Digital mobile franchise Runningboards Marketing has just accomplished a feat that not many emerging brands have been able to do in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic: secured its first two franchise deals.
The brand’s newest franchisees are based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and in Paducah, Kentucky, two markets more than a skip and a jump from the brand’s hometown of Watertown in upstate New York. Central Massachusetts native and serial entrepreneur Mark Federico, will open the Marlborough franchise. First-time business owners and longtime friends Ian Brown and Jesus Espinoza will open the brand’s Paducah operation.
The Runningboards Marketing leadership team is thrilled to have both parties on board.
“The fact that we signed two new and enthusiastic owners in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic really speaks to our business model and is a great way to kick off our franchising efforts,” CEO and co-founder Calvin McNeely said. “Mark is both an entrepreneur and a franchise veteran, so we’ll learn as much from him as he’ll learn from us. Ian and Jesus are young and fresh—this is their first foray into business ownership and we’re excited that Runningboards Marketing will be their initiation into the world of entrepreneurship.”
Runningboards Marketing was founded in 2018 by McNeely and Executive Vice President Zach Yelle. The brand stands out as a franchise opportunity in the mobile advertising segment thanks to its use of digital advertising vehicle DAV® (pronounced “Dave”), which has high-impact LED screens that display brand messaging and customizable graphics. Businesses hire DAV to drive around markets in order to target specific audiences. DAV is hard to miss, which is exactly what makes him so much fun. Whether a client wants to advertise their business or give a friend a birthday shoutout, DAV can get the job done.
With DAV’s ability to run a variety of ads, Runningboards Marketing has been deemed as an essential business during COVID-19. As long as DAV runs health-related ads, Runningboards Marketing can carry on with business as usual. This, along with the franchise’s low-cost business model, which does not require a brick and mortar location or numerous staff members, creates a fun and relatively hassle-free business ownership opportunity.
Federico first saw DAV driving around in Pennsylvania and thought it would be the perfect way to advertise a new fitness club he was about to open in Massachusetts. He called Runningboards Marketing to inquire about reserving DAV but learned the brand did not have a presence in Massachusetts. When he learned about the low-cost business model, he knew it was a great opportunity. Now, he is poised to become his own first customer.
Federico believes this is the perfect time to invest in a franchise like Runningboards Marketing and described DAV as a can’t-miss tool that can serve local and small businesses well in their grassroots marketing efforts.
“Right now, starting a business, owning a company, or even being employed is scary,” Federico said. “When businesses start to reopen, a lot of them are going to fail but many are also going to be looking to grow. These businesses will spend money on marketing because they have to acquire new customers. DAV has the ability to really help small businesses survive, prosper, and grow as we get out of COVID-19.”
Brown and Espinoza were also attracted to the brand’s low-cost model, as well as the lack of a brick and mortar location and the tech-focused method of advertising. “All we need is DAV,” Espinoza said. “If we want to, we can keep the staff down to just the two of us until we really start expanding. Most of the overhead is just fuel for DAV.”