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Smitty’s Teams Up with Rec Media


Smitty’s Teams Up with Rec Media to Support Community Arenas From Coast to Coast



CALGARY, AB / April 30, 2024 / Rec Media, the leading provider of media and sponsorship opportunities in athletic recreational facilities across Canada, announces that it has partnered with Smitty’s in community arenas across Canada.


“The partnership between Rec Media and Smitty’s represents a unified collaboration between two Calgary-based businesses committed to serving Canadian families and enriching community connections,” stated Rec Media’s President and CEO, Troy Sedgwick.  “With Smitty’s longstanding legacy of providing quality dining experiences for over 60 years, their restaurants have become cherished gathering places for families to create lasting memories together, much like recreational facilities serve as community hubs.”


Smitty’s President Jason Kaytor continued, “The collaboration allows Smitty’s to emotionally connect with its customers on a grassroots level.  Through strategic advertising placement in recreational facilities, Smitty’s can effectively reach our customers in various markets across Canada while simultaneously supporting the very venues that contribute to community well-being.”


About Rec Media

Rec Media is the leading provider of media and sponsorship opportunities with access to over 4,500 athletic recreational facilities across Canada.  The company’s recreation facility network includes community arenas, outdoor sports fields, curling clubs, indoor soccer facilities, ski resorts, and golf courses which offer a variety of static and digital media placement options.


During its 29-year history, Rec Media has given back over 16 million dollars to Canadian communities and community recreational facilities.


For further information: please contact: Jeff Young, VP Sales, Rec Media (Vancouver/Calgary/Toronto); Tel 1-888-746-5237; E-mail:;


LinkedIn: Rec Media

About Smitty’s

Founded in Calgary, AB in 1960, Smitty’s is now one of Canada’s largest casual dining restaurant chains, with 83 locations in 9 provinces across Canada. As we continue to grow, Smitty’s remains committed to serve communities All Your Favourites. All Day Long.

Social media:

Facebook: /SmittysRestaurants

Instagram: @smittysrestaurants


OOH Advertising

Maximizing ROI in OOH Advertising: Tips for the Cost-Conscious Business Owner




In the digital age, Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising continues to be a powerful tool for brand visibility and engagement. 

Despite the allure of online marketing, OOH advertising offers unique advantages that can significantly boost a brand’s presence in the physical world. 

Measuring the ROI of OOH Advertising

For the cost-conscious business owner, maximizing the return on investment (ROI) in OOH advertising is paramount. 

While it’s more difficult to measure the ROI of OOH advertising it doesn’t mean that OOH advertising is less effective; rather, it requires a different lens through which to view success.

OOH advertising excels in building brand awareness and establishing a brand’s presence in the community. Its effectiveness lies in the ability to reach audiences during their daily routines, creating memorable impressions that contribute to long-term brand recall. This, in turn, can influence consumer behaviour over time, indirectly driving sales and increasing overall ROI.

This post will guide you through strategic tips to ensure your OOH campaigns deliver maximum impact without breaking the bank.

Understanding OOH Advertising

OOH advertising encompasses a broad range of formats beyond traditional billboards, including digital displays, transit ads, and more specialized placements like arena advertising

These platforms offer diverse opportunities to capture audience attention in various environments— from bustling city streets to the heart of community recreational facilities.


Target Audience Alignment

The cornerstone of a high-ROI OOH campaign is a deep understanding of your target audience. 

Knowing where your potential customers spend their time, their interests, and their consumer behaviours can guide you to choose OOH locations that intersect with their daily lives. 

For instance, REC Media specializes in connecting brands with families in recreational settings, offering a prime opportunity to engage a captive audience in a community-centred environment.


Strategic Placement for Maximum Visibility

Visibility is key in OOH advertising. Opt for locations with high foot traffic or those in proximity to landmarks to elevate exposure. 

Leveraging local spaces, such as athletic recreational facilities, can provide targeted reach within a community setting. 

These placements ensure your message is seen by the right people at the right time, increasing the likelihood of engagement.


Creative Content That Captures Attention

In a world saturated with advertisements, your OOH content must stand out. Employ creative, clear, and impactful messaging that can be understood and remembered quickly. 

