OTTAWA—Ross Video today announced that it is rebranding the company in advance of an IPO within the next two years.
The Ottawa-based company, which launched in 1974 focusing on switchers, has expanded over the years to the point where it now offers one of the widest arrays of lens to glass production systems in the broadcast industry. It has approximately 1,300 employees worldwide.
The announcement comes less than a week after the company officially opened the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Iriquois, Ontario, which doubled the square footage of the facility to more than 120,000. Ross said it expects to bring in $400 million in revenues this year, according to Standard-Freeholder.
The company says its new brand platform, “Let’s Make it Real” is a “significant milestone in the company’s evolution, showcasing its commitment to customer imagination and enabling the transformation of ideas into reality. This is an especially important step towards a planned IPO in the next few years to communicate that customers remain the central focus for the company.”
Company CEO Dave Ross says the company has been doing its due diligence in advance of the expected IPO.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work inside the company making sure our accounting and ESG are in place,” Ross Video CEO Dave Ross told TV Tech. “And one of the things is the brand, which also needs to be in place. We’ve had the standard red Ross logo, which we launched on our 40th anniversary in 2014. So we’ve had the current look for quite a few years.”
Ross adds that unlike the usual IPO process, Ross’s move to go public will demonstrate the company’s focus on its customers.
“Something that we’ve seen in a lot of the companies in our industry that go public, ‘the street,’ or the investors, turn these companies into pretzels, and they become a financial instrument, as opposed to a customer serving company,” he said. “One of the things that makes Ross unique is that we are a large, privately owned company, where I still own 80% and the employees still own the rest. And even after an IPO, even if we went public and created about maybe 15% new shares for outside investors to participate in, they can’t fire me. And my focus after 30 years of focusing on the customers isn’t gonna change at all.”
Ross said that acquisitions will continue regardless of when the IPO will take place, adding that the company expects to announce a new one sometime this summer.
Being able to raise substantially more money will allow Ross to do a couple of things, Ross said.
“In the first round of the IPO, I don’t make a penny, no employee makes a penny, basically money just goes into the company to do some cool new things by using some of the money for doing more research and development—making our existing products better, faster and make them integrate to each other even better than they have before,” he said. “So, I think from that point of view, the IPO is all about a superior customer experience.
Jeff Moore, EVP and CMO of Ross Video says the rebrand is a massive step for the company’s evolution.
“Our technology is in more settings and hands than ever, and our customers are using it to design stunning productions on a daily basis,” he said. “This new brand platform welcomes our customers’ visionary thinking and puts them in the driver’s seat so that they can dream up creative solutions alongside us. The vibrance and energy of the new visual system is a significant evolution for Ross and a massive step in conveying who we are to this broader audience. It’s also fitting that this great work was a team effort. External partners bringing fresh eyes complimented by Ross staff who know and own the brand.”
Early pieces of “Let’s Make it Real” were teased out at the NAB Show in April. With the official launch today and full rollout continuing through the remainder of the year, the platform will anchor all marketing and communication efforts, including a revamped website designed to communicate how Ross has become a cornerstone of the industry while remaining laser-focused on customer success, the company said.
“Let’s Make it Real” was a collaboration between Ross’ internal creative design team and Toronto-based external partners Bruce Mau Design and strategy consultant Mary Jane Braide.
“The design system is a literal manifestation of ‘Let’s Make it Real,’ moving from abstract concept to final experience,” said Laura Stein, Chief Creative Officer at Bruce Mau Design. “Graphic pixels represent the process, ideation, and connections that progress bit by bit until we arrive at crisp, high-resolution images of the final experience.”