USA Today targets theater fans through dedicated app

USA Today has rolled out a mobile application for the upcoming Tony Awards that lets theater fans stay up-to-date with news and buy show tickets.

The USA Today Broadway’s Best app is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. American Airlines is sponsoring the app.

“This is part of a broader mobile strategy and leveraging USA Today’s reach in mobile and tablet,” said Matt de Ganon, vice president of mobile product and operations at Gannett Digital, Washington.

“USA Today’s content is deep within many areas – sports, tech, travel, money, life, etc.,” he said.

“This great content can be packaged around themes to tent pole events that have short lifetime. The Tony Awards is an example of this type of event. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. We don’t expect them to get a million users, but can count on a percentage of USA Today readers downloading and using this as a crown jewel for a broader, multi-platform package around these events.”

Mobile magic
The app serves as a hub for information and content for the Tony Awards, which will air on June 9.

Users can read USA Today reviews of Broadway plays, musicals and performances and browse through the nominees in the award show’s top 14 categories. Photos and videos from the productions are also available via the app.

The app also includes a virtual ballot that consumers can fill out their picks for the awards show.

Social media is also integrated into the app under the Socialize tab. The section aggregates tweets from some of the biggest sources for Broadway news, including Playbill and

Consumers can then buy tickets to their favorite shows via the app from companies such as Ticketmaster and American Airline’s sponsorship includes a mention of the brand on the splash page when the app is first opened.

Additionally, there are in-app banner ads from American Airlines that promote the new image of the brand.

When consumers tap on the ad, they are directed to American Airline’s mobile site where they can learn more about American Airlines’ merger with US Airways and how it affects travelers.

Companion apps continue to be used by marketers to connect mobile and television, but what is unique about the USA Today app is the focus on content leading up to the awards show.

Read more at Mobile Marketer

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