This article is written by Mitch Leathers, senior director of communications for SNA Displays. Mitch has professional experience in business writing, journalism, graphic design, and marketing, and has worked in the digital signage industry for two decades.
As with any industry, we discuss lots of LED display deals with lots of potential clients. Some move forward and become solid, functional projects where everyone’s happy. Others become amazing, even iconic projects that don’t merely produce the desired results but command attention and recognition from the digital signage and audiovisual communities. Those, of course, are the stories we love to tell.
But some deals never move forward at all, owing to a lack of seriousness or a change in direction or—and this is the culprit for so many dead opportunities out there—not enough funds. Let’s talk about this last group, because there’s a viable, low-risk option to get many of these would-be statistics out of the trash bin and into the fraternity of digital signage success stories.
Infusing Cash Through Financing
SNA Displays, in partnership with sister company Infuse Digital, works with prospective clients to finance digital display projects that might otherwise never see the light of day due to insufficient capital, risk-averse investors, or other financial factors that tend to derail projects. These kinds of creative financing solutions often translate to successful buildouts and the fulfillment of some great ideas and designs.
I talked with our president, Dennis Hickey, about the funding hurdles and how to clear them. Dennis has been grinding in the signage industry for well over two decades and has guided SNA Displays to be one of the leading LED display manufacturers in the industry.
“Oftentimes, clients will come to us with a really good idea, an exciting project they need not only expertise but also capital to get off the ground,” he said. “We leverage our manufacturing capabilities, engineering, project management expertise, and general knowledge about our industry to deliver to customers the kinds of displays that really can make an impact. This is a key option that relatively few would-be buyers are currently looking at. And for revenue-generating display assets, we’re able to structure agreements so that everyone’s happy. This can definitely be an opportunity for shared partnership investment strategies where both parties have skin in the game.”
Skin in the Game
For projects with a revenue-generating element as part of the deployment strategy, investors often approach SNA Displays already knowing the value of incorporating LED display technology into their portfolios.
But while they may be investment experts, they might not completely understand the digital display environment. So to facilitate an investor’s expansion into the world of large-format LED displays and vast digital signage networks capable of awe-inspiring immersive experiences and robust digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, we can take an all-in-one-approach, greatly simplifying the process – and lowering the risk – for investors.
Infuse Digital, led by veterans in the DOOH and signage industries, helps clients design and implement digital signage solutions by providing expertise and access to funding opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable. As a partner vendor, SNA Displays can forge these kinds of relationships and opportunities.
“Not that we need extra incentive, but if you think about it, an investment partnership even further energizes us as a display provider to build and deliver the most cutting-edge, highest-quality display systems in the industry,” said Dennis. “Aside from our typical quality and service standards, as a partner-investor we obviously want the client’s display technology to be relevant as long as possible so that revenue streams remain active and healthy. The SNA Displays-Infuse Digital duo offers an important advantage because we can manufacture the product and render services at cost, meaning the client provides the platform, and we infuse the digital onto that platform.”
Occasionally, after a full evaluation, investors have a much better understanding of the look and feel of digital display assets on their property, the potential revenue they could generate, and the overall value they add to the property itself. In some cases, these clients might be convinced that incorporating digital signage is definitely the route they want to take, but that they want to finance it themselves.
And that’s okay because after all, SNA Displays is a manufacturer of display systems, and we’re just happy to build.
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For more discussion of SNA Displays’ bankrolling of LED display projects, see Sixteen:Nine’s interview with Dennis Hickey.