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UFC, 4D Sight introduce new ad technology to insert virtual branding in the octagon

New initiative offers UFC flexibility to further localize telecasts by digitally placing sponsors' logos on the octagon canvas.

UFC, the world's premier mixed martial arts organization, and 4D Sight, a live video monetization platform built for gaming, creators and sports, recently announced a pilot program to introduce new virtual ad tech aimed to localize broadcasts for viewers and sponsors.

This pas Saturday, during UFC 278, UFC implemented 4D Sight's technology to digitally insert sponsor branding on the canvas of the world-famous octagon as seen on the UFC Fight Pass Spanish-language Latin America broadcast of the event. The initiative will be tested with, the world's largest cryptocurrency gaming and sportsbook, and UFC's official betting partner in Latin America and Asia.  

Broadcasters and leagues looking for addressable solutions and hyper targeting specific regions during global broadcasts can utilize 4D Sight's capabilities to virtually replace or create new branding at the local level. After supporting some of the largest esports leagues in the world, this will be the first time 4D Sight's tech would be used in a major sports setting.

4D Sight's cloud-based, computer vision technology enables sports leagues and broadcasters to seamlessly display static and dynamic brand images inside the field of play, without limitations on specific camera angles or location of the placement. In the case of UFC, 4D Sight's technology was uniquely built to handle virtual ads in a dynamic and fast-moving environment, opening up new and limitless opportunities for integrated partnerships at the local level.

"UFC is a global brand that has become one of the most-sought-after marketing platforms in all of sports," UFC senior vice president of global partnerships Paul Asencio said. "4D Sight's technology will now allow us to localize the brand exposure to meet the needs of our partners, while creating greater relevance and engagement locally with our viewers."

"Currently, there's a lot of tech out there to try to shoehorn in brands that want their logo digitally blown up on screen during a big sports event," 4D Sight founder and CEO Erhan Ciris said. "The issue is, the quality control isn't there with constant things like glitching and screen-tear when anyone on screen happens to be in the vicinity of a logo. What we've really done is create a way to improve the viewer experience, by presenting branding opportunities that are native but non-intrusive for the viewer."

"UFC tried and discovered we couldn't use any of the traditional, mature technologies for digitally placing our partners' logos in our broadcasts," UFC senior vice president of research and development Alon Cohen said. "Those technologies are upstream and use sensors attached to cameras. For a variety of reasons, that wasn't a workable solution for us. We needed a downstream solution – one that could place logos on the octagon canvas using a broadcast-level solution. 4D Sight is the only platform that could provide that technology for us, and we're proud to work with them to produce this first-of-its-kind deployment in IRL sport."