Watchfire Lists LED Displays With Local U.S. Government Purchasing Cooperative

January 10, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The Illinois-based LED display manufacturer Watchfire has announced an interesting little deal with a cooperative that simplifies and streamlines purchasing for a lot of municipalities, counties, school districts, and government entities.

Watchfire now has a national purchasing contract for Parks and Recreation Equipment, Products, and Installation Services via something called the BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative. It’s a free purchasing  cooperative that members – like local government entities – can use to source goods and services from vendors that have already been vetted and on the other side of a competitive procurement process. That can mean they can sidestep costly, time-sucking RFPs and tenders.

Says the PR:

The agreement allows Watchfire to provide BuyBoard members a range of indoor and outdoor digital displays, including video scoreboards, center-hung displays, scorer’s tables and entrance signs.

“BuyBoard simplifies a complicated purchasing process, which saves its members time while also ensuring they comply with state and local procurement requirements,” said Wes Wood, senior scoreboard & display specialist at Watchfire. “Cities and tourism bureaus are discovering the economic benefits that come from building a new sports complex, modernizing an outdated ballpark, or adding digital signage to a rec center. Through this purchasing agreement, local governments can break ground faster and start hosting events sooner.”

I think this is interesting because this sort of thing potentially exposes the vendor to a lot of opportunities of different descriptions and scales, without having to spend a lot of time scouring up and responding to RFPs and tenders. Local government is, to me, a super-interesting vertical to go after – particularly for digital signage applications that help with situational awareness, planning and communications for departments. That can be the obvious, like first responders, but also for operations like roads, waste collection and public transport.

Based in Danville, Ill., Watchfire has made electric signs for 90 years and LED signs since 1998. It has more than 65,000 LED signs in operation worldwide, and says it has more digital billboard customers in the U.S. than any other brand. A lot of those are much smaller signs you might see at the edge of car dealer lots and scoreboards in gyms, but Watchfire also does high profile work, like the vast custom LED canopy atop Fremont Street in Las Vegas.

  1. Wes Dixon says:

    Question: Does this alliance make the process easier for their resellers or does it eliminate them?

    1. Carol says:

      “It makes it easier by streamlining the buying process for end customers who complete their purchases exclusively through buying cooperatives. Watchfire has done the work to have their products vetted by the co-op, removing barriers for resellers.”

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