After bubble experiment, NHL turns to new ad tech to make up for missed revenue due to coronavirus

It wasn’t easy and most likely will result in hundreds of millions in losses due to Covid-19. Still, the National Hockey League completed its bubble experiment and crowned a champion on Monday.

The NHL awarded its famous Lord Stanley’s Cup to the Tampa Bay Lightning after a six-game series with the Dallas Stars. The ratings were down from last year’s Boston Bruins-St. Louis Blues series, but viewership aside, league executive Keith Wachtel told CNBC the NHL is positioned to generate additional revenue after its bubble play.

Wachtel, the NHL’s chief business officer, said the league would explore in-arena fan engagement experiences with its new 5G partnership with Verizon, including exclusive 4K camera experiences. The NHL will also look to accelerate its in-game virtual signage technology that Wachtel said would be the “biggest game-changer that you can have in sports.”

NHL used a mixture of national and local advertisements on its dasher boards to help offset lost game-day revenue, including ticket sales. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said game-day income makes up 50% of the NHL’s annual revenue, which was roughly $5 billion in 2019.

“We missed out on significant revenue from a ticketing standpoint, especially in the playoffs where our games are filled every night,” said Wachtel in an interview Wednesday.

Wachtel said bubble crew in Edmonton and Toronto replaced the dasher boards with team-level local sponsorships after each game. He called the ad space “valuable inventory.”

Going virtual

Wachtel said the NHL wants to maximize the “signage on a global basis and in individual markets.”

Wachtel said the current dasher boards have “limited messaging,” and some brand logos are located “in a cluttered environment,” which impacts exposure.

After testing what he called the “Digitally Enhanced Dashboard (DED)” at the NHL’s All-Star contest in January, Wachtel said the league could be ready to add the virtual banners for the 2021-22 season.

The “perimeter signage” technology allows the NHL to replace physical, in-arena sponsors on the boards with interchangeable virtual ads during telecasts. The NHL invested in London-based company Supponor to develop the ads, which Wachtel said will allow brands to have ownership of what appears.

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Supponor strengthens its European Team with the appointment of Massimo Magrì as EU Commercial Director

Massimo joins the Supponor team bringing a wealth of international experience in the sports business, TV production, media rights commercialisation and pioneering new technologies – including virtual advertising

London, 7th October 2020 -. Supponor, the global leader in virtual advertising technology solutions in live broadcast sports, is proud to announce the appointment to its senior leadership team of Massimo Magrì, joining the company as the European Commercial Director. The appointment will support the company’s regional expansion in Spain and Germany, led by its Headquarters in London and R&D Centre in Helsinki, helping scale the company to meet the rapidly increasing market demands for virtual advertising.

As European Commercial Director, Massimo Magrì will oversee and lead the company’s ongoing commercial growth across Europe. With 15+ years in the sports business, Magrì brings a wealth of international commercial experience to Supponor in media and marketing rights, TV production and pioneering new technologies in football and other sports. Most recently he held the role of Head of Virtual Advertising at Infront Sports & Media, working with a broad range of sports rights holders, including Serie A and the Bundesliga.

Magrì commented: “Having developed my career in Virtual Advertising and observing the industry for many years now, it is with great excitement that I join the Supponor team at a key time for the company to accelerate the growth  of its successful commercial deployments across Europe. Supponor’s solutions are more relevant than ever to enable rights holders to unlock new revenues, to offer targeted audience engagement for sponsors and relevant advertising content for fans.”

James B Gambrell, CEO of Supponor, said:

“While 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for the entire live sports industry, Supponor has seen a significant breakthrough in commercial deployments as the benefits of our virtual advertising solutions have become ever more essential for value generation for our clients and their sponsors and broadcasters.  After having begun to consolidate our lead across European football in Spain and Germany, with the appointment of Massimo we are preparing for further, rapid expansion in the seasons to come.  Massimo’s understanding of our clients and their needs along with his knowledge and experience in virtual advertising in broadcast production will see Supponor reach new heights.”

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 platform delivers the most powerful and impactful brand activation in 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 Football (LaLiga, German Bundesliga, FA), Hockey (NHL), Motor Racing (F1), American Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA) and other Tier 1 Sports.

