ADI founder and CEO, Geraint Williams has been appointed to the board at Supponor, the augmented reality technology company specialising in real-time virtual advertising replacement for Tier 1 sports broadcasting.

The move follows the completion of a €3.2m funding round in January 2017 led by existing investors, including Sports Investment Partners, Conor Venture Partners and Supponor’s CEO.

Industry veteran and entrepreneur Geraint Williams has been a commercial leader in sports and signage technologies for over two decades, having founding ADI in 1992. ADI has led the UK stadium LED market over the past 25 years.

Supponor and ADI partnered in 2015 to develop and launch the first virtual-enabled LED perimeter signage system, which first deployed during the 2016/17 football season at English Premier League club Watford FC, saw various outings in Italy and Germany, and remains the only solution of its kind capable of producing the video image quality demanded by top tier sports rights owners and their broadcast and commercial partners while still retaining the impact and value of an in-venue LED system.

Last season also culminated for Supponor and ADI in the Sports Technology of the Year Award at the Sports Business Awards held in London in June 2017.

Having worked closely with Supponor and its team over an extended period of time, ADI’s founder, Geraint Williams, participated personally in an internal funding round completed earlier this year.

Geraint will now join Supponor’s board of directors as part of enhancing the board’s expertise and industry knowledge to support Supponor’s growing global ambitions, including further development of an expanding array of collaborative industry partnerships with ecosystem stakeholders.

Matthew Wheeler, Supponor’s Chairman, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Geraint more closely into the Supponor fold. He is an established investor and commercial leader in the sports technology marketplace.

“He will be a valuable addition to delivering on Supponor’s continuing strategy to drive augmented reality into the heart of digital sports marketing working with key industry partners.”

Jay Gambrell, Supponor’s CEO, added, “Our ongoing and award winning partnership with ADI has demonstrated how the next generation of high value virtual advertising is delivered with first rate quality assurance and end-to-end security for clients.

“Bolstered by our growing financial resources and strategic expertise, Supponor has been leveraging its combined strength with ADI and will now replicate this strategy with other industry partners, including other leading LED partners, to help drive broader adoption of our market leading virtual technology in global sport.”

Geraint Williams said, “I have lived and breathed sports venue and broadcasting technology for the past 25 years, from the early days pioneering LED technology in stadiums to today’s technology-driven market for end-to-end digital content delivery.

“My investment in Supponor follows over two years of close partnership that has set new benchmarks in the development of virtual advertising in sport.

“In that time we’ve seen virtual hybrid LED become a tangible product with the development of remote virtual content insertion and successful integration with broadcast workflows.”

Williams continued: “Monitoring the market thoroughly and working closely with Supponor, it is clear that Supponor’s technology and extensive experience make it the only deployable solution for virtual replacement because broadcast quality and reliability is of paramount importance.

“For me, this investment represents an opportunity to participate in Supponor’s market leadership and growth – whether it is in partnership with ADI or with other partners in signage, rights management or broadcast services.

“I am hugely excited to be taking everything that we have learned together and using it to accelerate Supponor’s expansion into new markets and commercial opportunities.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley (fcbusiness)