Winning the title of Miss Universe is the ultimate achievement in the world of beauty pageants. Every year, over 500 million people in more than 190 countries tune in—making it the most prominent and most-watched spectacle in the world.
However, the show's ratings have been steadily falling over the past five years, prompting some to wonder:
"Is there still a need for a primetime pageant in which women parade in evening gowns and skimpy bathing suits before a panel of judges in the hopes that one of them will be declared the winner?"
With such a big reputational hit, the organization wisely decided to rebrand to survive.
In this article, our Fort Lauderdale SEO experts will discuss how the Miss Universe Organization's (MUO) recent rebranding efforts have contributed to the organization's continued success and relevance. So, keep on reading!
The first pageant to crown a "Miss Universe" was the International Pageant of Pulchritude, which debuted in 1926 and ran until its discontinuation in 1935.
In 1952, the title was revived by Pacific Knitting Mills, a California-based clothing company and manufacturer of Catalina Swimwear. Since then, it has evolved into its own pageant, establishing the Miss Universe, Inc. and making the United States its permanent home.
Over three decades later, in 1996, Donald Trump bought the pageant from ITT Corp, rebranded it as the Miss Universe Organization, and moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to New York City. However, in September 2015, Trump sold the entire company to WME/IMG.
As a result of the switch, two extraordinary women—Amy Emmerich as CEO and Paula Shugart as President of the MUO—took control of the organization and have taken the initiative to rebrand the organization's messaging.
"The Miss Universe Organization exists to advocate for a future forged by women. We believe a confident woman can change the world, and the first step is showing up as your beautifully authentic self."
On October 26, 2022, Thailand-based JKN Global Group paid $20 million to acquire MUO from Endeavor Group Holdings-owned IMG Worldwide, establishing Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip as the organization's and market's first transgender woman owner.
"The acquisition of MUO and the licensing rights of the globally-renowned Miss Universe is part of JKN's strategy to propel the company's growth," she said. "The move will also enhance the firm's image as a global content commerce company," she added.
When a company changes hands, it often rebrands entirely, and the Miss Universe Organization is no exception. In light of that, let's take a look at three of the JKN Global Group's rebranding initiatives for the MUO:
JKN Global Group has a massive media and content footprint, including a terrestrial television station digital channel, beauty and wellness product manufacturing, and a content marketing agency.
With the group's takeover, the Miss Universe pageant will be more than just a beauty pageant, focusing on "sustainable business development."
First, JKN Global Group intends to manufacture "Miss Universe Water." Jakrajutatip stated that the water "will make you beautiful," but refused to provide a release date because the product is still in development.
In addition to the traditional revenue streams, the conglomerate expected Miss Universe to bring in money through the following channels:
Pro Tip: Before launching a rebranding campaign, our Fort Lauderdale SEO experts recommend considering the changes that must be made and the areas of business and marketing strategy that will be impacted. You must delegate specific tasks to team members, such as design decision-making and public relations.
The MUO opened its doors to transgender women for the first time in 2018 when Miss Spain, 27-year-old Angela Ponce, broke barriers during the 66-year-old competition held in Bangkok, Thailand.
This daring rebranding move has elicited positive and negative reactions from pageant fans worldwide. But one thing is for sure: it marked the beginning of a new era of equality and inclusivity for the organization.
Almost five years later, with JKN Global Group's purchase of MUO, the Miss Universe pageant has taken its advocacy for equality and inclusivity to new heights by giving the fans another spectacle to "enjoy."
In a recent announcement, MUO boldly welcomed previously married or divorced women into the competition.
"If you have a husband and you are still beautiful, why will you just stay at home? Show your beauty on stage," Jakrajutatip said.
Pro Tip: Creating an inclusive company is not only the right thing to do; it can also significantly improve your business results. Diverse and inclusive businesses outperform their homogeneous competitors in innovation, employee retention, talent recruitment, profit, and other business metrics that contribute to long-term growth.
Following the announcement of its new ownership, the Miss Universe organization unveiled its new Mouawad crown last December 19, reportedly worth $6 million, to be used in the 2022 Miss Universe pageant.
The new 'Force for Good' crown is part of the MUO's rebranding initiative and represents the "new emblem of beautifully confident."
Fourth-generation co-guardian Fred Mouawad, a crown rich in symbolism, presented the new Miss Universe Mouawad crown.
Featuring a royal blue sapphire weighing 45.14 carats, it symbolizes "goodness and hope for a brighter future." The waves of white diamonds and blue sapphires, totaling 48 carats, represent "the need for any call of change repeated across time."
Pro Tip: A new logo or symbol represents your company's rebranding efforts and its new brand identity. It must convey the most recent events within the organization. Hence, a brand-new logo or symbol communicates the company's identity, future objectives, positioning, and point of differentiation.
If you're ready to embark on a rebranding journey, follow the expert advice our Fort Lauderdale SEO experts provide to get the most out of your investment.
Change is never easy, but it can be much more fun with the right strategy and mindset.
In fact, rebranding can and should be one of your company's most exciting and rewarding initiatives.
With Digital Resource, you'll discover opportunities you had yet to learn existed. And you will give your team, clients, and prospects new reasons to believe in you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.