Little Nashville company gets pilot with a state lottery

August 26, 2009 by Dave Haynes

A Nashville company called Blast Panel has bagged what could turn into a nice little deal working with a lottery terminal manufacturer and a state lottery.

The Nebraska Lottery and its wagering terminal provider INTRALOT have OK’d a pilot in Omaha and Lincoln that sees 32 inch integrated panels installed in select locations where lottery products are sold. The pilot is intended to assess sales uplift by the screens.

From the news release:

“We hear about economic downturn everywhere, and now more than ever, consumers looking for greater value want promotions and incentives when making purchases. This pilot was created to provide a new channel for marketing and promoting Lottery and retail products at the point of purchase. Measuring the effect of these point of purchase promotions and incentives will be key to the success of this pilot,” says INTRALOT’s VP of Marketing, John Pittman. “The monitors will also display retailer specials, news, weather and other public service announcements and provide retailers with the opportunity to generate additional monetary benefits outside of lottery sales. We have been utilizing Player Advertising Displays for quite awhile, but these new Blast Panels will take that concept to a whole new level.”

Blast Panels display lottery information, advertising and retailer promotions to help give consumers relevant, targeted advertising at the point of sale. “Consumers only spend a short amount of time in the store so you’ve only got seconds to grab their attention — Blast Panels do that.” says Kirk Manz, CEO of Blast Panel. “We saw an opportunity to partner with INTRALOT and the Nebraska Lottery because a large part of their success is dependent on the retail channel. This digital signage pilot will give us insight into how to continuously make the sale with retail customers.”

INTRALOT is a huge company that did $1.5 billion in revenue last year, so hanging out with them is a nice little arrangement for Blast Panel, a teeny company that appears to have formed about a year ago and until now has focused on building out a network in some bars and clubs, putting a screen in portrait mode and hoping to make a go of it through ad sales revenues. The network is installed in locations in Nebraska, and went in on Blast Panel’s own nickel, COO Ward Davis confirmed to me. He couldn’t share the deal terms, which is not surprising, given the end-customer. 

It’s just a pilot, but lotteries are a great vertical to get into, as the products tend to be sold all over and lottery jurisdictions, at least in North America, are finding it harder to sell the products to younger people. So they need marketing help at the store level. Lottery also tends to get the primo visual positions for in-store marketing, because lottery products are reliable income streams for the store operators.

For perspective, in relatively little Nebraska there are some 1,000 locations with wagering terminals.

For those software guys who will immediately start wondering if there is a deal to be had here, these guys do their own software.  INTRALOT has its own advertising panels, but they are small screens on poles that would run off the wagering machine.

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