WWF: Putting the Mac in Smackdown

The glitter-suited behemoths of the World Wrestling Federation are out to choke-slam the Web. Clips of wrestlers ruling the ring have made WWF.com the Web's third-largest streaming-video site, DBP Webcast Track says.

The WWF's Stamford, Connecticut, offices are predominantly PC. But the six Macs in the new-media department created most of the WWF's Web pages.

Using Macromedia Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, the designers update pages to reflect the action in the ring. The greatest challenge, New-Media Creative Director Paul Magliari says, isn't portraying wrestlers such as The Rock; it's making sure the WWF's female grapplers appeal to a male-dominated audience.

After all, how do you make Trish Stratus strong enough for a tough guy but tender enough for a lonely tough guy?

WWF Vice President for New Media Lee Barstow hopes for a day when the WWF's Web sites supersede its TV presence. As broadband comes online, WWF wants to expand its global reach -- currently 150 countries -- without worrying about foreign broadcast rights. "The story lines and the good versus evil -- it kind of translates into any language," Barstow says.

As does a basic computer question: If a wrestler were to smash a rival over the head with a Mac, would it be an iMac or a G4?

"An iMac," answers Barstow. "It would be more colorful."

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