By Jonathan Rest
Supponor, the sports media and technology company, has struck a new two-year deal with Mediapro, the sports rights agency, to continue providing targeted pitch-side digital advertising from some of the high-profile matches in Spanish soccer’s top-tier La Liga.
Sportcal also understands the group is in advanced negotiations with the Infront Sports & Media and Sportfive agencies about rolling out its DBRLive technology into Germany’s top-flight Bundesliga in the 2015-16 season. The technology enables dedicated billboard advertising to be shown to television audiences in different countries, generating extra revenues for the home club.
Under the renewal with Mediapro, Supponor will offer up to 20 minutes of guaranteed non-domestic television advertising in live coverage of the away matches of league giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, the most successful and popular clubs in La Liga whose matches are televised live in countries around the world.
Each games will have six feeds – domestic, Europe, China, southeast Asia, Middle East and the Americas – enabling viewers in each market to see perimeter board advertising particularly tailored to them, whether it be in the local language or promoting local brands.
Barcelona and Real Madrid both start the new La Liga season away from home on Sunday, 23 August.
Supponor has been operating in La Liga since the start of the 2012-13 season, and is also well-established in Italy’s Serie A, but is hoping to finalise deals in Germany in the new campaign, boosted by a successful showing at the Bundesliga Technology Day in Wolfsburg in May and at last month’s Telekom Cup, a pre-season exhibition soccer tournament in Germany.
Take-up of the technology has been held up in Germany as it could only be superimposed on static advertising boards and not on LED boards, which are used widely in the Bundesliga (and England’s Premier League). However, Supponor managing director Tony Ragan told Sportcal the technology issue is now “straight forward” with the hold up being “more down to the individual clubs’ rights.”
Sportfive and Infront, the international sports marketing agencies, are the commercial partners of a number of Bundesliga teams, and Philipp Hasenbein, managing director at Sportfive Germany, which sold the sponsorship and international broadcast rights to the Telekom Cup, was impressed with the DBRLive offering.
He said at the time: “We are perfectly positioned within the Lagardère Unlimited network to implement this form of pitchside advertising for international clients.”
The Telekom Cup was the first time virtual pitchside advertising had been used at a sports event in Germany.
The four-team tournament at Borussia Park in Mönchengladbach offered virtual advertising on the second row of pitchside boards, with five additional broadcast signals provided in different markets around the world.
Bayern Munich played in that tournament, but chose to employ AIM Sport, a relatively untested player in the market, for this week’s Audi Cup, the pre-season tournament staged at its Allianz Arena stadium.
Viewers around the world reported problems with the technology, with the heads of a number of players during the Bayern Munich-AC Milan clash last night ‘disappearing’ when the virtual advertising was placed over the boards.
AIM did not respond when contacted by Sportcal today.