Getting Broadway a part of Black Friday.

Last Friday, and all weekend, millions of people just like you were online and in line, looking for the best deals on Wiis, Kinects, iPads and more.

Retailers across many industries will see huge spikes in sales thanks to the beginning of the shopping season.

So why don’t Broadway ticket sales spike as well?

Shouldn’t we see an enormous bump in advance ticket sales?  Broadway is such a unique, rare, and emotional experience . . . doesn’t it make the perfect gift?

Yes, of course it does.  Which is why I believe an industry-wide co-op promoting Broadway as a holiday gift could be one of the most significant untapped sales initiatives we have left.

Sure, we’re doing some stuff now, but not enough, and not together.

If you compared the homepage of on Friday with the homepage of, you would have seen quite a difference. TM had one banner ad promoting ticket gift ideas), while Amazon and all the other big retailers were awash with calls to action for holiday gifts on every page.

Of course, a Broadway ticket is never going to be as sought-after as a Wii for a number of reasons (Broadway is limited only to people who can get here, etc.), but there are a bunch more things we can do to spur sales.

Here are three:

  • Why not “No Service Fees on Black Friday”?  And if Telecharge or Ticketmaster didn’t want to offer up the fees, I’m sure 90% of the shows would pay the service fees on full price ticket sales only (remember gifts won’t be used until January, which is when we need these sales more than ever).
  • What about an industry direct mail “catalog” that drops pre-Thanksgiving?  It would be like the Seasons of Savings program we do to spur January sales.  (It’s ironic, isn’t it?  We advertise a big sale for a period of time when people are not in the mood to see shows, yet we don’t do anything during the time when we know people are spending money.)
  • What about show gift cards.  I’m not talking about Telecharge gift cards, or gift cards, I’m talking about show cards.  Like the ones we made for Miss Abigail’s Guide.  Cards from ticketing companies, or department stores, aren’t as personal as a card from a specific brand.  It’s a few pennies to order cards that can be customized with your show logo on them.  Yes, you’ll need to figure out a redemption system, but what sounds more attractive to you as a gift-buyer and a gift-receiver: a Ticketmaster Gift Card or a Jersey Boys Gift Card?  With a bit more negotiation, perhaps we could get these gift cards sold at the checkout counters of other retailers, like Macy’s, etc.  “Would you like a Lion King gift card with that?”

Last year, 41.2 billion bucks were spent over the 4-day Black Friday weekend.

There have got to be ways to get our hands on more of that moolah.  And since the best presents are the things that people may not have purchased for themselves, increasing the opportunities to give tickets as holiday gifts could be one of the best chances we have at finding new audiences.

Related Posts


Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.