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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
Telephone: 212-764-1122
Email: EShevitz@broadway.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CITY’S MARKETING AND TOURISM OFFICE LAUNCHES EXPANDED MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN TO BOOST BROADWAY TICKET SALES IN WAKE OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
January 30, 2009
—NYC & Company Unveils New “Ask New York City About New York City Broadway” Ad

—New Official NYC Information Center Provides Tips, Directions and Updates on Latest Broadway Shows


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 Ages on 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.

Comprehensive information about experiencing Broadway and accessing the latest information on the shows can also be found at the City’s new website, nycgo.com. A special link to Broadway information can be accessed at nycgo.com/broadway. At NYC & Company’s newly opened Official NYC Information Center, Information Specialists can direct guests to neighboring theaters, make recommendations and provide information on the latest shows. These specialists can also help guests use Interactive Map Tables to choose the Broadway show(s) they want to see; guests can then email or send via SMS the listings (including theater addresses and phone numbers) to a mobile device. FAQ kiosks in the center also provide information, including directions, for visitors to the Times Square/Broadway area; this information can be emailed to a mobile device.

About NYC & Company: NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism, and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.

About The Broadway League: The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League’s 600-plus members include theater owners and operators, producers, presenters and general managers in more than 240 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theater industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the US and Canada. Visit broadwayleague.com.