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David Risley, Revolutionary Broadway Tech Marketer, Passes Away at Age 53

In 2000, Risley saw an opportunity for Broadway and West End shows to embrace the Internet by developing websites for shows as the marketing tool of a new century.

David Risley, Revolutionary Broadway Tech Marketer, Passes Away at Age 53

Broadway has lost a marketing genius. David Risley, age 53, passed away on February 2nd, 2021. Risley had been working in the Internet arena for over twenty years developing websites and on-line marketing strategies for hundreds of theatrical projects.

A visionary ahead of his time, beginning in 2000, Risley saw an opportunity for Broadway and West End shows to embrace the Internet by developing websites for shows as the marketing tool of a new century. Initially his vision was dismissed by producers, but slowly the industry warmed up to his reasoning that running a weekend ad in The New York Times would cost more than building a website that would run for the duration of a show.

His earlier web designs began on productions for Cameron Mackintosh and Alan Wasser Associates. In 2001, Risley became Director and Executive VP of Tarantula Entertainment, an Internet design outfit in Soho. Their portfolio of websites included such Broadway shows as The Producers, Seussical, The Musical, Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, and The Witches of Eastwick (on the West End). Following that, in 2008 Risley joined Allied Live, as Vice President of their Internet division and then ultimately in 2010, formed his own company, Pit Bull Interactive.

Risley's other passion in addition to Broadway was his unwavering love for animals. An animal rights activist, he helped Broadway Barks co-founders, Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore create a website for their annual animal adoption event held in New York City to promote the adoption of shelter animals. His charitable efforts were extended by his company, Pit Bull Interactive by providing a portion of their profits to pledge for pulls for death row dogs in New York City.

David Risley is survived by his sister Deborah Boyd, and his four nieces and nephews (Julia Boyd, Jacob Boyd, Jeffrey Wheeler, and Maria Shyner). The family feels that the best way to honor David's legacy would be by making a donation to Broadway Barks (www.broadwaybarks.com/) in his name.


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