Visa U.S.A., the credit card and payment system company known by the bank statements that are sent out to millions of cardholders every month, has just made a major marketing statement on Broadway.
According to company releases, Visa has signed a multi-year marketing partnership agreement with Tony Award Productions, the American Theatre Wing, the League of American Theatres and Producers and SFX Entertainment that establishes Visa as part of the ever-growing "Broadway Brand."
Henceforth, Visa will be the preferred card of Live Broadway (the theatre league's brand identity), SFX theatrical events, and the "only card accepted for the Tony Awards."
Visa said the marketing agreement put Broadway alongside its other premier sponsorship marketing properties that are covered by the popular slogan, "Visa, it's everywhere you want to be."
Broadway will be a major entertainment property in Visa's portfolio, which already includes the Olympics, NASCAR, the National Football League and the Visa Triple Crown. The Visa program will combine national advertising, consumer promotions, online programs and public relations, which amounts to "added exposure for Broadway events and organizations," the company said. SFX Entertainment said that by signing with Visa, cardholders now had "privileged access to the most successful Broadway shows touring across North America."
By way of special preference in the form of hospitality programs and advance ticket sales to the Tony's and SFX shows, Visa cardholders will have the opportunity to purchase seats before the general public, and preferred seating opportunities.
"This agreement with Visa is the first sponsorship to recognize our unparalleled ability to reach avid theater audiences across the country," said Robert F. X. Sillerman, executive chairman of SFX Entertainment. "It also takes advantage of the full flexibility which SFX's marketing programs can offer in the environment of live entertainment, including on site promotion and point-of-sale programs. For our audiences, acceptance of the Visa card offers an easy payment mechanism as well as special access to events and seating. These premium benefits in turn will give Visa a unique opportunity to build brand loyalty on a national scale through these special offerings.''
VISA cardholders will have special access to SFX shows in such key markets as New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
SFX operates an integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally. SFX also develops and manages touring Broadway shows, selling subscription series in 55 markets.
Visa describes itself as the leading card brand and the largest payment system worldwide, with more than 600 million cards accepted at more than 17 million worldwide locations, including more than 500,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa's Internet address is www.visa.com.
-- By Murdoch McBride