The Canadian Out-of-home Measurement Bureau (COMB) has added a new member in REC Media, which operates advertising faces in community recreational facilities including hockey arenas, curling rinks and indoor soccer facilities.
The company, which began in Calgary 20 years ago, has a presence in more than 3,500 facilities across the country, primarily in small markets.
While rinkboards are REC Media’s most common product, president and CEO Troy Sedgwick said it is also active in “non-traditional” tactics such as door wraps, oversized wall decals and banners.
REC Media entered the Toronto market – which Sedgwick describes as “the mecca for all things media and advertising” – about five years ago and has made steady inroads with agencies and clients since then.
“Each year they gain a little more confidence in us,” he said. “More and more buys are starting to surface as [media agencies] see that this is a bona fide opportunity and a good place to spend their clients’ dollars.”
Sedgwick said agencies have been urging him to become COMB-audited. “There have been times when our media agencies have liked the opportunities and the space, and it’s been on-strategy, but there’s been push-back from the client because it’s not audited,” he said.
The company had previously relied on Ipsos omnibus studies for its circulation numbers. “It was a statistically sound study, but COMB is taking it further by incorporating two or three different methodologies, part of which is actual traffic counts,” he said.
He said he expects joining COMB to accelerate REC Media’s growth. “There’s obviously cost involved in joining COMB and funding the research, but our belief is that the credibility will lend to the space and the clients and agencies that have been tire-kicking are going to have more confidence bringing their clients’ campaigns to our properties,” he said.
COMB president Rosanne Caron said research for REC Media will be conducted during late summer/early fall, with circulation data reported in the COMB Data Report in January 2016.