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The IBO Speedway Brings Independents Revenue

Azalea Outdoor, Choice Media, MH Outdoor Media, Street Media, Triad Outdoor Advertising, Whistler Media Group

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The IBO Speedway Brings Independents Revenue


OOH Today caught up with Becky Smith, IBOUSA Enterprise Manager, also known as Chris Cowlbeck’s left-hand lady, and asked her about the IBO Speedway.  Becky oversees the collection, cleansing and homogenizing of IBO Associates inventory, similar to the real estate MLS system.

What is the IBO Speedway?

The IBO Speedway is a free, fast and easy way that IBO cooperatively combines all of our Operator Associate’s billboards together in an effort to bring IBO companies more revenue and to make the buying process easier for regional, state, and national advertisers. It doesn’t matter how folks manage their day-to-day workflow, we’ll roll up our sleeves and just make it happen.  Brandon Garrett told me, “Azalea Outdoor has benefited from new exposure to regional and national business through the partnership with IBO.” 

How did the IBO Speedway evolve?

The Speedway was a dream of Chris Cowlbeck’s, GM of IBOUSA, for over 15 years now.  The collection of inventory started slowly but steadily began to grow.  In 2020, in the heat of the pandemic, the IBO team began reaching out to their 250+ companies (90,000 collective faces) and offered a free way to bring much needed revenue to independents.  Now, one-year later, we have almost 50,000 faces connected to the IBO Speedway.  Marshall Henderson of MH Outdoor Media said to me, “For MH Outdoor Media becoming an active IBO associate and participation in the Speedway was a simple concept.  The ability to be independent yet join together with multiple companies throughout the country to provide an easy, one-stop, buying opportunity places us in a different competitive arena than we would be on our own.  The IBO team also adds an additional layer of market exposure and support for its members that I am very thankful to have access to.” 

In what ways has the IBO Speedway impacted IBO Associates?

It’s been a lifeline for many of them during the pandemic.  We sent checks to at least 75 of our Associates last year.  Shawn Whistler had the following to say when asked about how the IBO Speedway impacted his company, Whistler Media Group, “More Sales Cures Everything!  We just received a check from the IBO Speedway for $61K!”

What do the IBO Associates love about the IBO Speedway, beyond the extra revenue?

We provide many different services in our role as a cooperative administrator, such as health programs, web design, and workflow assistance, but the important thing is banding ourselves as one voice and footprint to get invited to different tables.  Shanna Jones of Choice Media said, “The IBO Speedway has been a blessing to our company. We are able to easily submit our inventory without filling out spreadsheets. It has been a big time-saver for national buys! Thanks to our partnership with IBO Speedway, we have received lots of business!”  John Bryant, General Manager of Triad Outdoor Advertising, put it differently…“The IBO speedway has put us in a position to compete for national advertising campaigns that we otherwise as a small operator would never have a shot at. The process is easy, quick and most importantly…profitable!.”

Is the IBO Speedway limited to traditional static and digital billboards?

Not at all as we have expanded into everything OOH and the IBO Speedway is not limited to traditional OOH inventory. We have mobile truck media, street furniture, a hotel television network and more!   Troy Hammond of COO Street Media who has a ton of fine street inventory says, “Street Media Group has benefited tremendously from the IBO Speedway, we are seeing our buys in the Denver market continue to grow.  I’m a huge believer in Independent Operators like ourselves combining assets to provide buyers with the required scale to deliver successful campaigns.  This program is working and driving our national revenue to new heights, whether it’s for billboards, digital billboards or our transit inventory the IBO Speedway simply works!”

What is next for the IBO Speedway?

We are well on our way to the evolution of a streamlined solution to reduce millions of keystrokes for our IBO companies and partners and replacing the RFP (Request for Proposal) with the RFO (Request for Offer) with our systematic update pricing and availability processes. We’ll also have some interesting and novel comparative tools available in the near future that will help everyone in the industry.  This will enable us to increase the number of vertical channels and save all participants time and more importantly, money. 

About IBO

Our network of business professionals emerged a few decades ago and combined efforts with common ties as independent business operators, mostly from smaller rural and suburban markets.  Challenged by our size and access to resources, contacts, and ideas, we created an organization whereby we helped each other out, not dissimilar to the old ways that our great country was born, by neighbors helping neighbors.

Over time we have grown to be a fun, innovative, and influential group of business entrepreneurs and companies, centered around the world of marketing and exchanging ideas of technology, operations, and sales.  We each have resources, products, and services that operators may benefit from, and this site attempts to coordinate a wide variety of interests.

Our primary networking tool is our semi-annual conference whereby the owners and key people in our Associate Companies meet to discuss the topics of concern.  We have extended our access to our services to a broader spectrum of groups, including agencies that touch the OOH industry.  Our IBO COOP Speedway is similar to a real estate MLS whereby we band together our nationwide inventory footprint to provide current pricing and availability for buyers, brands, and platforms in a traditional or automated manner.


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