Evan Richheimer and Luis Cerda: We always wanted to be entrepreneurs.

Today’s podcast guests are Evan Richheimer and Luis Cerda, Co-Founders of New Tradition Media an out of home company which operates a large format out of home plant in 16 large US cities.   They talk about getting started, the Regency signs purchase and how they secured One Times Square.  Don’t overlook the value of a cold call!

Luis Cerda, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, New Tradition Media

Luis Cerda on the company’s history

New Tradition is a New York based company.  We actually just turned 11 this month.  We have a wonderful staff that’s spread between New York, Los Angeles and Chicago…I’d like to tell you a little bit about our partnership group.  There are five of us and we really all have complementary backgrounds.  Evan and I, we came from Titan in New York…Vince Mastria came from JCDecaux.  He was in national sales out of their New York Office.  Brett Richheimer…came from the banking world.  He came from Barclays Capital.  And then Scott Allesandro came from Van Wagner in New York…Scott passed away last June.  He fought a courageous battle with cancer.  Scott was a great friend, he was a great partner and he was one of the great real estate developers in out of home…We always wanted to be entrepreneurs…We founded New Tradition in March of 2010.  And about a year later we convinced Vince to join us…The three of us spent the next year operating a niche business that really focused on consumers at beaches and ski resorts around the country…Looking back on those early years when we were just selling beach and ski we could never have imagined the way that it looks today where we manage iconic properties like One Times Square and Union Station in Washington DC and The Reef in Los Angeles (the largest digital billboard in America), Hollywood and Highland and now the Regency assets in Los Angeles…

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Evan Richheimer, Co-Founder and CEO, New Tradition Media

Evan Richheimer on New Tradition’s first really big win.

One Times Square.  Home of the new years eve ball drop.  The single best asset in the world.  Our office is at 1407 Broadway on 40th street.  And I lived on 44th and 2nd at that time.  And to save money every day I wouldn’t take the subway.  I would walk…Day in and day out I would look at the retail signage on 42nd street that Walgreens occupied…I start dialing – daily – the real estate manager at Walgreens to no avail…After probably the 150th call I got him on the phone and scheduled a meeting…At that point in time we didn’t even want to spend on two plane tickets.  Scott went by himself.  Made the pitch with Walgreens and they gave us the opportunity to sell their signage…Lou, Vince, myself, all went gangbusters to sell this…We hit the cover off the ball…just selling it based on its merits…Fast forward one year…we sat with the owners of the building…and they were like can you accomplish this on the front of the building…We brought it to market and the rest is history…and that was solely based on a cold call.

On covid and New Tradition

…In this last economic downturn…we didn’t have to furlough an employee, we didn’t have to let an employee go, we didn’t have to not pay bonuses.  That was one of the most proud moments of this entire journey for me….

The Regency signs purchase

We always admired the Regency plant…it is truly an irreplaceable footprint in the heart of Los Angeles…it is legal non-conforming so it can never be duplicated…it complements our plant extremely well.  We predominately work with national advertisers and this is what they buy.

The covid crisis created opportunity

At the end of the day we were fortunate that we’ve been thoughtful about commercial structure as we’ve built one sign after another with out own capital.  So we came into this crisis with next to no leverage.  We knew that opportunities…were going to present themselves.

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