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invidis confidential 18|24: Uefa Is Having an AI Moment

Although Germany just got kicked out of Euro 2024, it hasn’t dissapointed as the host country. Interest in the tournament has increased, and Uefa is making record profits – a large part coming from sponsors who have been offered AI-based virtual ad targeting for the first time.

In Europe, the ongoing Football Championship is breaking viewing records on TV. In Germany, the TV channel ZDF reported its best month since 1994. With hundreds of millions of TV viewers and 60,000 stadium attendees, Euro 2024 is one of the world’s most coveted events for sponsorship. While the tournament organizer Uefa keeps the value of ad deals secret, the official budget reveals a combined commercial revenue of 586 million euros.

These numbers may not surprise US folks quite as much as they startle us Europeans, given the Super Bowl alone generated 600 million dollars in ad revenue, reaching 123 million people in total. In comparison, Fox’s Euro 2024 coverage averages 1.15 million viewers. However, this number is apparently still high enough for major sponsors to consider it worthwhile to play targeted ads for the US TV audience during live matches. This is done subtly through the LED ribbon displays along the touchlines of the playing field.

For Fox’s coverage of the Euro matches, virtual perimeter advertising is used, meaning the US TV audience sees the same sponsors but not the exact same ads. The same goes for German and Chinese TV broadcasts. Advances in AI, specifically machine learning and augmented reality, have made this technology quite sophisticated. In our article of the week, we explain how the technology works.

Hamburg’s giant OoH installation for Euro 2024

Not only are the ads played during, before, and after the matches related to the big football event, but in Germany, virtually every campaign seen on TV and in public references Euro 2024. Besides major brands, the host cities have launched large marketing campaigns targeting the millions of international fans on the streets. The city of Hamburg made the biggest statement by building the world’s largest tournament tree out of shipping containers at its port.

BBC’s two prime XR studios in Berlin

The English national team still has a good chance to secure their spot in the semi-finals. Fortunately, the BBC secured one of the best broadcast locations: two temporary XR studios with fine-pitch LED panels from ROE Visual, set up in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

In other news

Wishing you a lovely Sunday,

Antonia Hamberger