If you take the best of Vince McMahon and the best of Linda McMahon, you get Stephanie McMahon.
In front or behind the camera, WWE’s Chief Brand Officer has made quite an impact. She is noted for her character portrayal on WWE programming, but where she really excels is through outreach, helping the community -- many communities around the world -- by bridging the company, its talent and worthy organizations, including, most recently, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
WWE and Boys & Girls Clubs of America announced a national partnership to support bullying prevention efforts and help create a safe environment for today’s youth via WWE’s Be a STAR initiative.
To drop kick-off the partnership, WWE and Boys & Girls Clubs of America hosted a Be a STAR rally with WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, WWE Superstars Big Show, The Miz, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, and Kalisto, and WWE Diva Naomi on Monday afternoon, Jan. 25 at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami.
More than 150 boys and girls, age 5-18, from five Miami-Dade County units (Hank Kline, Gwen Cherry, Kendall, Northwest, South Beach) of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America listened to the stories each WWE speaker told of bullying and how to handle it. Everyone who spoke experienced bullying in the past, and they shared useful information about Be a STAR (Show Tolerance And Respect) with a positive message, which resonated well with the excited kids, who also cheered a Teacher Planning Day.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America Vice President of Marketing Frank Sanchez attended as did Rachel Fernandez, vice president of Operations at Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade County. The lovely and talented Renee Young, part of WWE’s broadcast team, served as emcee, and Sanchez also addressed the gathering.
“Over the past two years WWE and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have been working together to find the proper platform for us to build to align both our brands, two very strong brands,” Sanchez said before the event. “As we we went along this journey, we realized two things that we do really well. One is [WWE] does a great job with their [superstars and divas]. They put together incredible shows and messaging, and Boys & Girls Clubs work with young people, and we realize that young people are grappling with bullying everyday.
“It doesn’t matter who you are; you remember your bully’s name. So we landed on a spot that we knew we can both bring all of our resources, all our passions, and that’s an anti-bullying program and strategy. With more than 4,000 clubs across the country and these WWE superstars and divas, we’ll be holding Be a STAR rallies all across the country to inspire our young people and to give our staff the curriculum so that they can work with our young people. They will have the tools and be prepared, so if bullying comes to them, they know what to do, they know how to react, they know how to respond.”
Later that night, the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami housed Monday Night Raw, WWE’s weekly flagship program seen live on the USA Network. McMahon switched gears, going into TV character mode as a heel authority figure on Raw. She is the boss’s daughter, and her husband, Triple H, won the WWE World title the previous night at the Royal Rumble in Orlando. Collectively known as the Authority, the crowd booed her, them, when they appeared in the ring, and that’s a good thing, based on their TV personas. Mission accomplished.
Though, not everyone expressed disappointment when Triple H captured the WWE World title at the Royal Rumble.
“I actually have video of my daughter [Aurora] because we didn’t tell her it was gonna happen,” McMahon said with a smile. “Like everybody else, she had no idea Triple H, my husband, was going to be in the Royal Rumble, let alone win it.
“So I have this awesome video of her, and she was just beyond thrilled and wrote him one of the most beautiful notes that I have ever seen.
“It’s just amazing...What a wonderful life.”
A wonderful life, indeed.
McMahon and Triple H, who is Paul Levesque, also a key a figure backstage in WWE, are a power couple in the sports entertainment genre, helping develop WWE into a global leader in that industry. Levesque, a future WWE Hall of Famer, is the Executive Vice President (Talent/Live Events/Creative) for WWE. What they have done for the wrestlers, past and present...what he and his staff have done with NXT...outstanding.
With all their accomplishments in and out of the ring for the company, their greatest work is actually at home where they are proud parents of three daughters; Aurora, 9; Murphy 7; and Vaughn, 5. Mom and dad incorporate Be a STAR values within their kids.
“Our kids, life is going to be a little different for them given that their parents are on TV, and it’s something that I lived through and grew up with as well,” McMahon said, “but bullying happens, no matter who you are. They are a little more targeted because they are children of celebrities. So it’s important to us to spread the same message that we also do to the kids who we speak to all over the world [through WWE social media and WWE Be a STAR rallies].
