The Show Must Go On

by Tal Leeds ― May 07, 2019

On a Friday before a holiday weekend, most of us would probably keep a close eye on the clock, counting down the minutes to our three-day weekend. But not Cirque du Soleil. At the world’s largest theater producer, weekends mean just one thing: it’s showtime! While everyone else is ready to lay back and relax, Cirque’s employees are working hard staging world-class entertainment. From the casts and crews to the executives and marketers, everyone must work seamlessly and in sync to amaze audiences with their incredible acrobatic shows. 

So when the ticketing website for their Blue Man Group shows crashed on the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend, not just any team would do. They needed developers that could quickly and seamlessly integrate with their own. Peak season ticket sales in more than half a dozen top tourist venues [including New York, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas] were on the line and there was no time to lose. Lia Borzych, Blue Man Group’s Digital Strategist recounts: “We had to react quickly...  [we asked ourselves] who would be able to provide something quickly, well done, fast communication…?” Their answer was Cortex. They called and within minutes we were addressing Cirque’s problem and coming up with a solution. 

Within minutes, Cortex’s team settled on a solution and jumped into action to make sure users could purchase tickets and access promotional deals. As Borszych recalls, “through that telephone conversation, we quickly started... a [discussion between] our team [and] Cortex...to allow them to draft up this splash page.” Before long, Cortex was hosting a new mirror site where they could start directing ticketing traffic. Despite the challenging circumstances and high traffic demands, the ticketing challenge was solved. The Blue Man Group audiences got their tickets, the shows continued as planned, and Cirque earned those all-important holiday revenues. 

But that wasn’t the end of it. As it turned out, Blue Man Group’s aging Drupal site had unexpectedly lost access to their ticketing API. With a new website based on Sitecore already in the works, Cirque and Cortex realized that they could not go back to the Drupal site. This short-term solution would now become an intermediate one. What started out as a simple splash page evolved into a micro site. This way, users could access more content and offers and the marketing team’s segmented paid media campaigns and email marketing promotions could stay in tact. 

Just as before, Cortex was with in lock step with Blue Man Group and Cirque. There was no lag or delay. They just jumped right in and knew right what to do. Cortex instantly became their innovation department - integrating and plugging into their work structure in practically no time. “It was very, very, very seamless in terms of an experience,” said Borzych. “I think they work very openly… they’re receptive to the clients needs...and they’re also ready to come up with solutions when time is of the essence.” She adds, “They’re up to speed with understanding what issues a business can face, but also they are very knowledgeable in what they do in the digital space, so it didn’t take us too much back and forth and explanations as well, so that’s always super useful, super helpful for us.” Thanks to the microsite Cortex created, the rest of the season carried on without a hitch during peak season. The solution allowed Blue Man Group to continue running while developers within Cirque rushed to complete their site a few months later.

What started as an emergency situation has now become the foundation of a strong partnership. In Lia’s words: “We were faced with something urgent that would impact our end users and business... we partnered together in order to achieve an end-goal. And I think we surpassed... that end goal...through open lines of communication. Cortex provided great customer service… they were always open to whatever we were proposing...even within short time frames...they always accepted the challenges that we set forward for them.” Today, that relationship continues with fresh slate of development projects (we’d tell you, but it’s still a secret!).

Do you need a team you can trust to quickly and seamlessly integrate with your own? Do you need  to deliver a high-quality product on a tight schedule? Contact us now and we can get started right away!

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