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Southampton to use augmented reality to sell pitchside advertising space

Saints are among the first teams in English football to adopt a ‘Virtual Hybrid’ perimeter LED display.

Southampton FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Southampton have paired with ADI, a technology company, to install a new “Virtual Hybrid” system which sees the LED advertising hoardings display different adverts tailored to the viewers’ locality using augmented reality.

According to The Drum, ADI, alongside augmented reality company Supponor, is “using a virtual hybrid perimeter LED display, with technology layered on top that will augment the view of which viewers, so that they can watch the same match in different countries and see brand content tailored to their region.”

ADI and Supponor developed the new Virtual Hybrid digiboard system, and its installation earlier this month means that Saints can commercialise the same perimeter media space multiple times over across the world.

ITV and the FA previously trialled the system and it was deemed a success, with TV viewers at home not noticing any difference to those watching the game from inside the stadium.

Southampton FC’s commercial director, David Thomas, said: “We’re excited to be one of the first clubs in English football to have a fully functioning Virtual Hybrid system. Following a competitive selection process we chose ADI because of the functionality and quality of their technology.

“The market is clearly heading towards the adoption of virtual advertising, and there is definitely demand from sponsors. The ability to combine that functionality with a system that is UEFA compliant is extremely appealing to us.”