumer frenzy flashed out during Musk's earlier venture into promotional products with The Boring Company (which incidentally is focused on infrastructure and tunnel construction). Late last year, Musk started selling Boring Co.-branded hats. By mid-December, Boring Co. had sold more than 35,000 of the ball caps, generating $700,000. The LA Times reported this week that Boring Co. has now sold about 50,000 hats.

One thing's for sure, if Musk ever is looking for another new field to enter, he certainly has a future in promotional product sales.

Grumpy Cat Wins Copyright Case

Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, the feline face that launched a thousand memes, just had his day in court – and won. The sour puss was awarded $710,000 in damages in a California copyright case, after a beverage company used the cat's likeness for unauthorized purposes.

Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, has millions of followers on social media, hobnobs with celebrities and even has an animatronic likeness at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London. Owner Tabatha Bundesen created Grumpy Cat Limited to capitalize on her pet's popularity after her brother posted Tardar Sauce's pic on Reddit, back in 2012. The cat's famous frown is likely caused by feline dwarfism and an under bite.

In 2013, Grenade Beverage, owned by father and son Nick and Paul Sandford, struck a $150,000 deal to market iced "Grumppuccinos," bearing the cat's likeness on the packaging. However, Grenade also began using the Grumpy Cat image on its roasted coffee and on T-shirts, neither of which had been agreed upon, according to the lawsuit.

Grenade filed a countersuit, claiming Grumpy Cat didn't promote the brand as promised in the original deal. However, the jury ultimately sided with the cat.

Grumpy Cat's lawyer, David Jonelis of Lavely & Singer, told TheWrap that this was a precedent-setting case. "It's the first verdict ever rendered in favor of a viral meme," he added. "Memes have rights too."

Imprinted Tees Commemorate Missile Attack

What do you do in the wake of a missile attack scare?

Make cheeky T-shirts to commemorate the event, apparently.

Indeed, a day after Hawaii issued false alarms that a ballistic missile was rocketing toward the state in the Pacific Ocean, a shop in Honolulu began selling tees that ironically acknowledged the scare.

As you can see below, the shirts say, "I Survived the Hawaii Ballistic Missile." The image of the shirts in the shop is courtesy of Alastair Gale, The Wall Street Journal's Japan editor.

The Honolulu store was far from the only retail entity eager to capitalize on the false alarm with T-shirts. A quick Google search revealed similarly themed tees for sale on sites that included Amazon, Redbubble, and Etsy.

As you've probably heard, the missile attack was really no such thing. A worker at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally issued an alert that a missile was inbound. The message caused pervasive panic, fueled particularly by increased tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Some 40 minutes after the alert went out, Hawaiian officials issued a second message saying that the first message was a false alarm.

Following the jolt, some islanders were clearly ready to dispel the excess nervous energy with a little humor – as evidenced by the T-shirts. It seems there really can be a T-shirt for every occasion these days.