Published Feb 06, 2019
A Sports Marketing & Media Grad Turned Marketing Manager for WWE
As a student, Andrew Heinz saw an opportunity to help NXT sell more merchandise at live events. Now, he’s a marketing manager for WWE, working with venues and promoters to signal boost live events.
In 2014, Andrew Heinz was a student in Full Sail’s Sports Marketing & Media program when one of his instructors suggested he attend a volunteer meeting for WWE NXT.
“I was never a WWE fan,” says Andrew. “I played the video games, and I knew the names of some of the superstars, but I would never have classified myself as a wrestling fan. So that part wasn’t enticing; it was getting the opportunity to work live events.”
Wrestling fan or not, Andrew’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. In 2014, NXT Arrival was the first live event broadcast on the newly-launched WWE Network — and it all happened on Full Sail’s campus. Andrew was brought on as a student volunteer to sell merchandise.
“I was working with another student named Casey Garcia. We noticed that they weren’t selling merchandise at any of the other events, so we volunteered to transport all of the items ourselves,” he says. “NXT Arrival aired in January, and I would say by May we were regularly selling merchandise at most of the local live events.”
During rest of his time as a student, Andrew put in three days a week volunteering for NXT. His diligence led to an externship after graduation, which eventually led to a full-time position as a marketing manager with WWE in 2016. Now, he manages 100 shows in Florida every year, with another 70-100 out of state.
“Unlike the NFL or the NBA, WWE doesn’t have an off season,” says Andrew. “We do over 600 live events a year, and each of those events has an individual marketing plan.”
Andrew works with venues and promoters to create and execute those plans. He starts by breaking down promotional costs for each show. From there, he works with a group of locals to get the word out about the event. Since every venue is different, much of his time is spent working with the rest of the marketing team to figure out what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to selling out shows. There are no typical days, he says, which is one of his favorite things about his job.
“It keeps me on my toes. I like that a lot of what we do boils down to common networking. I’m working with people around the country to make sure these shows get taken care of,” he says.
More than two years into his career, Andrew has gained a deep respect for the product. He may not have been a wrestling fan when he started, but he’s grown to appreciate professional wrestling for what it is.
“It’s art,” he says. “Our talent is on the road 300 days a year. It’s scripted entertainment, but once they get into the ring, everything about that is real. I can’t have a higher respect for that. They’re awesome.”