A promotional pact struck by producers of Broadway tuner “Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark” and cabler Syfy reps a significant step in efforts to reach beyond the traditional theatergoing demo with the musical.
The average Broadway theatergoer, who’s older and female, may have her doubts about a comicbook spectacle with rock music. But the fans of genre entertainment who gravitate to Syfy seem a natural fit for the superhero title.
The selling of “Spider-Man” is no small concern for a musical with a sky-high capitalization — some $60 million, the highest in Broadway history — and a supersized weekly running cost that approaches $1 million per week. To be profitable, the show will need to log consistent, top-dollar sales for many months.
Syfy will air commercials, promos and teasers for the musical and also offer tickets to the musical as prizes for online contests. Tie-ins to “Spider-Man” can also be expected in relation to reality skein “Hollywood Treasures.”
Such advertising opportunities — on a network available in more than 95 million homes — rep a sizable advantage for a show on Broadway, where the majority of offerings keep marketing efforts focused on the tri-state area, at least initially. Syfy deal offers an instant boost to the show’s national footprint, launching early outreach to the out-of-town auds that keep long-running Broadway hits alive.
Meanwhile, “Spider-Man” ad material has already begun to feature Syfy.
According to Blake Callaway, Syfy’s senior veep for brand and strategic marketing, the link to a buzzworthy, genre-straddling project like “Spider-Man” helps solidify the cabler’s identification with imagination-centric projects.
Pact marks a rare pairing of a Broadway show and a national cable network. Only previous example is the 2007 team-up of musical “Legally Blonde” and MTV, which aired the full musical multiple times, followed in 2008 by a reality-skein casting competish.
Producers of “Blonde” see that exposure as one factor in the musical’s success on the road, with the national TV berth helping to build awareness for the show among theatergoers outside New York.
“Spider-Man” also has a couple more pre-existing aud bases that it has yet to tap. It can reach out to aficionados of the Marvel comicbooks in which the title character originated, as well as fans of rock band U2. U2 frontman Bono and guitarist the Edge penned the “Spider-Man” score.
The promotional link with Syfy is expected to continue well after the show’s January opening, Callaway noted.
“We’re seeing this as a long-term partnership,” he said. “Kind of the opposite of movie marketing.”
After a rocky financial road to capitalization, the ambitious, stunt-heavy musical recently delayed the start of previews until Nov. 28 to allow for extra technical rehearsal.
Helmed by Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), musical is now set to open at the Foxwoods Theater Jan. 11.