Some Fans Wish David Stern Would Play Dead

June, 19, 2007
6/19/07
4:43
PM ET

Like the head honcho of WWE, perhaps. CNBC's Darren Rovell reports:

Well, just days after announcing they were overhauling their marketing strategy, WWE somehow came up with another idea to get attention in their battle with the likes of mixed martial arts. Fake their chairman's death.

Last Monday, after "Vince McMahon Appreciation Night," he stepped into a limo, which promptly exploded. WWE.com then announced that he was presumed dead since no body was recovered. The organization then went to YouTube and pulled the video, most likely to prevent some sort of video splicing analysis.

I have to admit, I thought it would never work. Maybe you could have done this 15 years ago when the Internet wasn't around, I reasoned, when you couldn't confirm that one major newspaper was reporting his death. But now you can do that. Now you can go to the local paper where the event happened--the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader--and see that despite the limo explosion no emergency vehicles were called, that the blowing up was actually filmed by a pyrotechnics company two days before in the middle of the night and they had permits to conduct the act. And despite the fact that the WWE said the FBI is investigating the accident, the paper also reported that the FBI was never involved.

But I was "dead" wrong. The total page views for June 12, the day after McMahon's "death" were 36.8 million with two million daily unique visitors.

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