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Bundesliga approve virtual advertising LED technology

Germany’s Bundesliga has taken a major step towards the adoption of live in-game virtual advertising technology, following DFL (German Football League) approval of 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 milestone 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 26 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.

For 27 years ADI has been providing technical commercial solutions to some of Europe’s biggest sports and entertainment events.

The Virtual Hybrid system capitalises on that experience to combine ADI’s industry leading perimeter LED technology, used by more UK clubs than any other, with Supponor’s pioneering augmented reality solution.

Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD is hailed as a game-changer in commercial brand activation, making it possible for sponsors to localise their message for fans watching around the world, whilst retaining the dynamic LED experience for fans in the stadium.

CEO, Geraint Williams, 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.