Supponor is based in London and Helsinki, with additional presence in Barcelona and New York, and is backed by leading VCs and institutional investors.


Whitepaper: Cutting Through The Regulation of The Virtual Advertising Landscape

Virtual advertising solutions are rapidly growing in popularity among sports rights holders, broadcasters, and advertisers worldwide. The technology allows for them to reach segmented audiences at both global and local scales by, for example, replacing the advertising on real world perimeter boards with virtual perimeter boards. These can then show different advertisements in different territories and even to different viewers.

Supponor has now published an informative report which describes the specifics of the technology, the application in different sports and events, and the legislation and regulations it complies with.

We invite you to fill in the form and download the insightful Supponor Whitepaper.

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Sportfive and Supponor extend their Virtual Advertising partnership for a further 3 years

SPORTFIVE, the global sports business agency, and Supponor, the global leader in virtual advertising technology and solutions for live broadcast sports, have agreed to extend their cooperation, which has been in place since 2017, by a further three years. SPORTFIVE and Supponor currently offer the only virtual advertising solution approved and licensed by the DFL for commercial operations in the Bundesliga.

For SPORTFIVE, virtual advertising creates new high impact, high-value TV visible advertising inventory within Bundesliga matches. Sponsors and advertisers benefit from the reach and worldwide attention of one of the top leagues worldwide. The reach of the Bundesliga has recently been boosted once again by being the first and only European top league to have a successful restart. The possibilities of digital overlay of advertising boards is of decisive importance especially for global and regional sponsoring partnerships outside the German-speaking market. Fans in the stadiums and domestic TV audiences see no change from the physical, in-stadium messages while messages shown to TV audiences in other markets can be individually targeted by virtually overlaying the existing animated perimeter LED boards from within the live broadcast signal.

For the past 2 seasons Supponor’s proprietary technology platform has been proven to reliably and authentically modify the regular transmission delivering virtual multiplication of the perimeter advertising space to multiple international markets. This gives advertising partners a wide range of options such as the individual approach to target groups in different regions and the possibility of acquiring different partners per region for the rights-holders. The focus markets for addressing target groups and playing out individualised feeds are the USA, China, Thailand, Japan and EMEA. Within the TV signal for DACH, the LED boards can be seen as they are in the stadium, while the advertising spaces outside DACH are overlayed with individual content. A total of five TV feeds are currently being produced with individual advertising messages adapted to each feed and region:

  1. Feed DACH region without digital overlay
  2. Feed Americas with digital overlay of the advertising board
  3. Feed EMEA with digital overlay of the advertising board
  4. Feed South Asia with digital overlay of the advertising board
  5. Feed South East Asia with digital overlay of the advertising board

Thanks to the virtual advertising technology exclusively licensed by the DFL, SPORTFIVE customers can book one, several or all feeds and thus play out their advertising offers to a global TV audience (depending on the virtual advertising feeds booked). Supponor virtual advertising will also once again be present in the production of all home Bundesliga matches of Borussia Dortmund, delivering 5 different feeds as well as selected home matches of other cooperation clubs by SPORTFIVE from the German Bundesliga, such as Hertha BSC, FC Augsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The worldwide fan community of the German Bundesliga can thus follow unique moments in sport on TV while relevant and region-specific advertising messages are displayed on the relevant advertising spaces.

In the future it is also planned to implement static or animated virtual 3D cam carpets and to individualise the popular 3D tool for international markets.

Philipp Hasenbein, COO at SPORTFIVE, says:

“We are proud that together with our partners we have been able to pave the way for further innovations in the industry. This technology enables brands and rights-holders to create real, additional value. The novel use of the cam carpets underlines our role as an innovation driver in this field. We thus support our partners in further positioning themselves in the respective target markets and in reaching their target groups with country-specific advertising messages”.

James B Gambrell, CEO of Supponor, says:

“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with SPORTFIVE as a testament to the powerful collaborative relationship we have built. The announcement of our extended cooperation comes at a time where engaging with audiences is more important than ever and virtual advertising technology can be the key to this improved fan engagement and interaction with Sponsors, Leagues and Clubs. We look forward to working with SPORTFIVE as we continue to grow our partnership beyond Germany by expanding virtual solutions in live sport across the globe.”

