Rogers Sports & Media enters (another) OOH partnership

Rogers' Al Dark says the company is taking a "bullish" approach to investments in OOH as it partners with Vertical Impression's residential network.

By Mike Connell

Rogers Sports & Media has entered into an exclusive Canadian partnership with Vertical Impression, a residential and commercial elevator DOOH ad network based in Edmonton, with operations in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.

The announcement follows on the heels of two other OOH deals made this month by Rogers Sports & Media, with the company acquiring the Rouge Media Group, as well as entering into an agreement with Branded Cities to redevelop OOH assets on Rogers’ Tower at the Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto.

“We are bullish on the digital out of home media space [in the] long term,” Al Dark, SVP of revenue at Rogers Sports & Media, told MiC. “We are looking forward to expanding our footprint of DOOH and OOH inventory, using the various channels to leverage different communication and marketing strategies.”

Vertical Impression has national coverage and 90% of their audience is residential, primarily in condos. According to Fouad El-Masri, Vertical Impression’s CEO and founder, the network (which had 300-plus screens at the beginning of 2020, and is currently at over 1,000) is projected to hit 2,300 screens nationwide by the end of 2021.

“During the worst year for OOH in recent memory, we managed to significantly expand our network,” says El-Masri, attributing the growth to a demand for communication tools for building owners, as well as ad space for advertisers during the pandemic.

The partnership provides Rogers Sports & Media with a channel to distribute local news as well as advertising content to an engaged residential audience. “This is very appealing and complements our robust suite of offerings,” says Dark.

Infrastructure-wise, Dark says there aren’t any changes necessary, pointing to Rogers Sports & Media’s 450-strong sales team, along with “feet on the street in every major market across Canada, plus a rolodex of 40,000 customers with whom we do business on a regular basis.”

In addition to providing Rogers Sports & Media with access to its network, Vertical Impression will also manage measurement and analytics of Rogers’ client ads that run across its screens.