“For decades, professional wrestling in North America operated under a system of informally defined ‘territories.’ Each territory represented an individual promotion with its own stable of talent that drew crowds to local arenas and broadcast the product on regional television stations. In 1982, Vince McMahon purchased his father’s company, the World Wrestling Federation. For almost two decades, he endured an epic conquest of the pro wrestling world that led to where he is today: standing tall as the undisputed king of the industry.”
This may seem like a strange video for geography educators and students. In one sense, the history of a wrestling entertainment business is trivial, but this provides a great example of how using economies of scale can overcome regional advantages as new technologies enter the market. Maybe is not a ‘real’ sport, but the example of wrestling might pique a few students’ interest as the economic principles are made manifest.
Questions to Ponder: How do emerging technologies lead to economic disruption? Why was regional systems so prevalent in the 1950s and1960s? If Vince McMahon didn’t pursue this plan, would there still be smaller, regional wrestling organizations? Why or why not?