In the last two seasons, the virtual perimeter advertising was implemented at 60 matches in 10 different stadiums. More than 50 brands have then taken the opportunity for targeted communication in international markets and sponsoring revenues have been generated in the 8-digit range. In the medium term, the aim is to implement the technology in additional markets, such as France or England. As a global agency and pioneer in the sports business, SPORTFIVE is continuing its successful course in the field of virtual advertising and driving forward its further development worldwide.

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. Their advanced technology platform delivers the most powerful and impactful brand activation in broadcast sport by integrating powerful augmented reality overlays with traditional broadcast quality solutions. 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 Football (LaLiga, German Bundesliga, Serie A, FA), Hockey (NHL), Motor Racing (F1), American Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA) and other Tier 1 Sports. Supponor is based in London and Helsinki and is backed by leading VCs and institutional investors. More information: www.supponor.com

ABOUT SPORTFIVE

SPORTFIVE utilizes the unique emotional power of sports to create and enable pioneering partnerships in sports. By delivering responsible commercialization, full-service-solutions and long-term value for all stakeholders in sports, SPORTFIVE strategically and creatively connects brands, rightsholders, media platforms and fans by leveraging a global network paired with decades of experience and innovative spirit. As market leader and with customer centricity and vast data intelligence at its core, SPORTFIVE often leads the sports business into the future through its innovative digital solutions and thereby always aims to be the most progressive and respected partner in sports. SPORTFIVE operates as an international sports business and marketing agency with a global mindset and network of over 1,200 local experts based in 15 countries around the world, active in football, golf, esports, motorsport, handball, tennis, American football and many more. For more information please visit SPORTFIVE’s website, content hub and social profiles.


Supponor strengthens its presence in the Spanish market with the opening of a new office in Barcelona

Supponor opens Barcelona office and appoints commercial and product specialists from FC Barcelona and Mediapro to support the growing importance of virtual advertising to Spanish football and media rights

Supponor, the global leader in virtual advertising technology and solutions in live broadcast sports, is delighted to announce the opening of its new office in Spain. The company has chosen Barcelona as a strategic location that will reinforce its commitment to continuing innovation and expansion of its sixth season of commercial deployment in LaLiga.

The opening of the new office follows the recent long-term deployment agreement with FC Barcelona which was followed by the multi-year renewal with Mediapro to continue to deploy Supponor’s advanced virtual advertising technologies in LaLiga and elsewhere in Spain.

Supponor’s innovative virtual advertising solutions are delivered using certified perimeter LED systems from TGI and operated by Mediapro as the exclusive production partner for LaLiga. Matches played by FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and RCD Espanyol de Barcelona already deliver multi-feed virtual LED perimeter and virtual camera carpet solutions to approximately 25% of all top flight LaLiga matches each season with further growth planned.

James B Gambrell, CEO of Supponor, said:

“The opening of the office in Barcelona demonstrates our commitment to our clients and partners in Spain. Despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Supponor continues to invest to support growth in the Spanish market to support further European expansion and as the foundation for our larger growth ambitions in the Spanish speaking world.

The new office will be headed up by Casper Siewertsen who will oversee commercial activities with strategic account partners, and Ben Arnold, who will provide local support for continued product & solution development. Casper joins Supponor after 5-years at FC Barcelona where he worked as part of the Business Intelligence on the development of the commercial offering of virtual advertising. Ben returns to Supponor after many years working for Mediapro on the initial development and deployment of Supponor’s virtual advertising operations in Spain.

Casper Siewertsen commented that “The importance of Supponor’s successful commercial deployment in Spain with Mediapro, its long term broadcast production and rights partner, along with FC Barcelona, underpins LaLiga’s importance as a global reference for innovation in virtual advertising and Supponor’s proven technology leadership with key industry players in Europe and around the world.”.


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 platform delivers the most powerful and impactful brand activation in 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 Football (LaLiga, German Bundesliga, Serie A, FA), Hockey (NHL), Motor Racing (F1), American Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA) and other Tier 1 Sports.

