That very curious deal in which the Toronto-based interactive ad network and services provider iSIGN sold its ad rights to a mystery partner now has some detail.
The contract granting exclusive advertising rights for the signage and mobile network in Mac’s Convenience Stores across Canada was signed with iTrix Media, which (for those following outside of Canada) is not on overly well-known entity.
It is described as a “Montreal-based company that is heavily involved in selling advertising on out-of-home advertising, centering mainly on the Montreal area, but also including Skiron Media, a Canada-wide signage network located at ski resorts across Canada.”
A look at the company website says iTrix – get it, Eye Tricks! – is The World’s First Glasses-Free 3D Agency. You can make up your own mind about whether that’s something to shout from the rooftops.
Says a news release:
The contract commences as of July 1, 2013 and mirrors the length of iSIGN’s contract with Mac’s with an option for a five year renewal. iSIGN will receive payments of $1,460,000 annually and has received its initial payment of $250,000. iSIGN will also receive a commission of no less than 5% on the gross advertising sales generated by iTrix throughout the term of this agreement.
The release continues:
Adding iSIGN’s network of approximately 6,000 digital screens and 1,400 antennas in the approximately 1,400 Mac’s stores located across Canada significantly expands their existing footprint and increases their ability to grow their advertising revenue.
iTrix’ management and backers consist of Ray Jelassi, President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder and other well-known and respected advertising and media executives.
iTrix will be working closely with iSIGN’s existing resellers to maximize the revenues of the network.
“We are very pleased that an organization with an exceptionally strong advertising background is now responsible for the sales management of our network,” stated Mr. Alex Romanov, iSIGN’s Chief Executive Officer. “iTrix’ management is strongly committed to significantly increasing the advertising on our network and in bringing in new advertisers.”
“The funds generated by this contract provides us with a significant annual revenue that will significantly help us achieve eventual profitability,” added Mr. Romanov.
We can safely assume Mr. Romanov is more than just pleased, as his company had a very big, hard royalty guarantee written into the contract with the company that owns the Macs stores, and as he indicated here (and financials show) iSign wasn’t and isn’t profitable. Now that annual $500K royalty is not his problem, or at least not for a while.
iTrix has a goal of $2.1 million in ad revenues in the first year of the contract, says the release. Nothing in the financials suggests that’s going to be easy, and c-stores in North America have never been the advertising pot of gold people seem to think they are, for whatever reason
Time will tell.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.