Who’s the mayor of the Winter Garden Theater?
Legiters may soon be able to find out, with buzzy social network/geolocation app Foursquare teaming with Broadway marketing agency Situation Interactive to bring Foursquare-based initiatives to a string of Main Stem productions including “The Addams Family,” “Next to Normal,” “Billy Elliot,” “Mamma Mia!” and the two current shows from Disney Theatrical Prods.
The Foursquare push encourages theatergoers to check in with the mobile app at a show’s location to receive production-specific deals, such as discounts on merchandise purchases at “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins.” One potential marketing benefit will come from Foursquare users who share their locations on Facebook and Twitter, thereby launching a social network shout-out for a show to all of a theatergoer’s friends.
The theater industry has kept a careful eye on online and mobile platforms in the last several years: The GPS-enhanced possibilities of smartphones seem a
logical match for the live entertainment of Broadway, which is site-specific to a handful of midtown Manhattan blocks.
Productions already have worked to establish Twitter followers — “Next to Normal,” for instance, attracted attention by tweeting a full version of the musical’s narrative over an extended period of time — in an attempt to take advantage of the marketing potential of social networking. Mobile devices also have begun to play a larger part in the industry’s thinking; a couple of legit apps featuring show listings and ticket-purchase links have recently launched.
Broadway’s experimentation with the geolocation possibilities of apps such as Foursquare looks poised to gain greater prominence in Main Stem marketing this season, according to Situation prexy Damian Bazadona.