GoVision, which provides mobile videoboards for events such as the NCAA Final Four, is now part of ANC. (Courtesy Learfield IMG College)
Linardos: “It’s not just the stadium videoboard we’re providing but the whole game-day experience.”
George Linardos is CEO of ANC and Learfield Venue Solutions, a position he’s held since September 2017. Over his career, Linardos worked for Nokia and Time Warner, where he founded Sports Illustrated Play, a youth sports technology platform. For two years, he ran Red Hour Films, a motion picture production studio in a partnership with actor Ben Stiller. Linardos visited with VenuesNow about portable videoboard supplier GoVision becoming part of the ANC brand and trends he sees in the sports and entertainment industry.
Your business is growing outside of sports. ANC signed a deal with Live Nation to supply new video screens at its 50 amphitheaters. Is that an example of where your company is headed?
That’s exactly where we want to be. They’re the gold standard. What we’re finding through that relationship is that it’s not just the amphitheaters, but an entire suite of opportunities that we can do with them that will allow us to make it a true partnership and build it over a number of years, from the design and innovation side to the integration and execution of fixed and portable products. There’s a lot of different ways we can work with them.
Which trends do you see in the videoboard industry?
The next frontier is how do you make the world around you as engaging and live up to the expectations of people who are raised and saturated with all things digital. That’s what’s really exciting about this (brand integration). Both companies have built up great reputations but in ways that are complementary in the business models and markets they reach. We didn’t see it so much as there’s a rental business and a fixed install business, but more in terms of the overall markets we serve. There are a number of teams we’re talking to where it’s not just the stadium videoboard we’re providing but the whole game-day experience, before the game via the events business … building all the content that’s instrumental in throwing a show.
What are the trends on the hardware side and the partners ANC works with to produce videboards?
Mitsubishi continues to be one of our top partners. We have a really good way of working with those guys and a lot of trust in our mutual ability to deliver quality. We’re never pushing in one (manufacturer’s) direction, but doing jobs where we can innovate and that’s what we’re doing at Wells Fargo Center (and its new “kinetic” center-hung that changes shape depending on the event). Like any industry, it’s a constantly shifting space. We’ve seen so much change in the product itself. There’s a drive toward more HD, but also construction and flexibility of product and thickness. It’s really a dynamic medium.