Ministry of Sport

Southampton FC installs new stadium technology

English Premier League football club Southampton has installed a new virtual hybrid perimeter LED display at St Mary’s Stadium after partnering with stadium technology specialists ADI.

The augmented reality (AR) technology that is integrated into the system enables perimeter content to be seen differently by television audiences around the world.

The installation of this new technology will mean that viewers watching the same match in different countries will see brand content that is tailored to their region, whereas fans in the stadium will see traditional LED content.

The system, therefore, makes it possible to commercialise the same perimeter media space multiple times over.

The Virtual Hybrid digiBOARD system was developed by ADI, together with AR experts Supponor.

The system, which was installed at St Mary’s Stadium earlier this month, is a significant upgrade on the clubs old technology.

Southampton commercial director, David Thomas said: “Following a competitive selection process we chose ADI because of the functionality and quality of their technology.

“The ability to combine that functionality with a system that is Uefa compliant is extremely appealing to us.”

A team at ADI’s fibre connected production hub, which connects over 100 stadia and broadcasters, will manage the perimeter display content.

ADI’s chief executive, Geraint Williams added: “We’ve worked with Southampton for a number of years and they’ve always displayed huge ambition.

“We’re entering a new era in the way clubs activate commercial partnerships.

“Sponsors are demanding greater value and more opportunities to reach their audiences, and virtual advertising certainly offers a platform through which to achieve that.”

The same technology has been deployed in Germany’s Bundesliga since the start of the 2018-2019 season, and ten clubs in the UK have now invested in similar systems.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney