Daktronics invests $6 million in AMN

By Carolyn Braff
Arena Media Networks, owner of the largest network of flat-panel digital displays in stadiums and arenas in the nation, has just received an impressive vote of confidence, to the tune of $6 million, from Daktronics. The investment in AMN aims to boost sales, services, and media revenues for both parties.
Daktronics is a world leader in the manufacturing of digital displays, says Art Williams, co-CEO of Arena Media Networks. They ve been a very successful company and as a business, they re looking for other outlets that have synergy with their core business to partner with. Being that we re in the digital display business, we become a natural fit.
Although specific parameters of the partnership have yet to be determined, there are limitless possibilities for joint ventures between the two companies. Mark Steinkamp, marketing and sales support manager for Daktronics, pointed to the ability to offer advertisers more visibility by integrating ads between arena scoreboards and concourse displays as one way in which the new partnership might take shape. He also mentioned using AMN s existing network of advertisers to boost Daktronics sports marketing division.
On the AMN side, the company looks to gain a technological advantage from the partnership, through having access to new Daktronics technologies, like the ProCast LCD that offers enhanced brightness and visibility.
We hope to be able to bring to the table the best technology available on a going forward basis, Williams said. As technology evolves, which it does so often, having the leader in the design of these screens behind us allows us to offer cutting edge solutions for anyone that we do business with. The ability to have a think tank of what the next generation of technology will be is of tremendous value to our business. It allows us to stay ahead of the curve.
Although terms of the agreement currently do not reach beyond Daktronics $6 million equity investment in AMN, the influx of capital allows AMN to expand and advance its network through increased equipment sales and an extended reach into related markets.
There are a lot of digital place-based media companies out there today, and the fact that Daktronics chose us is a great endorsement to the business model that we ve created in terms of the type of network that it is, and the value proposition that we bring to investors, Williams said.
Daktronics has installed tens of thousands of electronic scoreboards, computer-programmable displays, and large screen video displays and control systems in more than 70 countries across the globe. AMN, a national company, has installed its flat-panel digital displays in 22 baseball, hockey, and basketball venues from coast to coast. The company allows advertisers to purchase advertising time on the screens, which have full audio and video capabilities. Ads are interspersed with real-time programming, including live scores, statistics, news, and weather updates. AMN can target specific audiences by customizing the activation schedules in each arena, and may interrupt the predetermined schedules at any time to change the content being displayed on any given screen in any of the facilities in which AMN s boards are displayed.