Retailer Joins in Showtime’s Britney Blitz


Showtime has leaned into the retail community to help support its upcoming HDTV Britney Spears concert special, striking a promotional pact with the For Your Entertainment chain.

As part of an overall multimedia effort, the premium network hopes to lure more people into its tent via a $25 gift card offer from FYE, which has 850 outlets in 47 states. Showtime will provide new cable and satellite subscribers who sign up for service before the show with gift cards that can be used at the retail outlets or online at

The live show premieres at 9 p.m. ET on March 28 from American Airlines Arena in Miami, as part of Spears’s 2004 “Onyx Hotel” world tour.

Showtime previously floated a $25 gift card for new subscribers at Target Stores.

FYE will tout the concert with in-store materials, including posters, counter cards, shelf talkers and listening/viewing stations.

“It’s Britney Central in the stores,” Showtime senior vice president of marketing and promotion Stephanie Gibbons said last week. “This is win, win, win: great exposure for our event and FYE, which will sell more Britney CDs.”

The concert and FYE gift card will be trumpeted through national cable ads, national and local radio spots, cross-channel avails and direct-mail efforts.

To drive tune-in, Showtime has also developed a national sweepstakes affording one grand-prize winner front row tickets and travel accommodations to Miami.

Showtime will present the show in the 1080i HDTV format. The performance will also mark the network’s first live event telecast in Dolby Digital Surround Sound 5.1.

Gibbons said Showtime viewers are “on the leading edge of entertainment and technology. We’re looking for showcases that fulfill the promise of the technology.”

Early reviews have indicated the tour is heavy on staging and theatrics.

Gibbons said Spears doesn’t only appeal to a young crowd. “This is not just about young kids asking mom and dad to get Showtime to see the show,” she said. “As a pop-culture phenomenon, Britney’s appeal has grown to those 18-plus, and even to people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. This is a major event we want to put on for our viewers and cable and satellite affiliates.”