Visuals should be striking and convey your brand’s message at a glance. Remember, the goal is to make a lasting impression on passersby, prompting them to think about your brand even after they’ve moved on.


Integrating with Digital Campaigns

To amplify your OOH advertising efforts, integrate them with your digital campaigns. 

Use QR codes, social media hashtags, or specific landing pages to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds. 

This approach not only extends the life of your OOH campaign but also allows for tracking engagement and effectiveness through digital analytics.


Measuring Success and ROI

Accurately measuring the success of your OOH campaign is critical to understanding its ROI. 

Utilize tools and metrics such as foot traffic analysis, digital engagement rates, and direct sales attributed to the campaign. 

Adjusting strategies based on performance data ensures continuous improvement and cost-efficiency in future campaigns.


A Final Word

OOH advertising remains a potent medium for brand promotion, capable of delivering significant ROI when strategically executed. 

By understanding your audience, selecting strategic locations, creating memorable content, and integrating with digital strategies, you can optimize your OOH campaigns for maximum impact. 

As a cost-conscious business owner, these tips will empower you to make informed decisions that stretch your advertising dollars further while achieving your marketing objectives.

Join our email list for more valuable marketing tips and strategies tailored to connecting brands with families in recreational environments, or contact us today to launch your first REC Media campaign.

blog OOH Advertising

How to Design an Unmissable Out-of-Home Ad: Creative OOH ad design that boosts results




They’re big, bold, and unstoppable. You can’t skip them, block them, or avoid them. In fact, you can’t even ignore them. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is having a moment, and for good reason.



We may live in a digital age, but out-of-home advertising is—not surprisingly to industry experts—a genuine growth market. OOH advertising is seeing consistent ad revenue growth and is delivering significant business results.



So how do you make the most of this form of advertising and reaching your audiences when they’re outside their homes?



Creating an OOH campaign or ad isn’t the same as designing a magazine or digital ad. A solid OOH campaign is driven by creative design that engages with your audience in ways that other advertising channels don’t.



Competition is high for attracting the eye of the consumer, so smart concepts and good graphic design are key to standing out. OOH ads have to be persuasive. They have to be bold. And they have to be spot on.





In this article, we’ll walk you through our top tips for designing great creative for your OOH campaign.

1. Identify and pursue your target audience


Before coming up with a winning ad, you have to know who you’re trying   to reach. Get to know and understand your target audience and what makes them tick, so that you can ensure your ad layout, images and copy resonate with them.

2. Know your goal



Your OOH ad should tie back to your marketing/promotion campaign and other marketing and advertising tactics.

Have a specific goal for each OOH ad. Knowing what you want to achieve will drive the direction of your creative concept. Do you want to:

  • Create more brand awareness
  • Generate a call to action
  • Educate your viewers
  • Advertise a new product line
  • Try new demographic, market, or geographic area?

3. Use compelling copy—but keep it brief

Print or online ads can be packed with lots of information and small print that viewers can read at leisure. With OOH, you have to help viewers digest the information in just a few, simple lines.

Messaging is vital in OOH advertising, and it can be a challenge to convey that message in just five or six words.

Keep it simple, and use a single memorable contact method, like a shortlink, hashtag, or just your company name. Smart, short taglines and punchy copy work really well and will help you reap rewards in OOH ads.


4. Lead with a hero image

With magazine or editorial ads, you have flexibility in design and can create complex images to make readers think, but OOH advertising is different. OOH is essentially a visual experience, and a simple, relevant hero image should be central to your messaging.

Imagery is often more important than text in OOH advertising. Choose a single image or graphic element that:

  • Captures the attention
  • Conveys your message
  • Is high resolution
  • Is memorable, entertaining, or emotionally compelling

5. Roll out the red carpet: use bold colours

Colours are really important in OOH advertising. While magazine ads have to ‘fit’ in to the publication’s ‘look’, OOH background and font colours have to be bright and high-contrast to help with readability.

White space can be really effective in media print ads, but too much of it in OOH ads can dilute or distract the message.

By using contrasting colours, you can attract the attention of your audience and place emphasis on certain parts of your ad, making it easy to read at any time of day.

