Post’s deal to feature WWE superstars Becky Lynch and Big Show on cereal boxes marked a fresh start in the wrestling world for a company that once got slammed in court by one of the sport’s biggest stars, Hulk Hogan.
The two WWE headliners will appear on nearly seven million boxes of Post cereal, with Lynch, the current WWE Raw Women’s champion, featured on the front of Golden Crisp and Big Show on the front of Honeycomb. Both wrestlers will star in social media ads and other marketing campaigns for the company.
"Post and WWE are the perfect match, as both brands appeal to the entire family," said Roxanne Bernstein, chief marketing officer at Post Consumer Brands. "WWE programming is family-friendly, with more parents and kids watching its action-packed content together than other sports leagues. This partnership is a great way for us to engage with fans of WWE."
It was Post’s use of wrestling imagery that once drew Hogan’s ire. The famed wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued the company in 2010 for allegedly using his likeness without permission.
At the time, Post ran a commercial for Cocoa Pebbles in which a wrestler character who resembled Hogan, “Hulk Boulder,” is shown fighting “Flintstones” characters Fred, Barney and Bam-Bam.
“Bam-Bam, Pebbles, Fred and Barney celebrate with the Coacoa Pebbles brand cereal, as Hulk Boulder is shown humiliated and cracked into pieces with broken teeth, with the closing banner 'Little Pieces…Big Taste,'" the complaint said. “Each ‘Cocoa Smashdown’ advertisement publishes, displays and otherwise publicly uses the name, portrait, photograph or other likeness of Plaintiff Terry Bollea without his consent.”
The two sides later reached a settlement over the commercial, which was pulled from the air.
WWE was not named in the lawsuit, and the company is bullish on the new partnership’s potential. From October through the end of February, customers who buy three boxes of Honeycombs or Golden Crisp will receive a rebate for a three-month trial membership of the WWE Network subscription service.
"We are excited to expand our partnership with Post, which leverages the family-friendly essence and reach of the WWE brand," said John Brody, WWE executive vice president, global sales and head of international. "Having our larger-than-life WWE superstars featured on millions of Honeycomb and Golden Crisp boxes is a tremendous statement for our partnership and will enable Post to further reach millions of families across the country."