I want an official Broadway hat.

If you’re producing a show, then you should have merch.  I don’t care how small of a show it is, or where it is, or even what it is.  With the cost of production so cheap these days, everyone should at the very least slap their logo on a t-shirt and sell it.

Every single up-and-coming rock band does it . . . why shouldn’t your show?

You’ll sell some.  Guaranteed.  More often than not, a show’s merchandising arm is a lot more profitable than the show itself!

But that’s not what this blog is about.  Let me try and get back on point.

We all know that “Broadway” is its own brand.  It’s a magical special place that so many people aspire to be a part of . . . whether in the audience or on the stage.

And it should have its own “official” MBL, NBA or NFL-like merch line. But not just for the individual shows (that’s taken care of by those individual shows).  I’m talking about a merch line for Broadway in general.

Think Broadway t-shirts, mugs, snuggies and so on . . . that are set and regulated by our industry and sold on an official site like this.  Maybe some items would just feature our logo . . . and maybe others would feature trademarked Broadway slogans and sayings.

But whatever was on the stuff, it would be part of a marketing message that we would want to get out.  And we’d also make a few bucks in the process!

Merchandising is magical.  Because it’s almost always profitable (when managed correctly), and it markets whatever you’re selling at the same time.

Broadway is in the unique position over other industries, because the industry itself has a brand.

Now we just have to take advantage of it.

 

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Comments
  • Broadway Bob says:

    Ken, as far as I know, the NFL, MLB or NBA does not produce merchandise highlighting the league itself. For example, each item in the MLB online store you link to is affiliated with a team. There’s no t-shirts which just say “MLB” or are advertising baseball.

    In sports each individual team is responsible for their own merch (much like Broadway shows). However because the leagues (MLB, NBA etc) legally maintain a level of control and ownership over their franchises, they co-brand the items and get a piece of profits.

    Since Broadway shows are not franchisees of The Broadway League, this set up does not exist. And it’s more advrangeous to Broadway producers because they don’t have to share their profits with an extra party.

    So I have to disagree with your post. Because the NBA, MLB etc are not doing for their leagues what you’re suggesting Broadway does.

  • Wayne Paul says:

    Would actors/playwrights/directors etc. be subjected to random drug testing as well?

  • Cara says:

    I LOVE IDEA!!

  • CJ Scott says:

    While Bob does make a good point, it sounds to me like another division of Davenport Enterprises.

    I’m thinking the designs may need to be generic, faux signage or for shows that don’t actually exist or simply stylistic. Think out of copyright classics and fairytales that have been done on stage, like a book cover. You could have some fun with it doing parodies maybe.

    Just colorful, generic signage/marquis, posters or the visual phantasmagoria of Times Square, both day and night, even psychodelic.

    Make another a game of ‘Name the Show’ with set pieces, props, costumes or famous scenes; either all from the same show and different ones. Like charms on a bracelet.
    Silhouettes of actors on stage, in posses or other recognizable imagery.

    Shirts, hats, magnets, scrapbooking items.

    Then do a whole Off-Broadway series too.

    Obviously the green Broadway street sign as a key chain and lapel pin. Do another street sign with drama/musical/theatre ahead.

    Seek the theatre owners out to use their names and likenesses. You could do a map or just the two street signs on top of each other as a locator for each theatre. Make it look like a map from the internet with the little labeled locator pins and the list to the side.

    Offer everything to the shops around town, on the net and other’s websites.

    Do or do not.

  • CJ Scott says:

    I (HEART) Broadway.
    No doy!

  • CJ Scott says:

    No doy!
    I (HEART) Broadway.

  • Charlie Fink says:

    Every production should have merch? You’ll make money from it? Hahahahahaha. Theatrical hyperbole. Bolderdash. I hope no foolish frosh reads that and believes it. The truth is, if you go into the t shirt business for a show in a small off-broadway house you’re going to end up with a closet full of t shirts you’ll eventually give to good will. The odds of making money from shirts are even lower than the odds of making money from the show. Where’s the truth teller Ken? I like that model the best 😉

  • Barry Reszel says:

    I agree with your thoughts, Ken. Broadway is itself a brand, and people would buy Broadway merchandise, I believe. I was surprised, on a recent trip to NY, to see so little Broadway attention thrown at tourists (other than via the stows themselves).

    I disagree with the comment comparing Broadway to the pro sports leagues. Here’s why…those leagues are made up of unchanging teams, and most sports fans’ loyalties lie with the team brands, not with the league’s. Not so for Broadway, where fans are of the theatrical experience AND the shows themselves.

    To the Broadway brand overall, I don’t know the legalities involved, but as a Chicagoland musical-theatre reviewer, I’m harder on and oft-disappointed in the “Broadway in Chicago” touring companies that come through the city. Many non-Equity shows come through under that label…I fear the “Broadway” brand outside of NY is being harmed. Obviously, in NY, that’s not the case; two weeks ago, my daughter took in six shows in four days (Pippin, Kinky Boots, Once, Annie, Chicago and Newsies) and left without disappointment in talent or production quality displayed in any of the six.

    Great topic and terrific idea. As someone above suggested, a “Davenport Enterprises” Broadway shop would have to be a hit!

  • Marty Neider says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! I would buy a hat in a “New York Minute!” If the Broadway League doesn’t jump on this, they are nuts! Tourists would buy merch just to show the folks back home that they were in that magical land, called “Broadway.” I really hope someone is listening. I agree with CJ Scott and Barry Reszel in their comments. Broadway has to stop thinking only of “their” community and realize how much the rest of the country looks up to, and longs to be a part of that magic.
    Thanks for listening.

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