6. Consider your location when you design your OOH ad

Out-of-home advertising is always in a fixed point in space. Consider using the location where it’ll be displayed as part of your ad use it as a springboard for a clever message.

People’s memories are better when they’re connected to a physical location, so OOH advertising is ideal to create brand awareness.

To optimise the retention of your ad, stay consistent with your design choices and branding in other channels: keep logos, colours, fonts, hashtags, and messaging consistent.

Over to you

Are you trying your hand at out of home advertising? Have you found our tips helpful? If you need a little more guidance about planning your next OOH advertising campaign, please explore our arena advertising opportunities or contact us today.

And if you found this post helpful, please let us know by signing up to our email list.

Sports & Families

Why summer is the best time to reach busy families with recreational sports centre advertising


Summer can traditionally be a slow period for marketing, but it’s a perfect opportunity to recalibrate your advertising strategy and advertise in recreational sports centres to reach busy families.

Here’s how best to use this opportunity.

Focus on your target audience

For Out-Of-Home (OOH) and advertising in recreational sports centres, summer is prime time as you can reach parents and kids in an engaging and fun environment. It’s also a good time to expand your target market to tourists and other demographics.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s baseball, lacrosse, volleyball, athletics, football, or rugby—these fun events are huge magnets for busy families and teenagers who actually take the time to go to recreational indoor and outdoor centres.

And don’t forget the younger audiences. As Google’s Top digital marketing trends and predictions for 2023 shows, “In 2023, do not try to bring Gen Z audiences into your world, but meet them in theirs.”

Recalibrate the message

People do plan to spend more during the summer, specifically for items related to summer activities like summer sports. So tailoring your promotions and messaging to this time of the year—especially if you’re advertising in recreational centres—can yield good results.

This is the time to go big and be noticed.

Consider tailoring your advertising to summer activities like sports events in recreational centres that are relevant and appealing to your target audience.

You can also use the time to recalibrate your message, test new messages or channels, review your advertising strategy for the rest of the year, and focus on creating a positive customer experience.

Use the flexibility of OOH

The summer season offers plenty of flexibility in terms of where and how you can advertise.

Strategic OOH advertising can be leveraged and can for recreational centres, parks, towns, or outdoor centres, using a variety of advertising formats, like billboards, digital displays, experiential marketing, and more.

OOH is very visual, and people notice OOH a lot more now than before the pandemic, so use the season to try out new formats, like banners, posters, signs, and billboards.

Whatever the format, make sure it’s eye-catching, bold, and high quality to grab the attention of parents and their children.

Keep it in the community

OOH is seen as more trustworthy and can complement your local community marketing.

With local promotion in recreational centres, you’re appealing to locals in the places families, teens, and seniors love the most, where they create fun memories of family time and achievements.

Summer is the busiest season for sports events and competitions, so taking advantage of this peak time is crucial. You can raise brand awareness, promote your products and services, and offer special discounts, all the while supporting your community.

Our Top Summer Advertising Tips

  • Plan summer advertising campaigns and research in advance.
  • Go big, be visible.
  • Recalibrate your message and for new target audiences.
  • Test out new messages and channels.
  • Keep it local and leverage the peak period of sports competitions in recreational centres.
  • Integrate summer advertising campaigns in recreational centres to other channels like social media.
  • As AI continues to disrupt people’s expectations and trust, OOH in recreational centres offers a traditional, ‘safe’ space to promote your message.
blog News

London Drugs Partners with Rec Media to Celebrate Community Sport Throughout Western Canada


CALGARY, AB / April 24, 2023 / Rec Media, the leading provider of media and sponsorship opportunities in athletic recreational facilities across Canada, announces that it has partnered with London Drugs to celebrate community sport across Western Canada.

The campaign includes Wall Murals, Rink board Panels and Interior Wall Billboard placements within community and municipal recreational facilities.  It highlights London Drugs’ role as “BC’s Most Loved Brand” while highlighting the award-winning retailer as being “Your Experts. And Your Neighbours” in other western provinces.

