LED Display Maker Watchfire Bulks Up Sports Capabilities Via Spectrum Scoreboards Acquisition

March 13, 2023 by Dave Haynes

LED display manufacturer Watchfire has bulked up its capabilities in the live sports market via the acquisition of Spectrum Scoreboards, giving Watchfire what it describes as “a complete line of fixed-digital sports scoreboards and timing displays.”

Funded by private equity owners H.I.G. Capital, the purchase of Spectrum assets gets Watchfire one of the largest privately-owned manufacturers of sporting event scoreboards. The company, says PR, pioneered the use of LED technology in fixed-digit scoreboards in 1993 and serves a wide variety of customers that include private and public schools, colleges, parks, and stadiums. 

“Spectrum shares our commitment to high-quality domestic manufacturing and customer service and provides the ideal complement to Watchfire’s sports product line,” says Kyle Dines, VP of Sports, Indoor and Outdoor Advertising at Watchfire. “Their fixed-digit scoreboards and our video displays are the combination the market needs, and this acquisition puts us in a position to serve schools and sporting facilities of any size. We’ve long been impressed by Spectrum’s products, factory, and processes in Houston, and are excited to leverage their reputation as a market leader in the greater-Texas region, alongside Watchfire’s scale, to grow into a nationally recognized leader in sports. Together we will bring the sports market a single-source solution to all video display and scoring needs.”

Spectrum’s Houston location will remain fully operational, continuing all manufacturing, sales and support functions.

“It really is the best possible fit,” says Jim Bishop, co-founder of Spectrum Scoreboards. “This has been a family-owned business since the beginning, so we worked really hard in this process to identify a company that was aligned with our business philosophy. Watchfire understands our commitment to building a domestically-manufactured product that delivers superior performance and then backing it up with unmatched customer service. I know that our employees and our customers are in the very best hands.”

“Adding the capabilities of Spectrum, particularly their product set and the team that makes up their service organization, is the next logical step for us in the sports market,” adds Steve Harriott, CEO of Watchfire. “Spectrum produces the best fixed-digit option on the market today, and their approach to product development and support after the sale complements Watchfire’s existing high standards.”

The deal is the second acquisition done by Watchfire since H.I.G. acquired the company last summer. Last fall it announced it had bought the assets of Anthem Displays in rural North Carolina.

Watchfire says it has more than 65,000 LED displays in operation worldwide, and has more digital billboard customers in the U.S. than any other brand.

Daktronics is presumably Watchfire’s primary competitor, and Dak also has a looooong history in sports venues.

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