SOURCE: Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group

January 05, 2011 05:00 ET

Willy Burkhardt Named President of Blue Man Productions

Seasoned Media-Entertainment Executive Augments Leadership Team in Drive to Expand Business and Enhance Core Brands

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 5, 2011) - Blue Man Productions has named Willy Burkhardt as president of the company, effective immediately, joining co-founders Chris Wink and Phil Stanton in helping to set the overall direction of the company. As president, Burkhardt will focus his efforts on the core aspects of the company's future growth initiatives including the development of new content franchises, the creation of new business platforms, expansion of the company's international operations and enhancements to the marketing and overall customer experience of its core theatrical business.

Burkhardt's appointment as president furthers the company's renewed cycle of growth and development launched last year with the introduction of GF Capital as an investor in the business. Having secured growth capital from GF Capital, Blue Man Productions is now well positioned to augment and strengthen its core business while exploring new avenues of development. Burkhardt, whose expansive background in television, digital media, marketing and brand-building, is an important next step in the company's development plans.

"We are very excited about bringing Willy onto our team," said co-founder Chris Wink in making the announcement today. "Willy adds a special mix of both creative talent and business acumen which we feel is essential for driving the successful growth and development of our staff and our business."

"Blue Man Group is an innovator and iconic presence in the media and entertainment landscape in the United States and in select markets around the globe. I am looking forward to working with the team to create dynamic experiences for our audience members and fans across a wide array of media platforms," said Burkhardt. "For twenty years, the company has been at the forefront of linking together music, technology, art, innovation and pure 'wow.' I am looking forward to driving us further along this path for the next 20 years."

Co-founder Phil Stanton added, "Willy's love of the theater combined with his track record of expanding the cross-platform reach of established brands and developing new franchises from the ground up provides a compelling fit with how and where we want to build the business in the future."

Burkhardt has spent most of his career in the media and entertainment industry. He spent five years with ESPN, where as an executive vice president and member of the Board, he was responsible for all of ESPN's business activities outside the United States and oversaw ESPN's brand extensions and new business development in the United States. Most recently, he was president of Sportsman Channel and executive vice president of television and digital media at InterMedia Outdoors. Since 1998, Burkhardt has been responsible for the launch of more than 12 new television networks, has written or produced eight new television series and led the development of numerous media-branded websites.

From 2004-2005, he was at Team Canada 2010, where he led a successful effort to secure the Canadian media rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games for Bell Globemedia and Rogers Communications. Before that, he was president and COO of Wicks Business Information, LLC, an information and media company.

Burkhardt began his career at McKinsey & Company, Inc., in New York. During a ten-year period, he held several positions within the firm both domestically and overseas focusing on strategy development for media and entertainment companies, with an emphasis on television, film, newspapers, magazines and interactive multimedia.

Burkhardt earned his MBA, with high distinction Baker Scholar, at Harvard University and his bachelor's degree, with honors and high distinction, at Stanford University. He resides in New York City.

About Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group is best known for its widely popular theatrical shows and concerts that combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The blissful party atmosphere created at the live events has become the trademark of a Blue Man Group experience.

Currently, Blue Man Group theatrical shows can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Berlin, Tokyo, and on tour throughout the U.S. and Europe, where it just concluded successful visits to Stockholm and Vienna.

In fall of 2008, Blue Man Group opened Blue School -- a progressive preschool and elementary school in New York City's East Village. Blue School has developed a curriculum for preschool and early elementary grades that places creativity and social-emotional learning at the center of an inquiry-based educational experience.

Audiences have multiple opportunities to discover Blue Man Group through the scope and variety of its creative projects, including:

  • Blue Man Group's headlining performance on the new Norwegian Epic by Norwegian Cruise Line -- the Official Cruise Line of Blue Man Group

  • Blue Man Group family-focused educational projects, including a touring Children's Museum exhibit, "Making Waves" and the Invent an Instrument National Contest, a creative program launched in conjunction with Scholastic that invites students in grades 5-9 to build homemade instruments out of existing objects.

  • Blue Man Group's original music, including the Grammy®-nominated "Audio," as well as four additional albums, and numerous scoring projects for film, TV and commercials

  • Blue Man Group's successful partnerships with Intel, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Swatch, as well as the award-winning TIM campaign currently running in Brazil.

  • Blue Man Group's multiple performances on popular television shows such as The Tonight Show, Ellen, and Regis & Kelly; and unique storylines in "Scrubs" and "Arrested Development"

As the company grows, it remains true to its vision of providing exciting experiences in a variety of media, appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds. Learn more at

Contact Information

  • Press Contact for Blue Man Group:
    Nancy Hirsch
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