Main menu


NHL debuts digitally enhanced dashboard.Virtual Advertisement Replaces Traditional Billboards on Arena Link Boards

featured image

The NHL will debut its Digital Enhanced Dashboard (DED), which “removes” ads on Arena Link boards and replaces them with on-air virtual ads at every game this season.

The DED system enables the digital exchange of arena dashboards visible on camera within local, national and international NHL game broadcasts. Layering other ads on the board will be its primary function, but the DED system will eventually allow broadcasters to use the board for everything from in-game stats to goal celebration special effects. Become.

Keith Wachtel, NHL Chief Business Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships, said: “We don’t like to say ‘erase and replace’ it, but that was the original term. Take something that already exists, keep its value, and turn it into something better and static.” to replace.”

The NHL first advertised on its board in 1981 for the Minnesota North Stars. A typical arena rink has national sponsors and local advertisers. With this technology, these advertisers can be seen on the billboards of the team’s home and away game broadcasts.

“This will allow clubs to sell game broadcasts in as many regions as possible in the market,” said Wachtel. “Also, competitors enter every other market. So every time the Rangers play in Philadelphia, Chase [Bank] We have to see Wells Fargo advertising return to their all-important New York market. If owning your own market is important, you can avoid that issue. “

When watching the game through the main center ice camera, fans can see the DED system’s digital dash ads. If there are close-ups or reverse angles in the broadcast, boards inside the arena will be shown, so advertisers inside those arenas can get some exposure.

“Overall, national and local marketers are very receptive,” Wachtel said.

The project, which costs tens of millions of dollars, has been in the works for seven years. This is how long it took the NHL to feel the technology was in place and scalable with the number of games the team played during the season.

With Digital Boards, you can always change the advertisers you see in your broadcast. There are 5 different “zones” sold to sponsors: both net and he are all 3 zones. Ads are sold like commercials and brands buy in 30 second increments based on the game clock. Each game, teams must program 120 increments. Each broadcaster and his NHL itself gets his 90 seconds of institutional time for their own advertising.

Boards may resemble those traditionally found in arenas. Also, one advertiser may take over the board for a particular zone or an entire link.

Advertisements allow advertisers to change the advertisements they see during the game. For example, car manufacturers can put their logos on static boards. The digital board allows you to push different models of cars in all periods.

The NHL partnered with virtual advertising company Supporter to develop a remote artificial intelligence-based keying technology to automatically program the dashboard. Digital boards are programmed from a central hub.

The DED system will be used in the NHL Global Series games, which start the regular season on October 7 in Prague.

“We have a local Nashville Predators feed, a San Jose Sharks feed, a rest of the world feed, and a clean feed because our local broadcast partners want to see our local partner boards,” said NHL’s DED project manager.

The NHL broadcasts games in over 100 countries. Not all countries have feeds to start the season, but it is hoped that feeds will be created for specific international markets depending on inventory demand. Every broadcast of , you may see completely different ads on boards around the world.

“The way the technology works is that we create feeds by country, and we can use these boards to sell to local marketers or pan-European marketers,” said Wachtel.

It is also important to allow European sportsbooks to advertise on the boards of these feeds.

Digitally enhanced dashboards allow sportsbooks to advertise ‘locally’ and appear on road game boards to viewers watching in their home market. This is important given that not all NHL markets have legalized gambling and not all sportsbooks have a license to operate in a legalized market.

The NHL hopes there will be an adjustment period for fans, but the viewing experience will ultimately improve. , shows that fans are more comfortable watching the game with one brand surrounding the board rather than “26 different things to see.” He said it was confirmed by research firm MediaScience, which does eye scans for neurometric measurements.

“Like anything else, some people will hate it and find it hard to see. But over time, like everything else, people get used to it. Everything.” said Wachtel.

Wachtel said he expects digitally enhanced boards to become mainstream in the sport.

“This is the most complex, difficult, but rewarding project I have ever worked on. Based on the way it unfolds every night at every game scale, this is the only It’s the platform,’ he said.