SMT Virtual Insertion Supplies Sponsor, Statistical Graphics for MLS Is Back Tournament

SMT teamed up with Major League Soccer (MLS) to develop virtual advertising and in-program enhancements for the league’s national and international television broadcasts for the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida.

The five-week MLS is Back Tournament began July 8 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and culminated with the Aug. 11 Championship match. SMT’s V-FAB (Virtual Fans, Ads, and Brands) technology provided the league’s local and national partners and advertisers with virtual graphics on and around the field. The virtual 300-by-15-foot wall on the far sideline displayed approximately 200 messages per game, with ads that were targeted on a per-market basis for national and international broadcasts on ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision/TUDN in the U.S. and on TSN and TVA in Canada.

Fans could also see stats and graphics on-field and on virtual videoboards that rose from behind both goals. Fans tweeted their photos and videos to #MLSisBack, which were featured on the videoboards, the live broadcast, and on MLSSoccer.com.

“SMT’s V-FAB virtual technology was a significant component of the broadcast, and allowed us to experiment with cutting-edge virtual and augmented reality technology to engage fans watching at home,” said Chris Schlosser, MLS SVP of Media. “SMT’s V FAB offered us the opportunity to provide premium opportunities for League and club partners to be featured within the MLS is Back Tournament.”

SMT has been providing virtual advertisement insertions since 2003, allowing clients to sell ad space in uniquely flexible spaces such as fields of play, tennis courts, backboards behind batters, virtual billboards, hockey rink glass, on buildings, incorporated into virtual sets and more. SMT’s V-FAB technology offers leagues and broadcasters significant revenue opportunities as game day revenue is on the decline due to limited or no-attendance policies resulting in stagnant ticket sales.

“At SMT, we understand the importance of sports resuming and the associated challenges on the business side. We are committed to dedicating our resources toward innovative ways to bring fans the immersive experience they’re accustomed to,” said Jay Abraham, Chief Revenue Officer, SMT. “At the same time, we are focused on creating new revenue-generating opportunities for our clients, and V-FAB satisfies both approaches.

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