Perseverance has paid off for Ray Brake.
Brake, the owner of Digital Advertising Solutions, has wanted to manage the digital sign for the Corner Brook Civic Centre located at the bottom of University Drive since it was put there in 2016.
He was given that opportunity last week when Corner Brook city council approved the execution of an agreement with Digital Advertising Solutions for advertising rights for the civic centre’s digital signs. The decision was made during council’s June 17 public meeting.
The agreement includes the outdoor sign and three signs inside the centre.
When the outdoor sign was installed Brake had been trying for about two and half years to get permission from the city to install his own sign in the downtown.
The city didn’t have any regulations or bylaws in place to deal with that type of business and Brake was unable to carry out his plan.
He was told regulations were in the works, but while he had to wait the city was selling advertising on its own sign. Brake considered that a double standard, but it didn’t deter him.
“I just kept my focus on growing the business in places where I was able to,” he said. That included installing an outdoor digital advertising sign in Deer Lake.
He also continued to build a strong business relationship with the city.
Council later voted to stop selling advertising on the civic centre sign until the new regulations were put in place. That decision was rescinded in April 2017 and the new regulations were approved in July 2017.
Since then the city had been looking after the selling of advertising for the outdoor sign and those it installed inside the building.
But Brake never lost interest in the civic centre signs, and when the city issued a request for proposals he submitted one.
He said the agreement is a great opportunity for his business to expand its inventory and offering to the Corner Brook market and the western Newfoundland market.
It’s also a chance, he said, to move forward on collaborating with the city.
“And just show that this is a viable form of advertising and it adds value to the businesses in the region and to the residents as well; it helps to keep them informed.”
The agreement will cover a three-year period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.
Digital Advertising Solutions will have exclusive rights to provide advertising services for the centre’s signs and in return will give the city 50 per cent of all gross sales on the sale of advertising on the existing signs and on any additional billboards installed at the centre during the term of the agreement. The minimum monthly payment that Digital Advertising Solutions will make to the city is $700 for a total of $8,400 per year.
“It’s a true partnership,” said Brake, noting the equal split still makes the opportunity viable for him.
“Because the assets are largely in place there and with our clientele it represents another opportunity for an upsell to provide another venue for the clients to advertise on.”
Mayor Jim Parsons did not vote on the agreement after declaring himself in a conflict of interest because Brake contributed $200 to his 2017 election campaign.
Parsons said selling advertising is not a part of the city’s core business.
“And if a company with better expertise can avail of that piece of equipment and it can generate some revenue for our civic centre, so be it.”