AXLMOBILE brings news and information up-close and personal
By Roz Edward
In the last decade or so, media companies have had to navigate their way through extraordinary changes in the way they conduct business as reading habits shifted and media companies have had to diversify.
Rodney Reynolds, a seasoned and successful media veteran and publisher of American Legacy Magazine, is transforming the delivery of black achievement news through the combines of culture, civics and technology in new and innovative ways.
After 16 years of printing the American Legacy, Reynolds the first recipient of the Earl G. Graves Entrepreneurial, stepped up his commitment to sharing information and spreading the message of Black achievement in sports and other arenas by delivering news to the doorsteps of consumers. Nothing new about publications being Reynolds is delivering a complete interactive and immersive news experience in bigger than life and most spectacular fashion. AXLMOBILE transforms mobile transports, trucks and RV’s, and puts them on the road to bring news and sports exhibitions to communities and school districts across the country.
The award-winning publisher and entrepreneur discussed ALXMOBILE and its traveling exhibitions in a recent interview with Real Times Media.
The concept …
When we were transforming to digital after a 16-year run of the print edition of American Legacy magazine we developed ancillary products. So, the next step was a black history curriculum [platform] to market to school districts around the country. …
In Cleveland, Ohio and there was a book mobile that would come on our street. It was a small RV-like vehicle that you could walk up on and it was full of books. There was a little sitting area that you could pick out a book and sit there and read, and that’s how we got our books. It was basically a rolling library.
So I thought back to that process and said, “ I wonder if what we can take what we do as a magazine in terms of celebrating black history and culture and put it in a vehicle and take it around the country?” And fortunately, I found a company over in Madison Heights Michigan that said “okay.”
The tours …
We introduced the mobile truck tour in 2008 when we visited 20 cities in 30 days highlighting 200 years of Black achievement. We kicked it off on a Feb. 1 at the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit. I flew into Detroit on a beautiful day at the end of January and we invited all of the Detroit public schools to come down to the museum for the exhibit … and on Friday, February 1, the day of the kick off – there was a snow storm. And even though the schools were closed we still had a successful event with more than 200 people showing up to see the exhibit.
… Most recently we did a tour for the National Hockey League featuring the achievements of African Americans in the sport and we took it to seven NHL cities in 2019. The response was so overwhelming, that in 2020 we took it to 15 NHL cities.
And then in February of this year I launched an exhibit in Charlotte for the CIAA tournament which was celebrating it’s 75th year. [Ultimately] the pandemic shut us down, but we have access to different types of vehicles that can be outfitted to tell the story of a particular brand or the message of a specific company.
In other news …
I was also working on a digital product which eventually became American Network which is a Black history streaming video network.
We also launched a board game and we sold about 10,000 copies of it.
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