Hamburg / London, 13 March 2018 – The breakthrough in broadcast quality virtual advertising has finally been achieved: after a successful program of live testing, the German Football League (DFL) has approved the Supponor technology used by Lagardère Sports. This means a major hurdle for the regular use of virtual perimeter advertising in the Bundesliga has been overcome.

At the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Augsburg on 26 February 2018 at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, an additional world feed (worldwide outside the German-speaking area) was broadcasted live for the very first time in the international markets. The live test was the conclusion of a series of tests coordinated between the DFL/Sportcast, Supponor, Lagardère Sports and LED technology provider ADI.

Lagardère Sports has been working for a long time in close cooperation with the DFL and its exclusive strategic partnership with the leading virtual technology provider Supponor towards introducing virtual perimeter advertising in German professional football. Last spring, the technology was presented to the Bundesliga clubs at a joint roadshow by Lagardère Sports, Supponor, and ADI. At the match between Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg on 6 May 2017, ADI, Supponor and Lagardère Sports jointly implemented virtual advertising live for the first time at a Bundesliga match – but without feeding the TV signals to the public.

Supponor’s technology is fully integrated with the regular broadcast of a match using perimeter boards and optics technology. The result of this is that the advertising space is multiplied virtually, through the creation of broadcast standard virtual overlays of the physical perimeter boards. Whilst audiences in Germany will not experience any difference in the stadium or on screen, different brands can occupy the same space on the existing perimeter boards and advertise to different markets via the TV broadcast.

Charlie Marshall, COO of Supponor, explains: “Following a successful process of collaboration and technology integration with the DFL and partners, we have now made audience-targeted perimeter advertising a reality in the German Bundesliga. Supponor has enjoyed working closely with the DFL, Sportcast and Lagardère Sports in Germany over the past 12 months and our technology has grown ever stronger with their support. It was of critical importance in choosing Lagardère Sports as our partner that they shared our vision to cooperate with all of the DFL clubs to maximize the opportunity for large-scale deployment of Supponor’s virtual technology to as many club partners as possible, regardless of their marketing affiliations. Everyone at Supponor is now looking forward to deploying our augmented reality technology to help drive the incremental value for our existing and new
Bundesliga partners that come from delivering audience-relevant, high-quality virtual LED advertising.”

“The virtual advertising breakthrough has supposedly been imminent for more than 15 years now. We are therefore delighted that we have been able to further develop the technology together with our strategic partners Supponor and ADI in order to ensure that it meets the very high-quality standards of the DFL. We would like to thank the DFL for their close and trusting collaboration, and of course, also thank our partner clubs who supported us during the test phase,” explains Philipp Hasenbein, managing director of Lagardère Sports Germany. “It makes us proud that we have once again been able to provide an innovation-driven impetus to the industry as part of this group. We are convinced that the use of virtual perimeter advertising will provide an enormous boost to the entire Bundesliga’s internationalisation efforts. As an international marketing agency, the technology enables us to create added value for both rights holders and sponsors. We support our partners in further shaping their positioning in their respective target markets and in reaching their customers with targeted and country-specific advertising.”

About Lagardère Sports Germany

The international sports rights agency Lagardère Sports has 18 offices across Germany and, as a pioneer and market driver in its sector, offers in-depth expertise, marketing rights and services to promote value-generating partnerships within sports marketing. While the agency’s core business is football, it is also active on other wide-reaching platforms in Germany in the fields of handball, winter sports, and motorsports. Lagardère Sports is part of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, a global sports rights agency with over 1,700 employees worldwide.

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About Supponor

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 the 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 co-operation 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.


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