Vector Media Acquires Direct Media USA, Focusing On Creative Storytelling

First published in MediaPost on Feb 5, 2018

Vector Media, a 20-year-old media company specializing in large-format transit advertising, on Monday announced the acquisition of Direct Media USA, one of the nation’s largest municipal transit advertising companies, for an undisclosed amount.

Marc Borzykowski, chief executive officer of Vector Media, said the acquisition will increase Vector Media’s revenue by between 35% and 40%.

He called the acquisition “transformational” and said it would give the combined companies extensive reach. Borzykowski said the two companies share many of the same cultural values. The combined company will maintain transit media in 50 markets, including 27 of the 35 largest U.S. designated marketing areas (DMAs) such as Charlotte, Baltimore, Orlando, St Louis, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale, Providence, and Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Through the acquisition, Vector acquires 12 new offices and markets — nearly doubling the number of employees — and adds more than 25 exclusive partnerships, adding to its current inventory an additional 4,500 vehicles and 2,300 transit shelter panels.

With the acquisition, the company’s focus on storytelling will increase. Vector Media has begun to tie experiential marketing with mobile into the transit business as people become more accepting of and engaged with digital advertising on buses, trains and other mass transit locations.

For example, Vector recently ran a real-time data campaign for United Airlines in New York on digital buses, aimed at convincing locals that the Newark airport is just as accessible as JFK and LaGuardia. In real-time, buses tap into traffic data and calculate the difference between the airport distances ad lets people know that often it takes less time to get to Newark vs. JFK. Many times it’s less time to get to Newark, he said.

Bus and transit advertising will continue to move into the digital realm. Borzykowski said a third-party partnership in Las Vegas soon will let Vector tap into facial recognition data from cameras and tie in demographics to serve more relevant ads based on location and time of day.