Mall Giant Westfield Corp. Hires Broadway Producer to Up Entertainment Factor

Those that have marveled at the beauty of the musical The Color Purple on Broadway will likely find that the news of its producer, Scott Sanders, leaving the production as somewhat of a shock, especially due to where he is going.

Sanders, who owns a self-named production company in New York, sold the group to Westfield Corporation, a global commercial real estate company specializing in building and operating malls. Coming off winning the “Best Musical Revival” Tony Award for his theatrical version of the The Color Purple, Westfield hopes Sanders will be a great fit for their first-ever Creative Head of Global Entertainment.

This acquisition does not relieve Sanders of his connections with his namesake brand or its productions. In fact, as part of the business deal, according to Westfield, Sanders will be in charge of “creating immersive entertainment and experiential events destined for Westfield properties around the globe,” which will bring an element of entertainment to the shopping sector. Carol Fineman, announced as the Vice President and Producer of Theatrical Productions for Westfield, will be the overseer of stage productions promised to be displayed within various shopping malls.

Sanders has an history of producing astounding stage productions, which previously include a number of Radio City Music Hall performances and the unforgettable production of Michael Jackson’s Super Bowl XXVII halftime show in 1993. His creative imagination has earned him the reputation for innovative, out-of-the-box thinking, and he plans to utilize those very skills to provide entertainment experiences to shoppers and patrons in their malls so that they can enjoy shopping with a bit more flair.
Sanders will be responsible for incorporating the entertainment value of stage and short-form live productions into the general mall shopping experience, making the production possibilities endless. According to Peter Lowy, Co-CEO of Westfield “Scott’s talent and experience will help us create compelling new content and entertainment. Live events and entertainment have always been critical to Westfield and Scott will provide a new dimension to our approach and help us further our engagement with our consumers.”

While malls are traditionally thought of as a place to purchase goods and spend time with family and friends, fashion and entertainment do in fact intertwine delicately. That is why Sanders and Westfield are very excited about introducing food, television, dance and all forms of entertainment into the malls in order to utilize the space imaginatively. In fact, Sanders hopes to include late night and weekend productions that could allow the mall to be used after-hours for varying purposes.

Within the structured acquisition deal, Sanders’ production company maintains “embedded rights” to a large collection of Broadway and motion picture productions, including Coal Miner’s Daughter and Tootsie, with more stage titles to be announced at a later date.

All in all, Westfield has developed quite a plan to convert their international mall spaces into entertainment venues that Sanders’ talent will use to compel audiences to think of shopping as an innovative, creative, inspiring and multi-dimensional experience rather than a money–spending errand.