International Champions Cup Delivers Localized Virtual Ads With Vizrt, Catalyst Media

The International Champions Cup is a pre-season football (soccer) event featuring some of Europe’s biggest clubs. To utilize the on-field ads that reach football fans around the world, Catalyst Media teamed up with Vizrt to insert region specific virtual cam carpets–tied to field virtual advertisements–for each match.

Catalyst Media acquires, creates, and develops international and Asian sports properties. For their local Singapore feed, Catalyst Media used a “SINGPORE” advert, while simultaneously using a “LOVEBET” advert for the international feed. Using Viz Arena to insert these ads allowed Catalyst Media to place the ads on the pitch virtually, without the need of additional hardware in the stadium. The matches were broadcast live in 179 countries.

“We were impressed by the simple logistics and clean output of the system,” says Sandra Dharmawan, VP, Broadcast at Catalyst Media. “This leaves everyone happy: the production people because of the seamless integration, the operator for the minimized efforts needed, and most important, the sponsors to guarantee the cleanest possible appearance.”

At no stage throughout the games was there drifting or any disturbance in the advertisements, a prerequisite for any sponsor. Viz Arena’s robust calibration is the result of Vizrt’s pioneering feature-based referencing technology. A simple interface allows a single operator to set up an ad for a live game in less than 10 minutes. Unlike systems based upon mechanical tracking, no hardware is required in the stadium. A single system can handle four separate feeds, each with a seperate ad, with the option to easily expand the number of feeds by adding additional systems.

“We are very proud with the results of the production,” says Remo Ziegler, VP for Vizrt’s sports products. “Our new calibration technology guarantees an extremely high quality of image-based camera tracking that is born from our revolutionary Viz Eclipse technology.”

All the ads used for the games were designed in Viz Artist, Vizrt’s 3D design software, and were rendered using Vizrt’s powerful real-time rendering platform, Viz Engine. Viz Arena is also capable of driving AR graphics and includes live 3D analysis tools that are ideal for video assisted referee. The software only requires raw footage while the graphics and ads are inserted downstream from a remote facility.

“Virtual Advertising is a keystone of Vizrt’s (Sports) offering,” adds Ziegler. “Vizrt is proud to help customers around the globe with state of the art solutions to monetize their content.”

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