Like many good business ideas, Lee McAteer’s company was borne out of a need that no one else appeared to cater for.
In this particular case, he found it difficult to grapple with affordable flight and accommodation packages to attend wrestling events across the world.
But instead of despairing that he could not watch his favourite sport the way he wanted, he channeled his inner Hulk Hogan and created a business out of it – discovering in the process that there were thousands out there who also sought such travel packages and experiences.
Now he enjoys a slice of the billion-dollar World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) pie after launching the Wrestling Travel company which creates bespoke packages to the world’s best wrestling events.
Lee McAteer with professional wrestler ‘Lana’ (real name Catherine Joy Perry)
Discounted deals for groups as well as custom deals can be arranged, but Lee admits there’s demand from many honeymoon couples as well.
He said: ‘We’ve had a lot of honeymoon couples believe it or not. We’ve done a lot of cool things for honeymoon couples but if I told my girlfriend I’d be dumped, but a lot of people do it.’
Singles are catered for as well. Lee explains: ‘We host events so that people can get to know each other.
‘There’s lots of single people that want to go to these events.
‘When you look at our tickets, hotel packages it becomes a community play where people find a sense of belonging rather than them coming on their own.
‘They become completely immersed into the wrestling culturally.’
Wrestling Travel has also catered to those who’ve wanted to extend the trip as part of a holiday and included extra tourist excursions.
Lee says: ‘It’s not something we openly advertise but we try and work out what they want to do and instead of pigeonhole them we try and cater to them.’
This isn’t Lee’s first venture into entrepreneurship. He currently owns and manages 30 brands that forms part of his Invasion Camp Group, which is a mix of summer camp, gap year and tour companies aimed at British millennials. It turned over £5million in 2018.
He is also associate director of Tranmere Rovers Football Club.
His next plans are to cater for Mixed Martial Arts fans. ‘We are now looking to launch in MMA side of the operation in April 2019 as there is demand for that too.’
When asked for advice for other would-be entrepreneurs Lee says it’s all about doing what you enjoy.
He adds: ‘The way I see it is if you love what you do then you never work a day in your life so combining hobbies and passions into a business is never a bad thing.’
Seven WrestleMania facts
WrestleMania 1 was held in Madison Square Garden in New York on 31 March 1985. It’s since grown in popularity with 80,000 people expected to attend Wrestle Mania 35.The WrestleMania attendance record is 101,763 at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas for WrestleMania 32.Nearly 1.6million fans have attended WrestleMania since its inception in 1985In all WrestleMania matches that Hulk Hogan has wrestled he has only been pinned twice (both of which have only been in Toronto, Canada).Royal Rumble 2019 winner, Seth Rollins is the first WrestleMania Main Event winner that is younger than WrestleMania itself. He will challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 35 on Sunday, 7 April 2019Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels fought the longest match set at one hour, one minute and 52 seconds.The Rock won the shortest match in WrestleMania history, crushing Erick Rowan in six seconds in WrestleMania 32.
Source: Wrestle Travel and WWE.com