Brothers bring home digital advertising

Published 11:57 am Monday, April 15, 2024

By Lanell Downs Smith

Garrett and Devin Walley have a deep connection with the Luverne community. That is why the brothers felt honored to bring the first digital billboard to Crenshaw County in March.

The fully digital billboard is located on the south side of Luverne, near the mini storage and across the street from Crenshaw Community Hospital on U.S. Highway 331. One side is digital and the other is static and, according to Garrett Walley, northbound traffic gets a view of the digital side of the display.

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“If you’re going north into town, it’s going to be on the left side of the road,” said Garrett Walley. “That’s the side that is digital. If you’re going south, it’ll be on your right side. The static [display] catches southbound traffic and the digital is what northbound traffic sees.”

The Walley brothers are sons of Jimmy and Gail Morgan of Luverne. Technically, they say they grew up in Atmore but call Luverne their hometown.

“When I was 15, our Mom, Gail Morgan, married Jimmy Morgan and we moved to Luverne,” Garrett said. “At that point, she became the assistant principal at Luverne Elementary School and I graduated from Luverne High School. So, I consider Luverne home. A lot of my formative years are wrapped around Luverne.”

Garrett and Devin, who live now in Pike Road and Baton Rouge, Louisiana respectively, share ownership of Walley Billboard, and purchased the Luverne sign from its former owner, Go With the Flow, in August. Originally they considered placing a digital sign elsewhere, but found great support in the Crenshaw community for going forward with the project.

“We approached the city about getting the permit and the city inspector [Luverne Police Chief] Mike Johnson] contacted the former owner to see how he got the permit,” Devin said. “As fate would have it, the guy wanted to sell, so we worked out a deal and purchased the company from him. And, that’s how we ended up where we are.”

The display features options for how often advertising is shown and community response to the sign has been overwhelmingly positive. The sign went live on Tuesday, March 12 and by that Friday, all spaces were sold out.

“There are options for whether someone wants their ad to be shown every two minutes, which is a lower price,” Garrett said. “We thought that was maybe something that would help small businesses more. If a company wants to see their ad every minute, that’s a higher price. Currently, with the layout we have, we have 11 different clients that rotate on that board.”

The Walley’s are floating plans for expansion, so residents could see more digital displays on Crenshaw County roadways in the future.

“Like with any kind of growing company, we want to get our feet underneath us,” Garrett said. “But, we would like to expand in the future, especially where we are, and expand our footprint to help as many small businesses in the area as we can.”