A number of Premier League and English Football League (EFL) clubs have invested in new perimeter technology this season, which give them the ability to integrate Supponor and ADI’s award-winning virtual replacement technology.
Virtual replacement technology makes it possible to deliver traditional LED perimeter advertising to fans within the stadium, whilst virtually overlaying the content seen by viewers watching in different countries. The new platform adds value to the media space by creating a highly targeted platform for brands to localize their message for audiences around the world.
Ahead of the 2017/18 season, ADI installed new S-Line digiBOARD perimeter systems at a number of football clubs. The S-Line model delivers traditional ‘visible’ LED functionality but is upgradable to become a Virtual Hybrid system, which offers the virtual replacement solution. S-Line systems have already been installed at Everton, Derby County, and Crystal Palace, with another installed at Brentford Football Club in October. New systems will also be installed at three more Premier League and Championship clubs during the current season with further details to be announced in the near future.
A number of the new digiBOARD installations have been installed for Lagardère Sports, the UK’s largest pitchside media rights owner, for whom ADI have supplied perimeter LED displays for the past five seasons.
The first Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD system, combining LED with Supponor’s broadcast quality virtual replacement technology, was installed in 2016 at Premier League side, Watford FC. Following the successful installation, ADI and Supponor have developed a commercially deployable broadcast quality virtual LED solution, which can be implemented at club level or scaled across entire leagues and competitions.
ADI and Supponor’s Virtual Hybrid platform is capable of delivering the highest quality virtual overlay solution and has five core features:
- Industry-leading visible LED – the most popular LED solution deployed in English league football over the past decade.
- Seamless broadcast integration – powerful graphics keying engine delivers authentic virtual overlays, which seamlessly integrate with broadcast images.
- Real-time animations – no ‘colour management’ required means the full range of colours and animations are able to be deployed on the artwork in stadium and on the virtual overlay feed.
- Limitless feeds – many multiples of virtual overlay feeds can be created in real time.
- Multi-platform compatibility – in addition to broadcast, it is possible to achieve device-specific insertion of overlay content, enabling extreme levels of content personalization for OTT and streaming services on smartphones, tablets and other devices.
ADI’s CEO, Geraint Williams, commented “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the commercial potential of perimeter media value. Virtual Hybrid technology makes it possible for media rights owners to commercialize the same in-game inventory in multiple markets, on many different platforms, and offer a highly targeted solution for partners. Whilst our Virtual Hybrid technology is already well proven in a live stadium environment and on commercial broadcast feeds, the next step now comes in bringing more clubs, leagues, federations and broadcasters together to define the commercial model to make virtual overlay a reality.”
Charlie Marshall, COO at Supponor, added, “There is a clearly a demand from clubs and brands across the world for a solution that integrates virtual overlay technology with LED. Our technology has been deployed on non-LED signage throughout La Liga, NHL, and Serie A over several seasons and will now accelerate the rollout on LED.”
Marshall continued, “To deliver a top broadcast quality virtual replacement solution which is accepted by the world’s leading broadcasters requires a combination of software and hardware technologies. However, as the hardware becomes more widely installed, barriers to adoption are rapidly reduced. The so-called ‘intrusiveness’ of our solution, which requires investment in new hardware is, in reality, the basis of its robustness and the reason we are able to deliver the quality output required by the broadcast industry.”
Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD was awarded Gold at the Sports Business Awards in 2017 and is a finalist at this year’s Football Business Awards, taking place in London. ADI and Supponor have, this month, been showcasing the technology, live, for visitors to the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, which brings together the biggest influencers in the world of football business.
ADI UK Ltd, Pittman Court, Pittman Way, Preston PR2 9ZG UK
Supponor Ltd, Unit 8, Victoria Industrial Estate, London W3 6UU
Specialists in large audience communication, ADI are one of Europe’s leading names in sports venue fan engagement platforms. Having installed the first LED screens in UK football in 1997 the company has gone on to dominate the stadium LED market, whilst also providing similar services to retail and leisure markets.
In the rental market, ADI provide large screens and production to some of the world’s leading events, including The Tour de France, The Virgin London Marathon, and Royal Ascot; for global brands, including Coca-Cola, Nike and BMW; and for hundreds of smaller events each year. Famed for their mobile LED screens, ADI’s iCONIC family is not only the Europe’s largest fleet of mobile LED screens but also the widest, offering screens from 12 to 100m² (the world’s largest).
Further information please visit www.adi.tv/sport
Supponor pioneered and is the clear market leader in delivering virtual replacement technology of TV-visible signage for real-time broadcast and streaming of in-venue sports advertising. Our advanced technology delivers the most powerful and impactful brand activation in broadcast sport by integrating powerful augmented reality overlays with traditional broadcast quality solutions. This dramatically enhances the value of media and marketing rights for mass-audience sporting events for sports rights holders and their brand sponsor and broadcast partners. As a pure-play technology solutions provider, Supponor has over 15 years of experience in research, development, testing, integration and commercial deployment. Supponor has commercially deployed its virtual advertising replacement solutions at hundreds of live broadcast events across 10 major broadcast territories in cooperation with a broad range of market stakeholders in Football, Ice Hockey, F1, American Football, Basketball, and others Tier 1 Sports.
Supponor is based in London and Helsinki and is backed by leading VCs and institutional investors and is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.