13 Jun

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season schedule is still to be finalised, but the IPL Governing Council has started exploring new avenues to increase the revenues for the league in future years.

According to the IPL Governing Council (IPLGC) Chairman Brijesh Patel, the IPL is looking at the GEO-TARGETED ‘Virtual Advertising’ option for world-wide advertising. Patel who in past used to be in the LED Screens business, recently discussed the idea with the other members of IPLGC.

“Yes, we have to look at areas which can increase our revenues. The way virtual advertising works is, a match may be in progress in Mumbai where the on-field LED will show the on-venue sponsors. But the same feed being relayed to the UAE, or UK, can have their own local sponsorship. They will have a clean perimeter and sight screen. That is possible. The match is the same, but the ads will be different. There is no point in showing a brand relevant to Indian market in another part of the globe”, Patel told the Hindustan Times.

Currently the American Sporting leagues, Bundesliga, La Liga, English Premier League, FIFA and others use the Virtual Advertising feature to enhance their revenues. The technology primarily allows different ads on the ground for the different viewing territories. German league Bundesliga has been using the technology since the 2018 season.

Recently La Liga announced that they will push the geo-targeted broadcast distribution around the world and are partnered with UK based marketing company ISG. The agreement, which runs until the end of the 2021/22 campaign, includes 53 games from Spanish soccer’s top flight featuring either Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid, and will allow brands to select the regional markets in which their advertising appears.

Virtual advertising is the use of high-power computers to place still or video images into live video broadcasts in real time so that they look as if they are part of the original scene. It works by tampering with the digital broadcast signal before it reaches our homes.

Before the broadcast, the cameras are set up at certain angles to give the best impression of the game while allowing in-stadium adverts to be exposed to the viewer as well. In the virtual advertising system a computer instantly superimposes the advert when it recognises a previously designated spot and adjusts it accordingly as the camera follows the action.

This technology allows advertisers to cover over existing advertising signage in a stadium and can even feature two or three-dimensional animations.

Virtual advertising companies can disguise the video advertisements as standing billboards, banners blowing in the wind, or logos painted directly on the playing field.

The advertisements also be combined with special effects, such as the pitch speed   indicator and game statistics and all of these images can be changed from territory to territory (as shown in the picture above). So soon we can see IPL and probably the IPL franchises opting for the GEO-TARGETED / VIRTUAL Advertising feature to realise valuable additional revenue.

John Stephenson


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