Talking about “Out of the Pit” wins two musical theatre fans backstage experiences with Broadway pit musicians

Volume 117, No. 8September, 2017

Alex Chang (center) brought his sister Alison to a backstage tour of “Aladdin,” hosted by Local 802 member and conductor Andy Grobengieser. The tickets and tour were a prize in a social media contest sponsored by Telecharge and Broadway Boosters.

It pays to talk about “Out of the Pit” – two contestants in the June 2017 Broadway Boosters social media competition won amazing behind-the-scenes experiences with Broadway pit musicians by sharing information about the Times Square Alliance’s “Broadway Buskers: Out of the Pit” music series.

A program of the theatrical ticketing company Telecharge, Broadway Boosters is dedicated to building social media buzz around Broadway shows. Every month, Telecharge offers the opportunity for one Broadway show to participate in the Boosters contest. To promote the chosen show, members of the public share content and links on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, Instagram and Tumblr. Each tweet or blog post racks up points for the contestants to win prizes.

But wait, “Out of the Pit” is an outdoor music series, not a Broadway show. How did “Out of the Pit” get selected to participate?

There was a last-minute opening for the June contest, and the Times Square Alliance was thrilled to claim the spot to promote “Out of the Pit”: an outdoor music series that presents weekly spotlights of Broadway pit musicians!

The Boosters program is a great example of how, for the price of a few theatre tickets, musical productions can create fan advocates. Telecharge’s program empowers its biggest musical theatre fans to act as word-of-mouth ambassadors to build excitement and encourage ticket sales by cultivating an online presence for Broadway productions.

Does this social media contest really work? According to Shubert Ticketing, “Word of mouth is the most influential factor in show selection…Broadway Boosters allows us to facilitate word of mouth and leverage our biggest fans in a way that other online ads cannot.”

Since personal recommendations carry more weight than traditional advertisements, fans of Broadway have cited social media posts as the primary motivating factor for choosing which show to attend. With the help of a custom online fan engagement platform (SocialToaster), the Broadway Boosters program has consistently grown since the summer of 2013. By 2014, the Booster support team had grown to over 5,600 fans, who together have the potential to reach over 2.5 million people.

Two Broadway Boosters superfans, Alex Chang and Sara Ross, competed in the contest to see who could spread the most social media buzz about “Out of the Pit” on their social networks. To win, each contestant shared photos, tweets and other social media content with friends and family. Alex and Sara tweeted links to the Local 802 web site, and the Allegro article about “Out of the Pit.” They posted photos of Broadway musicians performing in the series and other content from the Times Square Alliance.

Their hard work paid off. Alex won two tickets to “Aladdin” and a backstage tour with conductor Andy Grobengieser. Alex, who is a marketing student, is a longtime fan of musical theatre. After the show, Alex and his sister Alison were met by Andy at the “Aladdin” stage door. Andy had just finished conducting the show that night, and was happy to escort the siblings around the theatre while sharing anecdotes, Broadway history and a little special effects with the pair of thrilled Broadway fans. Alex and Alison marveled at seeing the “Aladdin” costumes and props up close as they learned how Disney’s magic had made their theatre experience unforgettable!

Coming up next month, we’ll tell you about grand prize winner Sara Ross, who enjoyed a backstage tour of “Hamilton” and a complimentary dinner at Sushi Seki Times Square (365 West 46th Street).

It’s easy to become a Broadway Booster! For more information, visit Thank you, Telecharge and Shubert, for starting such a great program! And thank you, Times Square Alliance, for taking advantage of this amazing opportunity to promote the “Out of the Pit” music series.