American Express and Yahoo! Stage Broadway Site

American Express tapped Yahoo! to host a Web site devoted to Broadway theater, the companies said Wednesday. The site, set to launch Friday, will offer theater buffs show information, ticket sales, news headlines, behind-the-scenes footage, and original show content.

Once the site goes live, it will be promoted across the Yahoo! network, including the Yahoo! home page, Yahoo! Finance, and Yahoo! Entertainment. The site also will be featured on the "Inside Yahoo!" area in Yahoo! Search for relevant search terms, and will be included in relevant areas of Yahoo! News.

The site will be marketed offline as well as online, with offline communications reaching out beyond New York City to promote pre-sales and drive traffic. The first print insertion will break June 5 in support of the launch and the inaugural pre-sale for American Express card members. In a fitting connection to the Great White Way itself, the site's arrival will be heralded with a mega-billboard placement in Times Square, slated to post in June.

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Currently, there are 33 participating shows included on the site, each one with a dedicated page on the site. Visitors to each show page will have access to show information, including plot synopses, cast and production notes, and show-time and ticket information. Those seeking to purchase tickets can follow links to the site's official ticket sellers, Telecharge and Ticketmaster.

The site includes perks available to all cardmembers such as "early-on-sales," or pre-sale of tickets for top shows for which tickets have not yet been made available to the general public. Select cardmembers will have access to "rewards cards"--monetary gift cards with pre-set values--and original cast recordings to books authored by cast members as well as show merchandise. In addition, for select cardmembers, the site will offer premium benefits, from preferred seating to meet-and-greets with Broadway stars.

The site will feature video clips, cast interviews, and still photography of performances. And working with the online version of the established Broadway periodical, Playbill, the Web site will host Broadway-related news, and even gossip. Under the "News" heading on the home page, visitors will be taken to a page where "Recent News" tops off an archive of "More News Articles," where visitors can click from the abbreviated stories through to the full versions.

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