Grass Roots Media has undergone a transformation to reflect new values and a new strategic direction. Michael Bratt attended the launch and spoke to the man in charge, Brett Tucker, winner of this year’s MOST Media Owner Rising Star Award.
Exactly one year since Tucker bought Grass Roots Media, the out of home (OOH) advertising player has now become RelativMedia, a family business. The unveiling took place at a lavish event at Tucker’s home, held there to emphasise the family aspect of the new business. The seven-man team heading up the new entity is led by Tucker and includes his brother in law. Tucker says that while there are only seven people at the moment, with the rest of the work being outsourced, RelativMedia “will grow the team with people of similar ethics, morals and most importantly, sense of humour”.
At the event, many thanks were given to family members who have allowed the seven-man team to plot their next move in the very competitive OOH space.
Building on past business
And the company seems to have a head start, capitalising on the work that happened during the times of Grass Roots Media. RelativMedia has managed to retain the business of Cell C, FNB, Coke and Savanna, and has added e.tv and DStv to the stable. In terms of sites, the best grab that the company won recently is the bungee tower in Fourways. Tucker says the group is also looking for one monster on the highway. This would be in addition to the 30 locations in the mass market and 30 wraps, covering both mass market and urbans, which the group already owns.
“The OOH space is not about selling, it’s about getting the best site,” Tucker says. He also revealed that the rebranded business will have two sales teams, one which will focus on urban areas such as Sandton, and the other to focus on mass market locations like taxi ranks. Tucker says that the immediate strategy will be to, “Sell what we’ve got and focus on key sites”.
Innovative new product
RelativMedia also has a brand new product offering in the works, which Tucker says will help grow the business. It’s called Big Box and will be rolled out from 1 January 2016 at 20 locations. Big Box will consist of a mass market structure, which Tucker says is three times the size of anything out there at the moment. There will be space for retail at the bottom of the structure so a company can have a store below, with a massive advertisement above it. RelativMedia has already identified 200 sites where this could work.
When asked how the business will grow, whether through acquisitions or organically, Tucker says that RelativMedia is already trying to buy two other businesses. “Organically we are crazy at the moment with lots of sites and landlords. However real growth happens by buying big businesses,” Tucker says.
Why rebrand the business?
“The outdoor space is so messy at the moment. We want to offer a family business that is efficient and easy to deal with,” Tucker says, explaining the ethos behind RelativMedia. The ultimate goal is to list RelativMedia on the stock exchange, but that is still a long way off. “There is still lots of work to do before that happens,” he says. But he has a firm goal. In five years, he’d “like to be the biggest OOH player with wide open iconic sites, not billboards”.
Balancing family and business
As with any family business the challenge of separating family from business is a reality. Tucker says that RelativMedia will handle this very well as members of the team have worked with each other before in both business and sport. “In a family environment we’re not going to talk about work. We also all realise and know that everyone is in the same boat,” he says.
The rebranded company will operate across South Africa including Cape Town and Durban locations, but Tucker says in those two cities the sites are still sitting with the councils.
IMAGE: RelativMedia has scored the bungee tower in Fourways as an out of home site / Tassen Engineering