ADI and Supponor honoured for virtual hybrid LED tech at 2017 Football Business Awards

Stadium technology specialist, ADI, together with augmented reality virtualisation expert, Supponor, have won the Best Use of Technology award at the 2017 Football Business Awards. The award, presented at a ceremony in London on 2 November, recognises the impact of Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD technology, which blends ADI’s perimeter LED hardware with Supponor’s virtual replacement advertising technology.

Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD technology blends ADI’s perimeter LED hardware with Supponor’s virtual replacement advertising technology

The award follows success at the Sports Business Awards earlier this year, at which ADI and Supponor’s Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD innovation was named Sports Technology of the Year.

Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD transforms the commercial potential of digital perimeter advertising by combining traditional LED, visible to fans in the stadium, with augmented reality virtualisation technology, which makes it possible to virtually replace the perimeter content seen by different viewing audiences.

A virtual hybrid LED system makes it possible to commercialise the perimeter media inventory in live sport multiple times over by allowing brands to target their message for different audiences, based upon geography, platform or even screen type, the companies claimed.

The awards recognise the advances in the quality of Supponor’s virtual replacement technology over recent years, in which time, ADI’s Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD has moved from a hardware concept to a complete end to end solution that is planned for commercial deployment in English football during the current season.

The first system of its kind, combining visible LED with broadcast quality virtual overlay technology, was installed in the Premier League at Watford FC’s Vicarage Road Stadium in 2016, where it has been used to showcase the technology in the live stadium environment. Other deployments of the technology have been delivered in Germany’s Bundesliga and NFL International matches in London.

This season six EFL and Premier League clubs have installed new Virtual Hybrid LED systems or ADI systems which are upgradeable to the latest virtual technology.

ADI’s perimeter LED technology is installed in 25 permanent systems throughout the Premier League and EFL. Supponor’s technology is the most successful virtual replacement solution of its kind, having been commercially deployed across the world.

Whereas, previously, such virtual replacement technology was only compatible with ‘static’ non-digital boards, the collaboration between ADI and Supponor has made it possible to integrate the technology with high quality digital LED signage, creating a much broader market for virtual localisation advertising in sport. 

Judges for the Football Business Awards recognised the potential of Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD to transform revenues and enhance fan experience, commenting, “The technological breakthrough by ADI and Supponor was a mere dream not that long ago. This technological advancement creates a massive opportunity for clubs and sporting bodies. The market leading solution for augmented virtual reality has huge opportunities in terms of improved fan experience and revenue generation for clubs moving forward. This technology will produce real returns match after match, season after season.”

ADI’s CEO, Geraint Williams, commented: “It’s a huge honour for us to be recognised at the Football Business Awards. There was a tremendous amount of competition in the Technology category so we were particularly thrilled that our Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD platform was recognised for its value alongside such highly regarded competition. There is real appetite in the market for a quality virtual replacement LED perimeter solution and, from a technical perspective, we’ve designed a complete end to end solution that is ready for deployment.”

Supponor’s Charlie Marshall, added: “With the addition of LED-ready signage displays, virtual overlay perimeter technology is now able to support the requirements of those clubs committed to the visual in-stadium experience, putting virtual adoption at a real tipping point. Supponor is delighted that the platform we’ve developed with ADI has been  recognised as the industry leader, by industry leaders. It’s incredibly exciting that, after years of development, the 2017/18 season should see the first UK commercial deployment of Virtual Hybrid LED technology, which is set to change the face of perimeter media rights in sport forever.”

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