By: Sport Industry Group

The German Football League (DFL) has approved the use of virtual advertising technology in country’s top tier, the Bundesliga, following a successful programme of live testing.

The approval marks a major step towards the adoption of live in-game virtual advertising technology, with the Virtual Hybrid LED solution developed by Supponor and ADI.

Virtual Hybrid LED makes it possible to virtually replace the perimeter content seen by different international audiences watching the same match, without impacting on the visible LED seen by domestic fans.

Lagardère Sports, German football’s biggest media rights agency, will be the first to deploy the technology, having invested in a new ADI Virtual Hybrid system to make it possible for clubs to commercialise in-game perimeter media space multiple times over.

The approval follows a series of live match tests overseen by Sportscast, the organisation responsible for delivering Bundesliga’s broadcast output, concluding with the match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Augsburg on 26th February. A Virtual Hybrid system was installed for the game to create a customised world feed, which was broadcast live to all non-German speaking territories.

The Virtual Hybrid system combines ADI’s perimeter LED technology, which is used by more UK clubs than any other, with Supponor’s augmented reality solution.

image: https://www.sportindustry.biz/sites/default/files/Dortmund%20Side%20by%20Side.jpg


The technology allows multiple adverts to run on territory-specific broadcasts simultaneously. Geraint Williams, CEO of ADI – also the official screen supplier of the BT Sport Industry Awards – commented “It’s incredibly exciting to see the commercial deployment of Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD after years of development.”

“Lagardère Sports are clearly leading the way as the first to commercially deploy the technology for international broadcast, however, ADI have now manufactured six new perimeter LED systems for use in English and German football, which are either fully functioning Virtual Hybrid systems, or have the ability to be easily upgraded, meaning that the wider adoption virtual replacement LED technology is fast becoming a reality.”

“Our solution goes further than simply manufacturing the LED system – we offer the complete end to end workflow. Our high speed fibre network, which connects stadia and broadcasters to our European operations centre, allows us to remotely create modified match feeds using Supponor’s technology, before delivering them to broadcasters.”

Supponor’s chief operating officer, Charlie Marshall added: “DFL’s approval of Supponor and ADI’s Virtual Hybrid technology for deployment in the Bundesliga is the first time any federation has approved the use of LED integrated virtual replacement technology. The milestone is the result of a decade of technology and product experience and we’re delighted that we have passed the rigorous standards of the DFL.

“This feels like a real game changing moment in the way clubs, rights owners, broadcasters, media owners, such as Lagardère Sports and, of course, sponsors can drive value from their commercial rights and we’re excited to be shaping the new commercial landscape.”

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