GoVision carved out its niche by providing mobile videoboards for events such as the NCAA Final Four. (Courtesy Learfield IMG College)

Learfield IMG College unites videoboard businesses it owns

Portable video screen supplier GoVision has become part of the ANC brand as the two firms become one entity. The move is effective today, said officials with Learfield IMG College, their parent company.

Learfield IMG College acquired GoVision, a 16-year-old Texas company, in June 2016. One year earlier, it purchased ANC, which was founded in 1997 in Purchase, N.Y. ANC supplies software technology for videoboards at arenas and stadiums, among other industries.

George Linardos, ANC’s CEO since joining Learfield in September 2017, and Jerry Cifarelli, ANC’s founder and vice chairman, lead the combined operation.

“We underwent a brand equity study and while both companies have strong awareness and reputations in their respective markets, the ANC brand ultimately had the broader awareness and could more diversely represent our forward growth as well,” Linardos said.

The move makes sense because there’s so much going on in the video screen market with projects next to sports facilities, revolving around pregame festivities, special events and mixed-use districts, Cifarelli said.

“There’s a lot of entertainment going on in all these parking lots, and to bring it all under one platform makes it easier for the customer,” he said. “From ANC’s perspective, it’s nice to have those expanded services.”

GoVision carved its niche by providing mobile videoboards for the NCAA Final Four, the TCS New York City Marathon and PGA Tour tournaments, among other sports events. In addition, the company provides portable screens at music festivals and has supplied them for the last four presidential inaugurations.

Most recently, it signed a deal with Live Nation to upgrade video screens at 50 amphitheaters across the country.

All told, 50 percent of ANC’s business now comes from outside sports, Cifarelli said.

“GoVision has become the guys that work with the biggest events,” Linardos said. “ANC’s legacy is in sports venues. Our growth is in the broader commercial market at transit centers and large-scale malls.”

The sports market remains strong, Cifarelli said. Three years after Learfield IMG College bought ANC, company officials see growth in the college market through its parent company’s multimedia rights deals with universities. In many cases, though, ANC must compete for that piece of business through the proposal process.

ANC, teaming with hardware manufacturer Mitsubishi, has supplied videoboards at Notre Dame Stadium, Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and Finneran Pavilion, Villanova’s basketball arena.

The University of Texas is the only school among those four where Learfield IMG College has a deal.

“We have to be respectful of the schools and their partners,” Cifarelli said. “We’ve got to win on our own against competitors. In some ways, it’s separate to what Learfield IMG College is doing on the media rights side.”

Overall, the videoboard industry is changing, Cifarelli said. Samsung has been aggressive in the space through its PrismView brand. Its center-hungs are in NBA arenas in Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Charlotte and end zone boards installed at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

As a software provider, ANC has the flexibility to work with multiple firms that build the boards.

“Technology has advanced quite a bit and we’re proud of what we’ve developed on the software side to trigger all these displays,” he said.