World first in virtual advertising at England’s Elland Road match

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The Football Association was behind a world-first in virtual advertising, during England’s World Cup warm-up in Leeds.

Using “virtual replacement technology” LED perimeter advertising was targeted to each broadcast audience around the world.

It was delivered by ITV in partnership with Supponor, who pioneered the system, together with technology firm, ADI.

“Working with Supponor we delivered two virtual feeds,” explained Interregional Sports Group, joint CEO Tony Ragan.

“One feed carried advertising specifically focusing on fans in Costa Rica and the Americas region and the other carried adverts of a broader international appeal as a result of teaming up with our sales partner Sportseen.”

The Virtual LED system was installed at Elland Road last season.

"The potential for Virtual Replacement Technology is substantial. Perimeter LED displays have become a fundamental platform for activating brand partnerships in sport, so the ability to change that message to make it relevant for different fans around the world is hugely appealing for us and our partners. We were delighted to be able to collaborate with various stakeholders in order to deploy it on this occasion,” added The FA’s senior broadcast manger, Tom Gracey.

ADI CEO, Geraint Williams said that this was a potentially “game-changing era”

“It’s an exciting time for the technology, and the next 12 months will be a game-changing era that will transform the way clubs, brands, leagues, and federations interact with their audiences.”