How can rights holders generate vital, extra income out of existing platforms while creating sustainable, new value for sponsors from the dizzying and growing array of innovative technologies on the market? For decades, the perimeter advertising board has offered a sure-fire way to catch the eye of fans at sport events with premium placement next to the field of play. These valuable spaces have formed an attractive and central part of any rights package.
Originally offering a simple, static surface for top-line branding, advertising board technology evolved to incorporate ever-more complicated LED graphics and animations – opening up the possibilities for highly creative and attention-grabbing messaging. While advertising signage boards of all forms will undoubtedly continue to play a compelling and significant role in any campaign, sponsors increasingly want to speak directly to the diverse consumer markets tuning in to watch around the world – and not just the fans that buy tickets to the match.
Thankfully, rapid advances in broadcast technology offer the opportunity to future proof your advertising board package and to embrace the full diversity of options for signage campaigns – from static to LED and beyond. That’s because the future of sports advertising is not actually real – it’s virtual.
Infront and Vizrt, the world leader in advanced real-time 3D graphics and sports analysis tools, have launched Viz Eclipse – the world’s first non-intrusive, software-based virtual advertising solution for rights holders and sponsors. Using cutting edge graphics “keying” techniques and image-based software, Viz Eclipse processes sports footage in real time to seamlessly replace the actual surfaces of perimeter advertising boards with realistic virtual images for broadcast audiences. It can mimic the complex, colour animations of the latest LED boards as well as the simple static messages of any commercial surface to create an illusion for viewers that feels just like the real thing.
The software, which is applied with minimum fuss within the standard broadcast production chain, adapts to environmental conditions such as light and weather and protects the integrity of the overlaid graphics regardless of movements on the field of play. Unlike other earlier, less advanced iterations of virtual advertising, Viz Eclipse does not require the costly upgrading of stadium or camera infrastructure and it can be potentially applied remotely throughout the full match, maximising revenue per minute potential.
Viz Eclipse allows for the creation of multiple rights packages and multiple broadcast feeds, each with its own set of bespoke perimeter advertising board campaign for one or more sponsors. Fans in a European stadium might see one particular brand message, a broadcast audience in the Far East could see another, and viewers in North America could receive something designed specifically for them. It’s a clear win-win for everyone: rights holders, sponsors and audiences.
The next generation of sports advertising is finally here, and it’s unreal.