BELIEVE is a distinctive work of public sculpture installed in the City of Reno. The city is home to more than 170 pieces of public art, and the number is rising.

BELIEVE was purchased from its creators, Jeff Schomberg and Laura Klimpton, who created the work in 2013 as a Burning Man installation.  Measuring 4 feet thick by 12 feet tall by 70 feet long, the sculpture is composed of welded steel letters with a rusty patina, each  imprinted with hundreds of cutouts of birds.

City of Reno crews relocated the artwork from the ReTrac Plaza, near the Reno arch, to its new home in  City Plaza.

When the call went out to animate the popular sculpture with color-changing  illumination, YESCO rose to the occasion. Working with Principle RGB LED products, YESCO installed 67 custom-made, wet-rated enclosures which house the controllers, decoders, antennas, amplifiers and power supplies.  "Believe" is animated with seven pre-programmed lighting shows. A designated IP address enables the customer to access the controls and change the letters remotely.

The popular sculpture is even more compelling with the incorporation of artistic lighting.

Napa Valley Neon Lights Up the Night
{Photo courtesy of Nick Otto, Napa Valley Register)

When it comes to getting attention, nothing beats a classic neon sign. Glowing with striking brightness, neon signs have been used for advertising in Napa Valley for decades. Yet with the advent of new kinds of lighting technology and signage, today traditional "exposed" neon signs in Napa are fewer and far between.

When you think Napa neon, the Uptown Theatre signs stand above all else. Literally. Six 3-foot-tall letters (U P T O W N) descend vertically along the second story of the venue. This downtown landmark dates back to the opening of the theater in 1937, said theater manager Erica Simpson.

"It's an honor" to be the caretaker of such a sign, said Simpson. She explained that various artists and electricians have worked on the Uptown sign located at 1350 Third Street, over the years. This past week Jeff Soares of YESCO tended to the Uptown sign. His task included replacing two new transformers, Soares explained, "One for the letter W and one for the letter N."

Soares said that neon is longer the first choice for signs. Today most people are replacing older neon with LED lights. Notably, LED lights are less expensive than neon, Soares explained. Yet northing looks quite like neon. "Neon has that bling look; that beautiful glassy look. They are not able to achieve that look with LED," Soares said.

In 2001, Jim Bertuzzi of Benn Signs in Napa completely refurbished about 1,000 feet of neon on the Uptown sign. "There's a tunnel inside, like a chimney, going all the way to the top," providing access to all the connections, wiring and transformers that are in the tower, explained Bertuzzi. "I made all the neon tubing from scratch," said Bertuzzi. "It looks really good when it's lit up," he said. "I'm proud of it."

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How Might the Current Banking “Crisis” Affect the Billboard Industry?

By Tony Hull, President, YESCO Financial Solutions

There were no bank failures in the United States in 2021 or 2022. The last time we went two years with no failures was 2005 and 2006. For those connected to the banking industry, it was pretty alarming to see the 2nd and 3rd largest bank failures in U.S. history take place in early March 2023.

And while things have calmed down a little in the last few weeks, if you’re not connected directly to the banking industry, why should you pay attention? Assuming you’ve already executed a strategy to make sure your deposits are held in accounts safely protected by the FDIC, how might this “crisis” affect your OOH business?

First, the potential for a recession has increased, which could affect advertising budgets. Nearly 40% of all business loans in the U.S. are provided by small and medium sized banks; and they were already tightening. The panic from those two bank failures in March caused investors to scrutinize small and medium size banks for the same potential risks. As bank stocks lost 30-70% of their value over the course of four days, depositors began to shift portions of their money to larger banks. Setting aside the impact of increased oversight, smaller banks are being forced to tighten credit standards in order to slow lending so that they can rebalance their capital ratios. Historically when lenders pull back, business and consumer spending slows down, and the risk of recession rises.

Second, it will likely now become more difficult for you to get capital from the banking industry. If you’ve been planning to replace an aging digital face, or put up new digital billboards using a bank loan – this “crisis” will make things more challenging. Consider taking steps now to strengthen your existing bank relationships. Keep your banker (or even better, the bank credit officer), up to speed on your capital needs in 2023.

You might also consider developing relationships with non-bank lenders, like YESCO Financial Solutions, that don’t rely on deposits for funding and underwrite digital billboard loans based on their many decades of experience in the OOH industry.

Steve Burt, Business Development for YESCO Financial Solutions, will be in Houston for the Spring IBO conference next week. Send him an email or text message if you’d like to arrange a time for a quick introduction.

Contact information:

Tony Hull, President
(801) 464-6482

Steve Burt, Business Development
(801) 493-7349

Gina Stratford, VP of Sales & Marketing at YESCO Outdoor Media Named to Geopath Board of Directors
Gina Stratford

Geopath, the not-for-profit organization that provides the industry-standard metrics for out-of-home (OOH) advertising, announced the appointment of Gina Stratford to its Board of Directors at its annual meeting during the OAAA/Geopath OOH Media Conference on Monday, March 27, 2023.

Throughout her tenure at YESCO, Gina has been actively involved in Geopath, having served on the Futures Council since its inception in 2019 as co-chair, as well as through her participation in the development of Geopath's strategic roadmap.

"Our industry's common goal is to increase the investment made in OOH, and I have long been a believer that Geopath's solid foundation of trusted audience insights is a critical component of how we do that," said Stratford. "I am honored to have the opportunity to support the organization in this new capacity on the Board and look forward to working together to bring more dollars to OOH."

Congratulations, Gina.