Supponor is based in London and Helsinki and is backed by leading VCs and institutional investors.

For more information, please visit www.supponor.com (all videos are from live, real-time broadcast productions) or watch us live every week on your broadcast television.


Mediapro extends their multi-year contract with Supponor for the use of advanced virtual advertising technologies

Supponor, the global leader in virtual advertising technology and solutions in live sports, is delighted to announce the signing of a new long-term licensing agreement for their products with leading sports media and audiovisual content production company, Mediapro. This includes continued use of Supponor’s DBRLive (Digital Billboard Replacement) virtual LED perimeter replacement product and their innovative NSA (Natural Scene Augmentation) virtual carpets product. DBRLive has been used by Mediapro in La Liga football matches in Spain since 2015 and NSA since 2017.

The extension agreement with Mediapro follows the recent deal signed directly between Supponor and FC Barcelona and also includes a provision for Mediapro to  offer virtual services to other sports federations based in Spain.

DBRLive continues to grow in Spain, now commercially deployed at over 80 La Liga matches per season. Matches covered include  all FC Barcelona matches (home and away), Real Madrid (away), Atletico Madrid (home and away) and Espanyol (home).

“Supponor technology gives us the ability to sell bespoke, targeted advertising on international feeds of La Liga games in an increasingly global marketplace,” comments Julian Fernandez, Commercial Dept, Mediapro. “It means we can tailor global sponsorship packages to take account of local tastes and language as well as sell regional and local advertising packages to new brands.”

The new contract gives Mediapro access to the very latest versions of both DBRLive and NSA, with both upgraded to include UHD/4K technical standards.

 

“This multi-year renewal is a great vote of confidence from both Mediapro and La Liga in our virtual advertising technology platform, our operations and our team,” comments James Gambrell, CEO, Supponor. “It confirms our position as the preeminent provider of virtual advertising technology and solutions in live sport. We look forward to working alongside Mediapro to expand their service beyond La Liga and into other leagues and federations across Spain’s vibrant sports sector.”

 

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 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 Football (LaLiga, German Bundesliga, Serie A, FA), Hockey (NHL), Motor Racing (F1), American Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA) and other 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 programme.

For more information, please visit www.Supponor.com (all videos are from live, real-time broadcast productions) or watch us live every week on your broadcast television.

 

About MEDIAPRO

MEDIAPRO is a benchmark in the European audiovisual sector, unique in its integration of audiovisual content, production and distribution with activity worldwide through its 58 offices on 4 continents.

The Group is engaged in significant activity in the area of smart city planning, the design and implementation of interactive museum spaces using cutting-edge technology and planning multi-platform content for marketing and advertising initiatives.

MEDIAPRO provides the creativity and technical solutions required to design, produce and distribute any audiovisual or multi-channel project to any corner of the globe together with the more than 7,000 people who make up the Group’s team of professionals and whose individual talent and professionalism contributes to its overall success.


RCD Espanyol de Barcelona joins stellar list of Supponor La Liga users

Supponor, the global leader in virtual advertising technology within live Tier 1 sports, is delighted to announce that RCD Espanyol de Barcelona is deploying its state-of-the-art technology at all its home games in La Liga. The leading soccer club’s games at the RCDE Stadium will now feature the use of Supponor’s innovative DBRLive virtual replacement technology and NSA virtual carpet placement solution which is offered in partnership with the worlds leading LED perimeter display specialist TGI.

The two Supponor technologies allow the placement of targeted adverts within the live feed that can be specifically geared towards geographic or demographic market segments. This is a particularly important consideration for La Liga clubs as they grow international audiences, providing an additional revenue stream with advertising and sponsorship deals targeted to fans wherever they are watching in the world.

The solution is being operated by Mediapro, which acts as the production partner for Supponor technical solutions in La Liga. Over the last six seasons, the deployment of Supponor’s virtual advertising solutions by Mediapro in La Liga has grown from a handful of games to over 80 per season. It now features in matches played by FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and RCD Espanyol de Barcelona.

