Nashville’s Blackbird Media Buys Iconic Atlanta Billboard

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

A Tennessee media company has purchased Atlanta’s most iconic billboard, historically referred to as the ’CNN Sign’.

Blackbird Media this week announced the acquisition of the Centennial Olympic Park spectacular billboard, a legacy property of Boardworks Outdoor Advertising Company, Inc. of Atlanta. Formerly a static billboard, Blackbird has upgraded the face to a 30×100 ft., 13mm LED spectacular digital display manufactured by the Atlanta-based Formetco, Inc.

Blackbird CEO Chenault Sanders said the company would immediately rebrand the sign as ‘The Atlanta Sign’.

“The Atlanta Sign is one of the most iconic media properties in the country,” Sanders said. “Our company believes in the future of digital-out-of-home advertising, and this acquisition is in keeping with our premise that best-in-market properties provide the highest value to advertisers and consumers in premium markets. We look forward to partnering with the city of Atlanta and being an important part of its identity.”

As in other markets, Sanders added that Blackbird Media desires to work with local philanthropic organizations by using The Atlanta Sign to support and advance the causes of such organizations.

“We have found that integrating digital out-of-home with other digital channels can give a spectacular sign such as this a voice and personality that reflects the values and character of the community. By doing this, we give major brands a unique opportunity to communicate authentically with Atlantans while also providing substantial advertising inventory to the city’s public and non-profit institutions. An asset of this significance should be more than just an advertising venue”.

Blackbird Media is the largest independent, out-of-home media company in Tennessee, controlling high-quality static and digital advertising properties. The company uses those properties and its unique model to connect national brands with the communities they serve. Blackbird relies heavily on digital technology, creating distinct advertising experiences for customers and the public.

Blackbird controls The Nashville Sign located at the 13-lane intersection at the West End/Broadway Split in Nashville, Tennessee. Frequently referred to as the ‘Times Square of the South’, The Nashville Sign underwent a digital conversion similar to The Atlanta Sign in 2015 and has become Nashville’s most recognizable media property.

Private equity firm Tantara Capital Partners of Pasadena, California assisted Blackbird with the deal. Tantara Managing Partner Steve McNeely, who sits on Blackbird’s board, said “Blackbird Media really understands the value proposition of out-of-home and its actionable technology. We are excited to be part of the deal for The Atlanta Sign, and look forward to working with Chenault and Blackbird Media to continue their development of iconic, large format digital displays.”

Along with Tantara Capital Partners, owners of a large institutional investor have provided a financial commitment of growth capital to support Blackbird in its ongoing acquisitions.

Max Drachman of Kalil & Co., Inc., was the exclusive broker for the transaction.

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