In what seems like a slightly-odd partnership, Leyard (and Planar, which it acquired) have forged a partnership with a competitor to build up its LED display capabilities in the sports and entertainment market.
The “strategic partnership” is with Lighthouse Technologies Ltd., which has been around the LED display market for more than 20 years, and has indoor LED product that would compete with Leyard.
By combining Leyard and Planar’s leadership in fine pitch LED and LCD large format and video wall displays with the industry expertise of Lighthouse, says a press release, this partnership will offer new innovations for sports and entertainment customers in North America. Kicking off this partnership, the companies will be showcasing their compelling range of sports venue display solutions for the first time at the 2018 Baseball Winter Meetings, Dec. 10-12 in Las Vegas.
Hong Kong-based Lighthouse, back in the day, was one of the biggest players in large footprint LED displays for stadiums and digital out of home boards. But the company has been overtaken, in terms of sales and prominence by Chinese (mostly) companies like Leyard, which is now ranked as the top global supplier of LED displays.
“With our market-leading fine pitch LED and LCD offerings, combined with Lighthouse’s LED solutions designed for the sports market, we can offer customers a display technology experience never before available in our industry,” says Leyard and Planar Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Adam Schmidt.
Leyard has some sports and entertainment venues in its project portfolio, but Lighthouse has major installations in professional venues in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia and Atlanta and a major presence at Times Square in New York. Lighthouse says it also has a big footprint in major university and public facilities throughout North America.
“We see this partnership as an extremely powerful strategic fit, leveraging the two companies’ respective strengths,” says Peter Chan, managing director at Lighthouse. “Lighthouse will deliver LED sports solutions to Leyard and Planar with strong back-end capabilities and innovative technologies. Leyard and Planar are the perfect partners to accelerate market growth and together we will create innovative technology showcases in the sports vertical for many years to come.”
One thing that Lighthouse perhaps brings to the table is all the less-sexy but oft-used display stuff around stadiums and arenas, like LED ribbon boards.
To drive the business, Leyard has hired Douglas Moss as general manager for sports and entertainment. The CV for Moss includes being president of Madison Square Garden Network; president and CEO of the Buffalo Sabres and president and COO of the Phoenix Coyotes (National Hockey League teams).
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.