Allison Outdoor —OOH Owner Today
OOH Owner Today —Allison Outdoor
by Will Farmer
Media and Communications Manager
Allison Outdoor began in 1958 as a small custom sign and billboard company. Over the years Allison Outdoor has grown to become the largest Outdoor Advertising Company in Western North Carolina and North Georgia. Since Early 2016, they expanded their footprint into the Tri-Cities of Tennessee. Our markets include Johnson City, Kingsport, Elizabethton and Bristol. In total, they have more than 1,200 billboard faces in over 15 counties.
OOH Today spoke to Claude Dicks, president and general manager at Allison Outdoor. He opened up about his company’s goals for 2021, as well as what got him into the OOH industry.
Here’s what he had to say:
Interview with Claude Dicks
President and General Manager at Allison Outdoor
Will Farmer: Why are you in the OOH business?
Claude Dicks: My Grandfather started in the OOH industry back in the late 50’s, early 60’s when he founded Georgia Outdoor Advertising. In the early 70’s he purchased Allison Outdoor Advertising. Fast Forward to 2009, I was in radio looking to buy a radio station right as the “Crash” was starting. Allison Outdoor had a job opening in sales, so my wife and I picked up our stuff and moved from Charleston, SC to Murphy, NC. Since that point I have been a Sales Rep, General Sales Manager and now in my role as President of the Company.
WF: What is keeping you in it?
CD: Well, I can’t retire yet for one. I came to Allison 11 plus years ago to one day run the company. I’ve been fortunate to be doing that now for 2 years and I feel like I’m just getting warmed up. The Billboard business is a great business to be in. There are not many businesses that generate the kind of Cash Flow that OOH does. Allison Outdoor has an incredible team and I enjoy working with them every day.
WF: What is the greatest success or satisfaction you receive from owning OOH?
CD: It’s a family-owned company and we serve family-owned businesses. In fact, some of our clients we’ve been working with for over 30 years. Another aspect I receive satisfaction from is we employee 15 full time staff so it is very rewarding that we are making an impact on 15 families in our area.
WF: What are some of your goals for 2021?
CD: Allison Outdoor is one of very few OOH companies in America who still use 30-Sheet Bleed Posters. Starting in March we are beginning the process to convert all our Poster Faces to Formetco’s Single Sheet Posters. I’m also excited to see the growth of programmatic post Covid as well. Our other goals which are usually the same most years is to find new digital locations, own more dirt under our boards and expand our company through acquisitions.
WF: How do you obtain new business?
CD: We have a very experienced sales team, led by our GSM Keith Horton. Our team gets up every morning and works hard and puts in the time to make the calls you have to make to be successful.
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