Lining up Sponsors Corporate sponsorship of theater tours, venues and festivals has been commonplace for years. Individual Broadway shows have been more resistant to the lures of these partnerships, although they do pop up: TWA and "Sunset Boulevard'" Target and "Seussical'" among the few.
This coming season, Broadway looks to host two such marriages: Visa with "Movin' Out" and Mercedes-Benz with "Dance of the Vampires."
Although the company's logo is not part of the Minskoff moniker, Mercedes is already a sponsor of the theater and now looks to link itself with the venue's next tenant.
"The goal would be to integrate Mercedes-Benz's (marketing) with specific aspects of the show in all media," says Jim Russek of Rave! Advertising. "The average age of the Mercedes-Benz owners is 55. That's right up the alley of the theater demo."
The specifics of the Mercedes-Benz/"Vampires" deal have yet to be hammered out. Visa, on the other hand, has very much taken the plunge in its first full sponsorship of a Broadway show, "Movin' Out" by Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel.
"We're anxious to see how it does'," "says Jennifer Hemmer, Visa's director of events and sponsorship marketing. "With Broadway, it is always a guessing game."
Hemmer finds the Tharp/Joel combo especially attractive: "They will appeal to a wider range of theatergoer." Helping facilitate the deal is the show's lead producer, James L. Nederlander, who owns its Broadway venue, the Richard Rodgers Theater.
In addition to an exclusive six-week advance ticket access, Visa has an on-site presence, which it shares with Playbill thanks to the purchase of ads in the periodical. Normally the Playbill logo retains exclusivity inside any theater in which it's distributed.
Ad agency Serino Coyne brokered the Visa/"Movin' Out" deal with Erlick Group, which has put together corporate sponsorships of national legit tours, such as "Mamma Mia" and Olive Garden.
Variety: Noises Off Not Just Kids’ stuff
Author: Robert Hofler