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Runningboards Marketing Opens First Ever Franchise Location in Central Massachusetts

Even during a difficult economy, the mobile marketing brand is proving to be a standout concept with a successful opening in Marlborough.

By Sarah Baumann1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 9:09AM 09/29/20

Runningboards Marketing — a digital mobile marketing concept based in Watertown, New York — signed its very first franchises this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The franchise provides an affordable, sensible service for small businesses that is particularly suitable for these difficult times, which is exactly what attracted one of the brand’s new franchisees, Mark Federico.

When new franchise owner Federico signed with Runningboards Marketing , COVID-19 had already reached the U.S. As an owner of a chain of fitness franchises in the Northeast, Federico understands the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic. As he grappled with how to promote his business in these times, Federico saw one of Runningboards Marketing’s eye-catching digital advertising vehicles — better known as DAV® (pronounced “Dave”) — which have high-impact LED screens that display brand messaging and customizable graphics. He knew he had to learn more about their services and, after calling the brand’s information center, the entrepreneur felt compelled to invest in the business himself. The franchise’s brilliant advertisements and affordable rates were a perfect fit for the Marlborough business market, and Federico knew he wanted to provide that kind of service.

“I was in Pennsylvania when I saw a Runningboards truck drive by,” said Federico. “We were getting ready to open a new fitness club and I thought that would be the perfect way to market our club in the neighborhood. When I learned there were no Runningboards franchisees in Massachusetts, I asked them to walk me through the business. I was really interested in all the brand had to offer, and now I’m my own first customer.”

One of two signings to occur during the pandemic, Federico’s Marlborough opening is the brand’s first franchise, followed by its second in Paducah, Kentucky. The brand now boasts four total locations including the Watertown headquarters and nearby Syracuse. Now that his location is officially open for business, Federico is ready to bring his valuable service to other small businesses in the area.

“This is a tool that small businesses and local businesses can use for grassroots marketing,” he said. “Runningboards’ trucks are a service that can support small businesses, and in smaller communities, they will be something that businesses are going to want to utilize...and you can’t miss them!”

Runningboards Marketing was founded in 2018 by Calvin McNeely and Zach Yelle. The brand stands out as a franchise opportunity in the mobile advertising segment thanks to its use of digital advertising vehicle DAV®. Businesses hire DAV to drive around markets in order to target specific audiences. Whether a client wants to advertise their business or give a friend a birthday shoutout, DAV can get the job done. Customers of the brand are increasingly seeing the value of these spectacular mobile-billboards, and the affordability of the service is proving to be an investment worth making to stand out in the era of COVID-19.

“Right now, starting a business, owning a company or even being employed is scary,” Federico said. “When businesses start to reopen, a lot of them are going to need help getting back on their feet. These businesses will spend money on marketing because they have to acquire new customers. DAV has the ability to really help small businesses survive, prosper and grow as we get out of COVID-19.”

Runningboards Marketing’s corporately owned business, as well as its headquarters, is located in Watertown, New York. With its first two franchise locations launched successfully, McNeely and the Runningboards leadership team has its sights set on expanding concentrically throughout the state of New York. Statewide, there are currently about 15 territories available for growth. With a model that has a promising capacity to scale, low overhead and low staffing needs, leadership is confident the brand will be attractive to new buyers as the pandemic continues.

“Without a brick-and-mortar to deal with, we’re built for social distancing,” said McNeely. “Our mission statement is ‘helping successful businesses grow,’ and those successful businesses might actually be struggling right now. With economic uncertainty, there’s less opportunity for businesses to get their names out there. Our platform is a fresh way to get a company’s name in front of people and, although we can't be everywhere, we can be anywhere. Small businesses need our support and strategic ways to get out in front of potential customers. We truly want to help.”

As Federico continues to grow his business, he’s confident the services he provides will continue to have a place in the Marlborough market. Even after the pandemic, small businesses will see the value DAV can bring to their operations. Affordable, eye-catching marketing, according to Federico, will never go out of style.

“At some point in time, we’ll get back to normal,” said Federico. “Even then, businesses will need ways to get the word out. We offer a simple, accessible form of advertising that’s effective and can’t be beat.”

To learn more about franchising with Runningboards Marketing, visit