“Virtual advertising helps to grow club revenues by making available new advertising opportunities on the international broadcast feeds of the club’s live matches,” says James B Gambrell, CEO, Supponor. “For example, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona is cultivating a large Chinese fan base given the popularity of its striker Wu Lei, who joined the club in 2019. This has created the opportunity to develop new sponsorship  opportunities and regional advertising revenues on the Asian feeds of RCD Espanyol de Barcelona’s matches using Supponor technology.”

“Virtual advertising solutions targeting different markets need to offer both technical  reliability and seamless operational capability to unlock the significant commercial returns for clubs such as Espanyol,” comments Julian Fernandez, Mediapro. “We are delighted with the way that the Supponor and TGI solution has worked in La Liga and look forward to further expansion and increased monetization opportunities with LaLiga clubs and participating global brands.”

 

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 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 Football (LaLiga, German Bundesliga, Serie A, FA), Hockey (NHL), Motor Racing (F1), American Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA) and other 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 programme.

For more information, please visit www.Supponor.com (all videos are from live, real-time broadcast productions) or watch us live every week on your broadcast television.

About TGI

TGI (wwwt.tgi-worldwide.com) is Supponor’s preferred perimeter LED supplier for Spain and is certified to manufacture and operate certain models of Supponor-enabled LED solutions across Europe and the Americas.

TGI is the global market leader for delivery of high-end LED hardware and software solutions. We provide our services in a variety of sports including Soccer, Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, Basketball, at more than 3500 events per year to some of the worlds leading sports brands and competitions like FIFA, UEFA, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur, FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and many more.

TGI helps rights holders to build new revenue streams through a full 360 degree digital agency approach to deliver turnkey solutions to our clients including IN BROADCAST services like LED perimeter and Virtual Broadcast, IN STADIA elements including multiple Display and AV Formats, Wireless infrastructure, including WIFI, software and data management platforms, reporting tools, match day operations and a number of fan engagement tools. BEYOND STADIA services including mobile apps, loyalty programs, content, data collection, analytics and segmentation.

TGI works closely with brands to help rights holders monetize their digital inventory in the most efficient manner.

TGI is part of QMS Media Group (ASX: QMS) with headquarters in Melbourne (Australia) and offices in Dusseldorf (Germany) London (UK), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Chicago (US).


Supponor and FC Barcelona strike deal to provide Virtual Advertising during LaLiga home games

Leading virtual advertising specialist to deploy its award-winning technical solution at Camp Nou, creating new global advertising opportunities in live sport

Supponor, the global leader in virtual advertising technology within live tier 1 sports, is delighted to announce the signing of a long-term agreement with FC Barcelona to supply their virtual advertising technology at all LaLiga home games, starting in the 2019/2020 season.

Supponor’s virtual advertising technology increases the availability, relevance and value of pitch-side LED boards by creating new, regionalized inventory in the live international broadcast feeds. Advertising seen on these boards will be different to that seen by fans watching in Camp Nou or viewing the domestic broadcast coverage. The technology therefore allows global sponsors to tailor their brand messages for different LaLiga audiences around the world, or for new sponsors to target their most relevant LaLiga audience watching live broadcasts from FC Barcelona games.

After 5 years of commercial deployment in LaLiga focusing on the production of key away matches of the leading clubs, including FC Barcelona, Supponor will now also enable virtual advertising on FC Barcelona home matches. This will allow Barça’s fans and club partners to engage in new and innovative ways of communicating during live matches.

James B Gambrell, CEO, Supponor said,

“After intensely researching and developing our technology for the past 15 years it is now proven and commercially deployed with many leading clubs, leagues and federations. As one of the most influential clubs in world football, we are delighted to be part of FC Barcelona’s rapidly growing international reach as Barca continues to consolidate its brand positioning in key international markets. It is set to achieve its historic goal of exceeding €1B in annual revenues at the same time as joining our growing roster of clients.”

 

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 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 Football (LaLiga, German Bundesliga, Serie A, FA), Hockey (NHL), Motor Racing (F1), American Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA) and other 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 programme.

For more information, please visit www.Supponor.com (all videos are from live, real-time broadcast productions) or watch us live every week on your broadcast television.

About FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona was founded in 1899, and is unique in many ways. The club is owned by its more than 145,000 members and can boast of being the most successful club in Europe over the last years. Since season 2004/05 they have won four of the Club’s five Champions League titles and ten of their 26 domestic league titles. Due to its very special personality, ‘Barça’ is recognized as being ‘more than a club’. The team’s distinctive style of play is projected around the world by the best players and coaches of their time in combination with club’s famous reliance on homegrown talent.

All of this goes hand in hand with its ongoing ambition to become the most admired, beloved and global sports institution on the planet. This mission is supported by such core principles as humility, effort, ambition, respect and team-work, while the club is also famed for its commitment to society, which is channeled through the FC Barcelona Foundation and its work to educate children through the positive values of sport. Such unstoppable growth in recent years has led to a global reach of more than 340 million fans and made FC Barcelona a world leader on social media.


Supponor Wins Vodafone’s 5G DIG Start-up Battle at Unbound London

Supponor is delighted to have been part of Vodafone’s 5G DIG at Unbound London, the UK’s largest and most exciting innovation festival, and honoured to have been awarded the overall winner of Vodafone’s 5G Start-up Battle.

Supponor’s Managing Director, Ross Hair, took to the stage to deliver a three-minute pitch to a select panel of judges and a live studio audience on ‘Making Virtual Advertising A Reality’. He discussed how Supponor delivers live virtual advertising for leading sports clubs and leagues including LaLiga, Bungesliga, NFL and NBA, and explained how 5G will enhance the uptake of virtual advertising in live sport.

As part of Vodafone’s 5G DIG, Supponor participated in a showcase with 20 other innovative 5G-ready start-ups and was pre-selected as one of five companies from the 20 to participate in the live 5G Start-up Battle.

Winning the Vodafone 5G Start-up Battle sees Supponor have the opportunity to collaborate with Vodafone and travel to one of Unbounds international festivals.

You can view the full Vodafone 5G Start-up Battle, with Supponor’s pitch starting at 15-minutes, here:


How AR could boost Manchester United’s Commercial Power

Fans around the world watching Barcelona and Real Madrid games see different advertising hoardings thanks to Supponor’s tech

By Jonathan Symcox

COO Charlie Marshall

COO Charlie Marshall says,

“It increases the inventory a big club has to sell
An augmented reality tech firm is tailoring the advertising around the pitch during TV football broadcasts to individual markets.”

Supponor, based in London and Helsinki, Finland, superimposes virtual adverts on to the perimeter LED boards to serve local advertisers across the world. Its tech has been successfully deployed in Barcelona and Real Madrid away matches through its partner Mediapro as well as ice hockey’s NHL, American football’s NFL and Formula One.

It held a trial at a Premier League club throughout last season as well as every Bundesliga club as those leagues consider how to utilise the opportunity it offers.

Chief operating officer Charlie Marshall explained to BusinessCloud at the Soccerex convention in Manchester this week how the technology could benefit the big clubs.

“Take a big club like Manchester United. Their commercial strategy sees them doing increasing numbers of regional deals with local sponsorship brands,” he said.

“One of the first questions that sponsors ask a club like Manchester United is ‘can we be on the LED board? As our audience in Indonesia is watching the live game, can we have our brand inside Old Trafford?’

“The answer from the club is that they can’t because there is no more space on that LED system. There’s only 90 minutes in a game and they’re sold out. There’s no more inventory available.

“This system increases the amount of inventory and therefore the amount of selling that they can do.”

Listen to Soccerex podcast

The regions receiving unique feeds of the Spanish giants’ away games include South and Central America, Mexico, North America (US and Canada), China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong), Asia (with a focus on Indonesia), sub-Sahara and Africa, Middle East/North Africa, Europe (outside Spain) and two domestic feeds in Spain itself.

The AR tech allows the virtual adverts to respond in real time to changes in the light or weather conditions, player movements and other environmental factors.

There is also an opportunity around sports highlights, Marshall says.

“We’re seeing an increasing amount of commercialisation of highlights on social channels, which can be more personalised and distributed in a more dynamic way that on a live TV signal,” he continued.

“A product like this, where you can replace the signage at a key moment and offer different brands the opportunity to associate themselves with it, is a real monetisation opportunity.”