Pinned by the panda: World Wrestling Federation changes name
Dealt a body slam by the courts, the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment is changing its name to World Wrestling Entertainment.
The wrestling company cried 'uncle' after a decision by a London court that said only the World Wildlife Fund was entitled to use the letters WWF.
The court ruling prevents the World Wrestling Federation from using the logo it adopted in 1998 and the letters "WWF" in certain circumstances.
The World Wildlife Fund a charity established to protect endangered species such as the giant panda bear has been using the initials "WWF" since 1961. The charity features a panda bear in its logo.
The wrestling company started rolling out its new name and logo on Monday on its television programs.
"Our new name puts the emphasis on the "E" for entertainment, what our company does best," Linda McMahon, the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, said in a release.
"WWE provides us with a global identity that is distinct and unencumbered, which is critical to our U.S. and international growth plans," she said.
But a spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund said the new name and initials for the wrestling federation aren't distinct enough.
"WWF (World Wildlife Fund) was expecting that they would opt for a more distinct name change that would put 'clear water' between our two organizations," WWF International chief operating officer Paul Steele said. "We are still considering the implications of this move from the Wrestlers."
The wrestling federation's stock will, for the time being, still be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "WWF". But that is expected to change as soon as a suitable replacement can be found. The trading symbol "WWE" has already been taken by an exchange-traded fund operated by Morgan Stanley.