Key Brand Entertainment

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Key Brand Entertainment, Inc. (KBE) is a producer and distributor of live theater in North America, as well as an e-commerce company, focused on theater. KBE was founded in the UK in 2004 by John Gore who is the company's CEO and Owner.

KBE’s assets include Broadway Across America (BAA), the premier theater touring organization in North America,[1][2][3][4] six theaters in Boston, Baltimore, and Minneapolis; interests in NETworks Presentations and The Booking Group, as well as the e-commerce website Broadway.com.[5]

History[edit]

Key Brand is a successor to a number of theatrical production and distribution companies acquired through acquisition and/or merger. These include: Livent,[6] Clear Channel Entertainment, PACE Theatrical Group,[7] Magicworks[8] and others. As such it retains interests in a large number of Broadway productions and various related rights. The company was amalgamated into Broadway Across America under Clear Channel Communication's ownership. [1][2][3][4]

Broadway Across America became a business unit of Live Nation, Inc. following the spin-off of Live Nation from Clear Channel Communications on December 25, 2005.[9] Clear Channel acquired the assets of Live Nation, which principally consisted of live concert venues and amphitheaters devoted primarily to rock music in February 2000.[10] Clear Channel acquired the company under the name SFX Entertainment which was owned primarily by Robert F.X. Sillerman.[11]

SFX Entertainment, in turn, was founded by Sillerman in order to "roll up" businesses associated with live entertainment, principally rock music. He began by acquiring Delsner/Slater Concerts in 1996 and a number of acquisitions followed rapidly thereafter. Sillerman's entry into theater began with the acquisition of PACE Theatrical Group in October 1997.[12] In September 1998, SFX acquired Magicworks Entertainment, Inc.[8][13] This Miami-based company promoted concerts and managed touring events such as magician David Copperfield and musicals Jekyll & Hyde and Evita. It had been a partner of PACE unit PACE Theatricals for some time. PACE, in turn, was controlled by Texas-based theater veteran Allen Becker.[14] Also acquired was production company American Artists, which controlled several theaters in the Boston area including the historic Colonial Theater.[15] Magicworks had been controlled by Lee D. Marshall and Joe Marsh (Lee and Marsh later reunited in the company Magic Arts & Entertainment). The summer of 1999 saw court approval granted for a purchase of the bankrupt Livent (then controlled by Canadian entrepreneur Garth Drabinsky and CAA founder Mike Ovitz), a deal that had been initiated a year earlier. Livent, once one of the premier theatrical production companies, owned such touring shows as Ragtime and Fosse, as well as a number of venues in Canada and the United States. Its bankruptcy had been attributed to widespread accounting fraud.[16] In early 2000 SFX acquired Jujamcyn Productions of Minneapolis, a touring theatrical production company. SFX already owned half of Jujamcyn, acquired through PACE Entertainment.[17]

In addition to the above companies and assets, SFX also acquired (and then sold to Clear Channel) a large number of theatrical and other venues in the UK from Apollo Leisure Group.[citation needed]

On December 16, 2010, Key Brand completed the acquisition of Theater Direct International from Hollywood Media Corp. for an announced price of $43.1 million in cash and other consideration,[18] Theater Direct owns and operates the content-driven e-commerce websites Broadway.com, Theater.com, Theatre.com, and Theatre.co.uk. In May 2012, Key Brand completed the acquisition of BroadwayBox.com, a website for discount theater tickets in New York. That December, Key Brand completed the acquisition of Group Sales Box Office (GSBO), the a group-sales ticket agency.

Awards[edit]

Key Brand Entertainment was awarded several awards:[19][20]

As Broadway Across America
  • Memphis — 2010 Tony Award for Best New Musical; Drama Desk Award
  • La Cage Aux Folles — 2010 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical; Drama Desk Award
  • Hair — 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical; Drama Desk Award
  • Boeing-Boeing — 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play; Drama Desk Award
  • Spring Awakening — 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical in London
  • Passing Strange — 2009 Drama Desk Award for Best New Play
Previously and under different names
  • Spamalot — 2005 Tony Award for Best New Musical (as Clear Channel)
  • Hairspray — 2003 Tony Award for Best New Musical (as Clear Channel)
  • The Producers — 2002 Tony Award for Best New Musical (as Clear Channel)
  • Fosse — 1999 Tony Award for Best New Musical (as Livent)
  • Chicago — 1997 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (as Pace Theatrical)
  • Showboat — 1995 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (as Livent)
  • Kiss of the Spiderwoman — 1993 Tony Award for Best New Musical (as Livent)
  • Fiddler on the Roof — 1991 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (as Pace Theatrical)
  • Gypsy — 1990 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (as Pace Theatrical)
  • Jerome Robbins Broadway — 1989 Tony Award for Best New Musical (as Pace Theatrical)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cox, Gordon (January 24, 2008), "Live Nation sells off theater division", Variety 
  2. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth (January 24, 2008), "Key Brand Entertainment Acquires Live Nation Tour Markets, Plans to Nurture New Work", Playbill, archived from the original on July 6, 2014 
  3. ^ a b Robertson, Campbell (January 25, 2008), "Live Nation Finds a Buyer for its Theater Business", The New York Times 
  4. ^ a b Smith, Alistair (January 28, 2008), "Live Nation theatrical business sale finalised", The Stage 
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew (December 16, 2010), "Key Brand Entertainment Inc. Acquires Broadway.com", Playbill 
  6. ^ "SFX Entertainment to Acquire Livent Assets", Los Angeles Times, (Bloomberg), June 2, 1999 
  7. ^ Robertson, Cambell (April 1, 2007), "A Force in Touring Hits the End of the Road", The New York Times 
  8. ^ a b "Magicworks Is Sold", Sun-Sentinel, August 8, 1998 
  9. ^ Clear Channel Spins Off Live Nation
  10. ^ SFX Sells to Clear Channel, CNNfn, February 29, 2000 
  11. ^ Clear Channel buys SFX: Radio broadcaster to buy concert promoter for $3.3 billion in stock, CNNfn, February 29, 2000 
  12. ^ "SFX Hit With Contract Suit", Billboard Magazine: 8, October 24, 1998 
  13. ^ The Magic is Back! Marshall and Marsh, Magicworks Entertainment Founders, Reunite as Magic Arts & Entertainment, Inc., BUSINESS WIRE, Sept. 4, 2002
  14. ^ Biesada, Alexandra (December 1996), "Pace on Earth", Texas Monthly 
  15. ^ Taylor, Markland (August 11, 1998), "Bound for Boston: SFX subsidiary gains legit house American Artists", Variety 
  16. ^ SFX Corporate History
  17. ^ "Twin Cities-based show producer Jujamcyn is sold to N.Y. giant SFX", Star Tribune, May 11, 2000 . Online archive from NewsBank
  18. ^ Hollywood Media 2010 Special Meeting Proxy Statement Page 2
  19. ^ Broadway World Tony Awards Database
  20. ^ Drama Desk Awards Database

External links[edit]