With the increased adoption of high-speed 5G services and decreased attendance at sports venues due to COVID-19 and other factors, people of all ages are increasingly using their smartphones and other devices to watch sports content. To meet the needs of this new era that is seeing changing viewing habits, and to support the digital marketing efforts of enterprises, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) began offering a “Virtual Advertising Service” starting May 7, 2021.
SoftBank launched the digital service in collaboration with the Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS, one of Japan’s top professional baseball teams. Fans watching HAWKS home games on their smartphones and other devices will be able to see the ad displays.
How does the service work? Using a dedicated video feed from the venue, SoftBank first inserts digital ads into the video at its video management center, and then delivers this game content to video service operators. Fans watching the matches then see the advertisements appear on their smartphones or other devices. The service, which displays virtual advertisements in real time during professional baseball games, is the first of its kind in Japan. SoftBank is aiming to expand the Virtual Advertising Service to other sports and formats as well.
Virtual ads offer more flexibility and revenue opportunities
Until now, it was necessary to set up physical signage at sports venues to display ads during games. With SoftBank’s Virtual Advertising Service, however, it is now possible to insert digital advertisements into live video feeds at the system level, which eliminates the need to create and set up physical billboards.
Thanks to the capabilities of the digital technology, it is also easy to switch ads, enabling advertisers to sync their ads with seasons and ad campaigns. Furthermore, sophisticated advertising designs can be displayed clearly to increase visibility. These service features allow companies to deploy their ads quickly and flexibly. It also frees up extra advertising space for sports venue operators so they can increase their revenues.
(Posted on May 26, 2021)
by SoftBank News Editors