Sports Social TV Entertainer Of The Year: Daniel Bryan

2014 Sports Social TV Awards - Sports Social TV Entertainer Of The Year: Daniel Bryan


With a single, one-syllable word, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan has taken over the WWE Universe.


His surge in popularity inside and outside of the sports-entertainment world can be attributed to the infectious #YesMovement; his mantra for a hard-working, clean-living, and positive lifestyle.

In arenas all over the world, thousands of fans are raising their hands with pointed fingers exclaiming, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" in support of their favorite WWE Superstar whose skyrocket to stardom was solely due to their unwavering support, reflected en masse on social media. Bryan currently has more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter and more than 3.7 million followers on Facebook.

Bryan's journey to the WWE Championship began on December 9, 2013 in Seattle, Washington where Daniel Bryan was awarded the SLAMMY Award for Superstar of the Year, defeating perennial favorite John Cena.

In a race decided solely by fans using the WWE App, Bryan received 35% of hundreds of thousands of votes, edging out five other Superstars for the night’s highest honor by just 0.5% of the vote.
With momentum, Daniel Bryan moved into the new year with the Yes! Movement behind him. When he was excluded from the 2014 30-man Royal Rumble Match, with the winner receiving a Main Event match at WrestleMania, fans took to Twitter to loudly voice their discontent.

Bryan, who had competed earlier in the evening, tweeted his fans:

With this tweet, Bryan’s popularity exploded, prompting the Seattle Seahawks to celebrate their Super Bowl victory with the Aberdeen, Wash.-native's signature Yes! catchphrase. (seen at right)

College and professional teams around the country would also do the same to celebrate momentous moments, including the Michigan State Spartans, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Penguins (which Bryan later recorded video for). The YES! Movement even inspired a USA Today feature on sports teams and their fans adapting Bryan's affirmation as their rallying cry.

On the March 10th episode of Monday Night Raw, Bryan occupied the ring until he was entered into the main event of WrestleMania 30. His efforts prompted #OccupyRaw to trend worldwide three different times throughout the show’s three hour broadcast and eventually lead to his presence in and victory at WrestleMania 30 (seen below).

The social media engagement around the Yes! Movement helped propel WWE Monday Night Raw to be a Top 5 most-social prime-time TV series in early 2014, and made Raw Monday night's No. 1 most-watched cable prime-time series for seven consecutive weeks in March and April 2014.

The Yes! Movement also elevated Bryan's own social media activity. From October 2013 to April 2014, Bryan saw a 2179% increase in engagements with his Facebook and Twitter channels (to 3.34 million) from the previous six-month period, and a 663% increase in potential social impressions (to 59.5 million).

Bryan also shows a more personal side of his outside-the-ring life on the hit E! Network series Total Divas, appearing with his new wife, Brie Bella, who were married just after WrestleMania 30.

The New WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan addresses the proud members of The "Yes!" Movement. 

As the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan’s Yes! Movement continues to excite fans around the world!

"It wasn't just a word. It wasn't just a hand gesture," said Bryan, the day after WrestleMania. "It's about the power each and every one of us have to make change. And because of your power ... I stand here as the new World Heavyweight Champion!"    

Is Bryan the Sports Social TV Entertainer of the Year?  

Most definitely, YES! 


Get caught up on the history of the "Yes! Movement" thanks to this explainer video detailing the rise of Daniel Bryan. 




The ten-person WWE Social Media Team has a myriad of responsibilities in the company, providing Bryan and the entire roster of WWE Superstars the latest social media Best Practices education, encouraging promotion of social corporate responsibility, increasing both WWE brand and personal Superstar brand awareness, and most importantly, encouraging fan-to-Superstar interaction with the most passionate fan base in sports & entertainment, known to us as The WWE Universe.

The team utilizes 11 major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Tout, totaling more than 320 million combined followers.

As such, WWE has become one of the most well-known and influential brands in the social space, more followed and influential than the NHL, PGA, UFC, Nike, Pepsi and Disney.

Based in Stamford, Conn., WWE Social Team members travel to arenas around the globe to create engaging content, interact with fans in real time and consult with our Superstars and Divas on how to best integrate social engagement into their personal and professional lives.


WWE's Social Media Team efforts have led to the following results for WWE and its Superstars in 2013:

  • WWE is the most influential sports brand in social media, as ranked by Klout. We are one of only 14 brands/celebrities with a perfect 99 Klout rating.
  • WWE is ranked amongst the Top 8 Most Social Brands in the World, in the weekly Sprinklr / Dachis Group Social Business Index rankings. (
  • WWE has the most social TV shows on three different TV networks (WWE RAW on USA Network, WWE Main Event on ION TV, WWE SmackDown on Syfy)  (source: SocialGuide)
  • WWE Raw was one of the Top 5 most socially active primetime TV series of 2013. (source: SocialGuide)
  • In an April 2013 study by Nestivity, WWE was ranked amongst the Top 25 Most Engaging Brands on Twitter.
  • WWE and its Superstars have more than 1.3 million social mentions per week, with our shows WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown frequently No. 1 in social media mentions for both broadcast and cable television on their air dates. (Trendrr)
  • WWE's Facebook network, which includes 157 Superstar and brand pages, saw a 79% percent followership gain from 2012 to 2013 with a combined following of 151.7 million Facebook fans.
  • With more than 18 million followers, John Cena is the No. 8 most-followed athlete in the world on Facebook, and the No. 3 most-followed American athlete behind Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He has has more followers than any athlete from the NHL, MLB, NFL, NASCAR, PGA or UFC.
  • 18 WWE Superstars rank in the Top 100 most-followed athletes on Facebook.
  • Posts from WWE's main Facebook Page were seen more than 5.1 BILLION times in 2013.
  • WWE's Twitter network, which includes 192 Superstar and brand accounts, saw a 107% percent followership gain from 2012 to 2013 with a combined following of 76.3 million Twitter followers.
  • 17 Superstars currently have more than 1 million Twitter followers, 40 with more than 500,000 followers, and 86 with more than 100,000 followers.
  • WWE has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers, watching 69 million minutes of original content per month.



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 is broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Munich and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at and For information on our global activities, go to