Serie A has agreed a partnership with Interregional Sports Group (ISG) that will see the firm provide virtual graphic solutions for crowd-free stadiums across Italy.
The decision to use a virtual background, which will be used during Serie A matches this season, was implemented to allow clubs to maximise return on investment (ROI) for brands and deliver ‘optimum revenue impact’, according to Simon Burgess, joint CEO and co-founder of ISG.
Burgess stated: “Lega Serie A are a world leader and innovator in virtual media in live broadcast. We have been working with Lega for many years and are extremely proud to continue to invest in and support new virtual media solutions in these challenging times.
“Our prime objectives are maximising ROI for brands and delivering optimum revenue impact for rights holders, while never compromising the enjoyment of the live event for the viewing audience.”
As a result of the successful trials prior to the announcement, ISG has been named Seria A’s exclusive virtual media provider for crowd free stadiums. Additionally, the firm will also work with its local production partners, Netco Sports Italy, for all Serie A games until the end of the 2019/20 season.
ISG’s virtual graphic solution will include virtual centre pitch logos of club partners prior to kick-off, at half time and prior to the second half kick-off. Moreover, empty stands at all Serie A matches will be filled with graphics and colours of the competing teams – however this will only be at select times.
Burgess explained: “This approach provides interesting graphic enhancement but is not overexposed nor does it impact on the enjoyment of the live action of the match it appears in.
“We have been working more and more directly with Serie A clubs, using our expertise to find other ways in which we can help them increase their revenues and make best use of their stadium infrastructure to create new virtual media spaces and platforms, whilst balancing those key criteria.”
“Our senior team has been deploying and commercialising virtual media for almost a decade, working with all types of technologies and solutions and ISG has grown rapidly over the last six years. We are now entering a new paradigm in live sports broadcasting that presents huge opportunities to all stakeholders.”
The initiative continues development of behind-closed door games across European football, with leagues such as La Liga opting to use virtual crowds during matches. In addition, multiple broadcasters have chosen to provide artificial crowd noise options to customers during fixtures in order to enhance the fan experience.