Our History

It all started in a New York City cab.

Armed with a vision and an entrepreneurial drive, our founder Richard Schaps grew Van Wagner to be the global leader in spectacular out of home signage and iconic billboard networks around the globe. The business has transformed, and today we are the leading sports advertising and entertainment agency, with global expertise in live events, sponsorship sales, multi-media rights, and aerial advertising.


Richard Schaps purchases a small out-of-home (OOH) signage company in Queens, NY from Mott Van Wagner.


The vision is clear: Distinctive displays make an important impression – they build brands. The new Van Wagner’s first billboard goes on display on the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.


Through hard work and a tenacious spirit, the company continues to grow, purchasing 14 signs in New York City’s Times Square. Van Wagner quickly becomes synonymous with premium products and unrivaled customer service.


Introduces international advertisers and Neon Spectaculars to Times Square.


Establishes a presence in California and opens Van Wagner’s Los Angeles office.


Van Wagner expands, acquiring Dorna, and becomes the market leader in selling high impact TV-Visible signage during major sporting events.


During a wave of industry consolidation, Richard sells OOH assets to Outdoor Systems (now Outfront) and retains the Van Wagner name and team. They begin to rebuild the next day.


Over the next decade, the new company grows from 0 to 750 signs, building new, coveted OOH networks from NYC to L.A. to London.


Commences a first-of-its kind payphone kiosk advertising program in NYC.


Extends East Coast presence to Washington, DC by creating wall murals.


Launches Van Wagner Aerial Advertising division after acquiring Aerial Sign Company, Inc., a banner-towing, aerial advertising business based in Hollywood, FL.


Establishes Van Wagner Chicago and develops significant market presence in Boston, MA.


Wins New York MTA contract, solidifying lead position as the dominant outdoor advertising company in NYC.


Awarded MBTA contract to develop and operate large format wallscapes in Boston.


West Coast Business sees enormous growth in San Francisco and LA with major developers and specialty media.


Introduces Bikeshare advertising in Boston, followed by Chicago and Washington DC.


Establishes Team Advisory group with over $3B of naming rights experience. The next year, signs Vikings as first major naming rights and ticketing client.


Van Wagner acquires industry-leader Big Screen Networks (BSN) and forms Van Wagner Productions.


Richard sees opportunity to focus on sports and entertainment business and sells Van Wagner’s outdoor advertising division to CBS (now Outfront) for close to $700MM.


Establishes Van Wagner College, focused on multi-media rights and campus marketing.


Van Wagner Aerial sees record growth as the largest provider of Aerial Advertising in the U.S.


Productions team leads video production for multiple high-profile sporting events: Rio Olympics, Super Bowl (32nd consecutive year), NCAA Final Four, College Football Playoffs, to name a few.

Van Wagner designs and implements digital advertising technology and revenue opportunities for the new U.S. Bank Stadium.


Productions named new partner for the Warrior Games, Pan American Games, SoFi Stadium, and 2022 Beijing Olympics.

College continues to grow portfolio of schools to 30.

Van Wagner designs and implements digital advertising technology and revenue opportunities for the LA Memorial Coliseum.


Van Wagner produces the first-of-its-kind outdoor series of the NFL Draft, hosting over 700,000 fans in the streets of Nashville, TN.


After major sporting events postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, Van Wagner launches new offering to design and produce large-scale virtual events for sports leagues and Fortune 500 companies.

Van Wagner also relaunches its outdoor advertising business with 34 Billboards in NYC, LA, Chicago, and San Francisco.


Today, Van Wagner is a fast-growing, sports marketing and productions agency. The company has perfected the art of creating unique branding and advertising opportunities for world-class companies in exciting outdoor, sports, and big event environments.