Troy Sedgwick, Rec Media’s President and CEO, stated, “It’s been our pleasure to work with one of Western Canada’s strongest brands.  London Drugs’ ‘Believe in Better’ commitment to making a positive impact on the world and the Western Canadian communities they operate in aligns with Rec Media’s core values and core purpose of “Connecting and Supporting People in Our Communities”.  We’re proud that we were able to help them emotionally connect with their customers at a grass-roots level.”

“Partnering with Rec Media has given London Drugs the ability to uniquely connect with our customers in both large and small markets by having a presence in their local recreational centres and arenas that are visited by thousands each week,” says London Drugs’ president and COO Clint Mahlman. “We’re also pleased that our marketing dollars help offset costs passed onto many facility user-groups, providing accessibility to sporting activities, which leads to improved physical and mental health.”

About Rec Media

Rec Media is the leading provider of media and sponsorship opportunities with access to over 4,500 athletic recreational facilities across Canada.  The company’s recreation facility network includes community arenas, outdoor sports fields, curling clubs, indoor soccer facilities, ski resorts, and golf courses which offer a variety of static and digital media placement options.

During its 28-year history, Rec Media has given back over 15 million dollars to Canadian communities and community recreational facilities.

For further information: please contact: Jeff Young, VP Sales, Rec Media (Vancouver/Calgary/Toronto); Tel 1-888-746-5237; E-mail:;

LinkedIn: Rec Media

About London Drugs

Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs sells to every province and territory in Canada through its online store and has 79 physical stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. London Drugs offers customers a range of products from personal protection equipment for pandemic safety to digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 9,000 people with pharmacy and health care services at the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring Canadian company that supports Canadian brands and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

Social media:

Facebook: /LondonDrugs

Twitter: @LondonDrugs

Instagram: @LondonDrugs


10 tips to Market Small and Medium-Sized Businesses in the Community



Small businesses often have more challenges marketing their business than larger enterprises, not least because their budgets and resources won’t stretch as far. And COVID didn’t help, either.

But small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are our local heroes. They’re the businesses that employ us, provide us with the services and products we need, and engage in our communities.

According to Statistics Canada, small businesses made up 98.1% of all employer businesses in Canada in 2021, employing 10.3 million people, while medium-sized businesses employed 3.4 million people. Together, they play an important role in the economy.

And times have been tough, and it’s more important than ever for SMBs to have a strong marketing plan to build their customer base and increase revenue.

The Benefits of Community Marketing

Using community advertising is a great way to do this, and we’ll share some tips below on how to do this while maximizing your SMB marketing dollars as a small business in the US and Canada.

Many marketing plans will focus on quickly getting new customers, but community marketing focuses on relationship-building. It’s about building communication, engagement, and loyalty—priceless attributes that any company needs.

Community marketing can align your brand by creating a strong sense of connection and belonging in a community—i.e, a solid social experience in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Gen Z, especially, are more value-driven than previous generations and want to connect authentically with brands. And community marketing is the perfect way to reach them.

Here are our tips for a strong SMB community marketing plan.

1. Set your targets to measure success

SMBs will often use their marketing budget on an as-needed basis, so getting every bang possible for your buck in a marketing campaign is even more important.

For it to succeed, you need to know what that measure of success is. Finding the endgame for the campaign and what you really want the outcome to be will inform how you refine and repeat it.

Is the goal to increase brand awareness, grow the number of customers, or strengthen the bonds of existing customers in the local market?

The key is to prioritize the goal based on need and determine what success looks like for the campaign.

2. Know your audience

Tapping into the community can yield enormous benefits, especially if you know your audience.

Any demographics, such as location, age, interests, and income, will be helpful, as it will help you determine how to reach your target audience. But there’s more when it comes to community marketing.

What does this community value? What brings it together?

Often, communities come together around sports, local arenas, and sports facilities, which offer considerable opportunities to SMB marketers, as they tend to attract a large and diverse local demographic.

Finding where your target audience assembles in a community and advertising in a meaningful way in places they enjoy and care for will align your brand with these positive moments and locations.

3. Make the most of Google’s free products

When it comes to SMB community marketing, many often need to pay more attention to the powerful yet free Google My Business, which is now known as Google Business Profile.

With this Google service, businesses can reach local customers through Google Search and Maps.