“Believe in themselves. To treat each other and themselves with respect. In terms of putting an end to bullying, don’t forward negative messages online or via social media; block people who are negative toward you. You don’t want negative people in your life, period. Do your best to spread positive messages. If you’ve witnessed bullying or if you’re being bullied, tell somebody you trust. Tell mom and dad, tell your counselors or your coaches, tell your teachers, tell an adult who you trust. Bottom line, if you work hard, and if you believe you can, then there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.”
The new partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America focuses on bullying prevention efforts around Be a STAR, WWE’s anti-bullying initiative, and its mission to encourage young people to treat each other with respect through education and grassroots initiatives. WWE Superstars and Divas, many of whom are Boys & Girls Clubs of America alum, will participate in anti-bullying rallies at clubs across the United States, where they will interact with local youth, share their personal experiences with bullying and distribute Be a STAR resources and materials.
“It’s an incredible partnership,” Sanchez said. “WWE can use all of its network, social media, all of the resources to help us get the message out that kids need to have the skills to be safe. Anti-bullying is one. They also have to graduate high school. They have to be fit. They have to have good character and leadership.”
To support Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s mission, WWE will utilize its global platforms including WWE Network and TV broadcasts, live events, digital, social media and TV production, to generate awareness and raise funds for the organization. Additionally, WWE will make a financial contribution to support BGCA and the 4,500 clubs throughout the United States.
Since 2011, WWE has held more than 100 anti-bullying rallies, and Be a STAR’s resources and programs have reached more than 300,000 boys and girls globally.
“WWE cares tremendously about young people,” Sanchez noted, “and we decided that this was the right time as we have the right platform to use our energies to help save young people’s lives.”
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WWE is committed to leveraging the power of its brand and platforms to help address important social issues worldwide including diversity and inclusion, education, military support and providing hope to those in need. Through partnerships with Special Olympics, Ad Council, Connor’s Cure, GLAAD, First Book, Susan G. Komen, Make-A-Wish, Hire Heroes USA and USO Metro, WWE supports programs and initiatives that positively impact children and families around the world.
“Giving back has always been instilled in me, since I was a little girl,” McMahon said. “To me it’s been something that’s a been part of my life. What I find to be the most important part of life is really to be the best human being you can and to give back in as many ways possible.
“I’m sure it does mean more in some form or fashion now that I am a mom, but it always has been important to me.”
WWE developed four key pillars for its community service initiatives.
“Hope, Diversity and Inclusion, Education and Military,” McMahon said. “Under our Hope banner are Susan G. Komen, Connor’s Cure, Make-A-Wish Foundation. We have an over 30-year relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, almost since its inception, and in 2015, [WWE Superstar] John Cena granted his 500th Wish, which is more than any other athlete, actor, celebrity, entertainer, etc. It’s amazing.
“Under our Diversity and Inclusion pillar, we have Be a STAR, which is about standing up against bullying and showing tolerance and respect. That’s what STAR stands for. Our partnership with Special Olympics World Games and various support for local Special Olympics chapters as well.
“Under Education, the WrestleMania Reading Challenge. That’s where our [WWE] superstars and divas through different digital platforms actually encourage kids to read. I’ve had moms say to me that their kids, who had no interest in reading whatsoever, actually start to love reading because they learned to read with the celebrities and role models who they love -- our superstars and divas.
“That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important for our talent to have the opportunity to speak to kids, because kids look to them as role models, as celebrities. They aspire to be like our superstars and divas, like various celebrities. So to be able to use that power to spread messages of giving back is crucial.”
As a youth, McMahon volunteered at various community centers, the YMCA and other places.
“When I was a teenager in high school, the Special Olympics World Games were held at Yale [University in New Haven, Conn.], and I was able to volunteer for that,” said McMahon who graduated with a degree in Communication from Boston University. “I accompanied my mom [Linda McMahon] on different initiatives, because giving back has always been so important to her. As the former CEO of WWE, I had the opportunity to be with her for many of these events, and I just always found that to be the most rewarding part of my life. To be able to make somebody else feel good. After all, that’s what WWE’s mission is all about, which is putting smiles on people’s faces.”
And that’s what they did, too, at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club.
- About Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade
Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been serving youth in the community since 1940. What once was a single building and site for boys and girls has grown to five clubs serving thousands of boys and girls year round, providing programs in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, cultural arts and sports, fitness and recreation.
Clus staffing, initiatives and programs are designed to inspire and enable young people and provide them with the resources to succeed and share in the American dream.
For information, visit
- About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide.
They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
Learn more at
- About WWE
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 25 languages.
WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 175 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at
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