SPECTACLE AND ENERGY
TO LIVE SPORTS
As the sports world entered the era of limited fan attendance, SMT responded with V-FAB, a virtual platform that reignites the energy and excitement of cheering crowds while offering sponsors new ways of blasting brands and messages to consumers.
SMT has been serving the sports industry since 1985, with a focus on data visualization. Our experience is unsurpassed. The Yellow 1st & Ten line. The PITCHf/x virtual strike zone. NASCAR’s GhostCar . That’s all SMT. Our goal is to be a valued partner, sharing ideas and concepts that have been successful in the broader sports marketplace.
EMPOWERING CLIENTS WITH
SMT’s Virtual Fans, Ads and Brands (V-FAB) system infuses broadcasts with the high energy of virtual fans in the stands, while empowering sponsors and advertisers with in-game, geographically targeted virtual ads and messaging.
VIRTUAL FLIPCARD EXAMPLES
VIEWERSHIP STATS FOR 2020 MLS CUP FINALS
fans watched MLS Cup finals on Fox
increase in viewership on Fox from 2019
fans watched MLS Cup finals on UniMás
increase in viewership on UniMás from 2019
* These figures mark the third most-viewed MLS Cup final on an English-language network since 2010 and the most-watched game on Univision since 2016. Univision owns the UniMás network.
** Stats courtesy of SportsPromedia.com
SMT shifted our R&D to find innovative ways to provide fans with the familiar comfort of cheering spectators in the stands, developing virtual opportunities that also include team logos, sponsored billboards, and animated on-field graphics.
PRIOR TO FIRST USE
Ingest 3D model
Choose V-FAB camera set
Enumerate set of Scene Target Areas
Ingest and maintain art asset library
Team-related assets (i.e., logos, artwork, color palettes)
Static sponsor/brand signage
Animating ads, brands, promos, mp4s
HOW WE DO IT
AND AI PROCESSING
SMT’s V-FAB system uses computer vision and AI processing to:
Recognize and track visible fiducials* in a V-FAB camera's field-of-view
Constantly calculate the V-FAB camera’s position in 3D space relative to the changing image in each new video frame.
* A fiducial is a known point in real space that a V-FAB camera uses as an image-processing reference point and visual anchor. Examples include painted lines on the pitch grass, or 3D scanned and modeled areas of the stadium.
The V-FAB rendering application uses the V-FAB camera’s POV tracking data, the 3D model of the venue, and a library of user-selected content to virtually insert video and animating graphical content into the video scene.
Cameras that run V-FAB are chosen by the broadcast producer from the set of existing cameras covering that sporting event. Some cameras are perfect for V-FAB; however, not all on-site cameras can run or should attempt to run V-FAB. Important limitations must be understood by the broadcast producer.