New York City —Inside the City’s newly opened Official NYC Information Center, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta was joined by Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin and actors of the Broadway productions Avenue Q and Chicago at a press conference to announce a new marketing and communications effort to stimulate Broadway, one of the foundations of New York City’s visitor industry. With the roster of long-running shows—as well as 19 new Broadway productions debuting over the next few weeks—NYC & Company will launch a new promotional effort to encourage visitors and residents to more actively support the City’s Broadway productions. During the event, Fertitta unveiled a new “Ask New York City about New York City Broadway” ad highlighting the vibrancy of Broadway. A new microsite, nycgo.com/broadway, was also announced today; the site will provide the latest information about Broadway shows and directions to theaters.
“Seeing a Broadway show is central to a visit or experience in New York City,” said Fertitta. “Despite these challenging economic times, New York City continues to present the freshest and most entertaining Broadway content for our visitors and residents to enjoy—we want to encourage tourists and residents now more than ever to support this important element of our visitor industry and to take advantage of the significant talent that exists right here in New York City.”
Close to two dozen Broadway shows will open in the coming weeks, including Guys and Dolls on March 1 (previews begin February 4), Blithe Spirit on March 15 (previews begin February 26), West Side Story on March 19 (previews begin February 23) and Rock of Ageson April 7 (previews begin March 20). For the 2008–09 season, 40 new productions will be presented, compared to 36 during the 2007–08 season and 35 during the 2006–07 season.
“There has never been a better time to see a Broadway show—as we see the normal phase-out of some Broadway shows, we are also seeing fresh new productions and new talent in the community,” said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League. “Now is the time to book your ticket and go see a Broadway show—and in so doing, support one of the cornerstones of our city’s tourism industry.”
In 2008, Broadway saw a record-breaking year, with $941 million in gross sales and 12.32 million paid attendance—that was up from $938 million in gross sales and 12.29 million in paid attendance in 2007 (these figures do not include Young Frankenstein gross sales and paid attendance).
NYC & Company’s new ad promoting Broadway is part of the “Ask New York City about New York City” marketing campaign. A special illustration, developed by NYC & Company creative director Willy Wong, in collaboration with agency of record Bartle Bogle Hegarty, will promote the excitement of Broadway while driving visitors and residents to the City’s newly launched web resource, nycgo.com. Beginning next month, the new artwork, depicting both comedy and tragedy, will appear on street pole banners and bus stop shelters throughout the City while a video spot will appear in taxicabs throughout the City.