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Massimo Magrì
By
December 04, 2018

Virtual Advertising: Enter the Eclipse

With one of Bundesliga's biggest names having pioneered "intrusive" virtual advertising solution for the current 2018/19 season, most clubs in Germany's top football league continue to hold out for a simpler and cost effective method that will future proof their perimeter signage board technology to sustainably unlock new revenue.

Virtual advertising, which superimposes life-like graphics over the actual surfaces of perimeter advertising boards during a broadcast production, has become something of an El Dorado for the marketing rights industry over the last two decades.

The potential for offering multiple rights packages from the same in-stadium advertising space - simultaneously expanding revenues and giving sponsors the power to tailor messages for specific audiences – has inspired several tech companies to explore and develop various virtual advertising solutions.
The kind of intrusive, hardware-based solution being implemented at home games by Borussia Dortmund in this season’s Bundesliga requires the installation of specialised LED boards alongside amendments to broadcast cameras resulting in a match-by-match high cost. Even with the potential for additional revenues, the El Dorado dream is a little out of reach for most clubs – especially for those with limited international distribution for their matches.

Viz Eclipse, a “non-intrusive” or non-invasive software solution developed by Vizrt, the world leader in advanced real-time 3D graphics and sports analysis tools, in partnership with Infront is about to change the game. Currently in advanced approval process from the German and Italian football authorities, Viz Eclipse provides clubs with a far simpler, more cost effective and easily scalable way to embrace the power of virtual advertising. It functions flawlessly with any kind of signage board surface including traditional static boards to fully-animated LED displays. Importantly, as a non-intrusive solution, and unlike more invasive technology, it does not require any costly or cumbersome changes to existing perimeter boards or cameras. As a piece of state-of-the-art software, it slots seamlessly into the broadcast production chain and can be implemented and monitored remotely.

This means any club or rights holder can transform perimeter advertising boards into multiple sources of broadcast advertising revenue via one or more sponsor - not just the big players with the budgets to keep pace with every new innovation in ad board technology. With Viz Eclipse, the boards can carry any message to any market.

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Viz Eclipse has already shown great promise in testing with German football clubs among them VfL Wolfsburg and because of the simplicity of harnessing this cutting edge solution – Infront plans to make the technology available in the second half of the European football season, once approved.

Infront’s strategic decision to patiently invest the right amount of time and resources in developing a viable and cost-effective, non-intrusive software solution means that any club or rights holder can embrace the full benefits of virtual advertising safe in the knowledge that Viz Eclipse is permanent and sustainable. There is no need to repeatedly foot the bill for new infrastructure as more intrusive solutions eventually catch up.
As Viz Eclipse rolls out, Infront’s extensive commercial relationships with rights holders and sponsors will also facilitate the creation of maximum revenues from this next generation marketing tool.

Being the first to market in our ever-changing industry does not guarantee victory at the end of the race. It often proves more effective to take the time in the development stage of next generation technology to ensure you can offer a truly complete, future-proof solution that sets the new industry standard and meets the needs of everyone: Enter the Eclipse.

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