It’s incredibly helpful to increase visibility on Google and to increase or improve your ratings and credibility with reviews (something millennials and Gen Z use enormously in purchasing journeys).

That indispensable online presence—along with your website—can perfectly complement your community advertising campaigns when you’re targeting local customers.

For example, if you’re advertising in the community, you can integrate your local campaign with a wider national online one (more on this below!).

3. Choose your social channels wisely

As an SMB, you might not be making the most of social media, as it requires significant resources.

You may be tempted to have an account on all social media channels and be scrambling to keep those up-to-date and interesting.

But there may not be time and budget to do this well.

So, instead, analyze your current channels and find out which ones offer the highest number of engagements.

Then, focus on your target audience and where they tend to be.

For example, if you are targeting families, a great place to start may be on Facebook, where the parents of Gen Z are currently hanging out.

If you’re trying to reach children, maybe TikTok is a better place.

Choosing one or two channels and doing those well will yield far greater results than engaging only sporadically on many platforms.

Engage with locals by publicly liking, commenting, and responding to events like sports games, parades, and other events in the community.

And if you’re already advertising in sports arenas and recreational facilities, integrate the campaign with your online social channels for maximum engagement.

Use the 60/30/10 rule, with 60% of posts on engaging content, 30% reshared from other places, and 10% promotion/sales content.

4. Find the niche and monetize it

To stand out, you need to find your niche.

Finding your niche is about cutting through the noise by making your brand relevant to that community.

For example, you could find ways to personalize your product or service for, e.g., soccer mums and dads who support their kids’ games, and make your campaign relevant to that group.

This will help build deeper connections as the niche recognizes the value and relevance of your brand.

Finding ways to monetize the community niche as a new revenue stream can also build good credibility for taking your marketing efforts further afield.

5. Create shareable content

Lead with expertise. Today’s audiences (and communities) enjoy sharing content, which helps them build links with other like-minded people.

Effective content should be engaging enough that people will want to share it.

Use your community marketing campaigns to tie into what’s happening in the community and create compelling content around that.

For example, is there a highly anticipated sports game being played soon? Consider sports advertising with a fun and relevant message that supporters will want to share with other fans.

Consider making videos, tutorials, webinars, and blogs, or use advertising opportunities to promote educational or thought leadership content from the community.

This is an interesting method of showing authenticity and value to prospective customers.

6. Be present in the community

SMBs are the lifeblood of a community. Their advertising in local venues is what keeps money flowing through a community.

They support local charity efforts, sponsor events, and attract business to the community.

Community recreation centres and sports areas offer an excellent opportunity to be present in the community to show that you care.

These facilities are high-traffic areas where families come to cheer their teams, and advertising there reaches people when they are at their best, spending leisure time and enjoying themselves.

As an SMB, you can advertise in a sports community centre with messages of support to a local team, showcase your products or services, and show value.

7. Integrate your campaigns

Make the most of local events by using integrated marketing campaigns.

Integrated marketing isn’t out of reach for SMBs. It’s about ensuring your messages across all your marketing channels are consistent.

It can be easy to lose control of the message on social media, for example, or promote something on a direct mail campaign but not on the website.

Keeping the same visual aesthetics, the same offers, and the same voice across every customer touchpoint will increase brand awareness, whether it’s for your billboard ad, your website, or your in-store experience.

8. Leverage local brand ambassadors

Word of mouth is priceless, and community marketing offers opportunities to turn your local brand ambassadors into ambassadors.

If you can find trusted individuals in your community who value your brand, you can engage with them and create a mutually beneficial relationship.

This can lead to more user-generated content (UGC), either from your ambassador or their followers, and reward loyal clients (by making them feel part of the team).

UGC is more credible, as followers can relate better to peers than to SMBs themselves.

9. Offer value & use repetitive advertising

You’ll have better engagement with the community if you can bring value when it comes to your advertising and marketing.

This helps you stand out and be seen as a more integrated part of the community and, therefore, more memorable.

When you’re advertising in a community, think of how you can add value. Perhaps it’s by sponsoring an event at the community centre, or maybe it’s by promoting a local sports team at a sports arena.

