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Rivals Media, OnSite To Roll Out Place-Based Ad System

Posted On: 4/30/2009

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Rivals Media, OnSite Networks, On-Premise Advertising, Location-Based Promotion, Place-Based Advertising, Interactive Media, Digital Advertising, Coin-Op, Vending, Vending Machine, Jukebox, Pinball, Videogame, Brady Distributing, Chris Brady, Nick Montano

A group of geographically diverse equipment distributors has formed a partnership to market an interactive advertising and promotional product, initially targeting sports bars and taverns. Nine leading U.S. distributors have united under a limited liability company, called Rivals Media, to build a nationwide interactive network, which officially rolled out in late April...

Rivals' advertising product is based on a specialized media application that wraps customizable content around commercial programming on HDTVs. The media network was created by Chicago-based OnSite Networks Inc., which in turn has partnered with the coin-op distributors to get sports bars connected. OnSite has designated Rivals as its representative for the sports bar and coin-op sphere.

Rivals spokesman Chris Brady of Brady Distributing Co. observed that OnSite requires an efficient method to bring its product to market. "They understand what the market wants to watch and what locations need for promotion," he said. "And our industry provides them with a direct 'route' to that market."

By using distribution's existing salesforce, Rivals is seeking to accelerate the network's growth. Distribution's main customer base, independent operators, could be the fastest conduit to the bar market. Rivals' combined operator customer base could potentially represent tens of thousands of venues ideally suited for OnSite content.

"OnSite is committed to coin-op," Brady said. "And it's the best route to the market. Its focus should be on technology development and national advertising sales. We can build the network and work with operators to deploy the system."

The OnSite Network went live in January 2007 on screens in Chicago, Orlando, FL, and New York City. A year later, it was running in 70 venues and in seven cities, reaching more than 1.25 million viewers and making an estimated 3.75 million impressions a month, according OnSite. The Brady organization, which had begun studying the OnSite a year ago, will begin its deployment in June

In addition to Brady, which covers the Southeast, the Rivals group consists of American Vending Sales in Illinois and New Jersey; C.A. Robinson, with offices in southern and northern California; Colorado Game Exchange, which serves the Mountain states; East Coast Distributing in New England; H.A. Franz, which represents Texas and Oklahoma; Moss Distributing and Shaffer Distributing, both with strong presences throughout the Midwest; and Specialty Coin in the Pacific Northwest.

Rivals Media is the latest industry concern seeking to strengthen coin-op's position in the emerging interactive place-based advertising category, and its business model allows the operator and distributor to participate in the new revenue stream.

Last year, TouchTunes acquired Barfly Interactive Networks, which also operates a digital media network on existing TVs in bars., another Chicago-based media company, has partnered with AMI Entertainment and Merit to deliver its proprietary IP/TV technology to bars. Ecast is betting that its interactive EQ jukebox, built around a giant 40" vertically oriented touchscreen, can bolster its onsite advertising initiatives.

"Rivals has a great opportunity," Brady said. "We believe we have something that presents growth for the coin-op industry."

According to Brady, the Rivals-OnSite out-of-home media business offers operators the best revenue share compared with other products. While he did not disclose percentages, he suggested that the OnSite model provides specific advantages and unambiguous parameters about revenue stream.

Brady also noted that the OnSite system is available nationwide for all markets. To kick start the rollout, and for a limited time, operators can equip their locations with the product with no upfront investment. Information is available from any of the distributorships in the Rivals Media group.