Bringing the Bronx to Broadway
The Bronx and Broadway have a surprising history together. In 1919, Bronx-based baseball team The New York Yankees bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox so that the owner of the Red Sox could finance the musical hit No, No, Nanette. But this time it is the Yankees taking centre stage on Broadway with the new play that is inspiring sports fans to visit the Great White Way to see Bronx Bombers.
Often sports and theatre are split into two separate groups. There are die-hard sports fans who would never consider going to the theatre and there are die-hard theatre fans who would never consider going to a sports match. But there is actually a large group in the middle who are looking for some entertainment whether it be theatrical or sporty.
What if I told you there was a new offering coming to Broadway that would highly satisfy this sizeable group in the middle who would be quite happy going to either a sports match or the theatre? What if I told you that this new production was being produced by a legendary sports marketer? Are you as excited as I am . . . very few people probably get as excited as I am by this news, but I’m about to prove why you should be excited.
Bronx Bombers, a play centred around celebrated Yankees catcher, outfielder and sports manager Yogi Berra, is being produced by celebrated sports marketer Tony Ponturo alongside Fran Kirmser. A team which has presented two previous sports themed plays on Broadway including 2010’s Lombardi which grossed $9.3 million over a limited run of 244 performances. And let me tell you, the marketing influence really shows!
Borrowing an approach from the sports industry, the entertainment doesn’t start when the curtain goes up. In fact it doesn’t even start when you walk in the door of the theatre to find your seat. It begins the second you step foot in the lobby with a number of themed attractions specifically designed to enhance the consumer experience.
These lobby attractions include autograph signings, memorabilia auctions and talks from involved parties. But standing above these attractions is the most innovative of them all . . . an immersive museum.
Through a partnership with Steiner Sports, Bronx Bombers will create a museum in the lobby featuring treasured Yankees collectibles and one-of-a-kind pieces from the team’s history. A feature which will surely enhance the consumers’ experiences as they explore the history of the team on the way into the performance.
And if that isn’t enough to bring sports fans to the theatre, it will at least present as an appealing option for theatregoers who want to bring their sports-obsessed partners along with them.