Whatever way you do it, make sure your message is repeatable and repeated. Marketers often use the word ‘effective frequency’, the time it takes someone to hear/see your message before it’s absorbed or remembered.

So think simpler message, more often.

It’s better for your advertising to be in front of 20,000 five times than in front of 100,000 once.

10. Create emotional bonds

You can maximize your SMB marketing by creating strong emotional connections with your target audience.

Emotional marketing works, and it works wonderfully in communities.

Emotions are always heightened at sports centres, arenas, and recreational facilities. That energy can be leveraged by placing ads in these venues to make captive audiences remember your brand, share your content, and become loyal customers.

Is it time for your SMB to add community marketing to your strategy?

Let Rec Media help you get there. We can:

✅ Increase your visibility at local, regional, and national venues with terrific CSR opportunities

✅ Help make your SMB marketing easier with one-stop shop aggregation and execution

✅ Guide you with our more than 25 years of experience and expertise solely in this space

Connect with us for a quote  🎉

blog Community

Why Hyper-Local Community Advertising Works


What’s different about community advertising in this digital age?

Authenticity and engagement, according to research. Community advertising can be a great way to cut through the digital noise, foster strong bonds with your audience, and become entrenched in the community.

It’s that sense of belonging that we all crave that keeps Canadian communities together. It’s in communities that cheer on sports teams, dine at our favourite neighbourhood pubs, and connect with shopkeepers. Throughout the pandemic, families everywhere made huge efforts to shop locally to keep their community businesses alive.

Smart companies are tapping into that community spirit and responding by giving back to the community through community advertising. You attract, engage, and retain customers locally, but also give back through knowledge, event sponsorship, donations, and advertising. Corporate Social Responsibility is at the forefront of many marketing strategies and follows the basic principle of “doing the right thing” while building a positive brand around their company.

Community advertising can be very powerful and rewarding for both the advertiser and target audiences. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to local sports recreation centres, where a substantial portion of your advertising dollars are reinvested into the venues; for example, to help with operating expenses or support local games. This is positive social value, and a win-win for both the advertiser and the community.

Here are 5 ways community advertising can support your brand.

5 ways community advertising can help your brand

  1. Build authenticity and trust: In today’s digital world, customers are becoming more jaded and respond better to a more personal and emotional connection with the brands they value. Community advertising creates an authentic, direct channel for the community, cutting through the noise, strengthening your brand, and increasing the sense of loyalty and authenticity of your brand.Becoming embedded in a community can cultivate greater loyalty, which can lead to more user-generated content. With more trust and better communications, your company can showcase its authenticity—key criteria for millennial buyers.
  2. Increase your brand awareness: Community sports recreation centres and arenas are where it’s at when it comes to connecting with families on-the-go, regardless of the type of company or sector you’re operating in. Captive spectators in sports venues—think families bringing their children to practices and attending games, for example—can be exposed to your branding message for long periods of time, several times per week, translating to more brand recognition and awareness, in their own community.
  3. Reach new demographics: Local sports facilities attract the widest demographic of families with discretionary income. From children’s sports clubs and adult recreational teams to college-level teams, your local sports facility has a world of opportunity and exposure available to your business.You’re reaching your target audience where they spend their valuable recreation and leisure time. Local recreation centres and arenas deliver an exceptional opportunity to showcase your message to a broad demographic in community facilities that are loved and frequented by millions annually.
  1. Cut through the noise: In today’s digital world, customers can be drowned in digital ads. Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising complements and amplifies digital and traditional media, not least because OOH is seen as a more credible medium that boosts brand trust, according to industry experts. Local community advertising is a great complement to social media campaigns, leveraging their huge communities, where engagement can be fun, fast, and familiar.
  2. Capitalize on positive experiences: Community advertising offers you a chance to capitalize on existing positive experiences around community events like sports games, and people have been very excited about the return of sports events since the pandemic lockdowns. Aligning your brand to this energy build connections and offers brand recognition longevity with positive experiences.


Are you ready to try out some local community advertising? Your customers probably are.

At Rec Media, we’re entrenched in the communities we serve, and we’d be happy to open the conversation with you about how to get started.