SportsInnovation 2018 closed its doors today, capping the remarkable inaugural two-day event with a focus on topics in the areas of broadcasting and in-stadium experience. Organised by Messe Düsseldorf, in cooperation with DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga, the innovation trade fair at the ESPRIT arena in Düsseldorf, Germany, boasted displays by 47 exhibitors from 11 countries and was attended by 923 guests from 21 countries, who were amazed by the insights and outlooks presented by the pioneering vendors along with a 5-star line-up of industry-leading experts. “I’m very convinced that this was not the last SportsInnovation“, said Christian Seifert, CEO of DFL.
On Day 2, two more Innovation Matches provided the framework for exhibitors to showcase their technologies as well as products and services in real time, while renowned sports journalist Raphael Honigstein hosted the accompanying stage program.
The broadcasting topics discussed were, among other aspects, Augmented Reality graphics from new perspectives as well as the use of numerous camera systems, some of which had never before been used in the production of a football match. In addition, DFL subsidiary Sportcast laid out the entire production chain from signal generation to broadcast on the various devices and guided guests through the expansive steps.
On the centre stage, a lively discussion on the future development of sports broadcasting with expert panellists Dr Holger Blask, DFL Director Audiovisual Rights and Member of the Executive Committee, Jason Wormser, VP/Production FOX Soccer at FOX Sports US, Knut Fleischmann, TV director and Stefan Wistuba, Head of Production at HBS, caught the attendees’ attention. Parallel to the discussion round, different camera systems were presented on large screens. In the course of the TV-production surrounding the three Innovation matches, Sportcast used 29 cameras in total. 7 of the 14 new specialised cameras had never been used before in TV-production of football matches.
The second theme of the day highlighted innovations pertaining to the in-stadium experience of the future, some of which is lurking right around the corner: With the beginning of the upcoming 2018-19 season, virtual advertising boards, as showcased at SportsInnovation 2018, can be used regularly in live international broadcasts of Bundesliga matches.
The panel on “in-stadium experience,” featuring Frank Bohmann, CEO of the DKB Handball Bundesliga, Michael Brill, CEO of dcse, and Dr Alexander Steinforth, Director Strategy & Business Development at Fortuna Düsseldorf shared thoughts and views on “The stadium of tomorrow – wishes and needs of users and operators” in front of a riveted audience.
Other areas looked into on the second day included the latest developments in the implementation of automation and robotics, evolving immersive Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies that offer exciting new ways to extend reality, ways to increase production efficiency, new production tools and equipment in the areas of camera work, audio mixing, graphics production, and real-time editing, new audio experiences designed to deliver the best possible entertainment experience to fans – and much more. “In-stadium experience” proved to be a fitting last point on the agenda of this year’s event.
“The first SportsInnovation has been a success and we have been able to establish a whole new industry platform”, stated Alexander Günther, CEO of Sportcast. “Visitors, partners and friends of innovation were very impressed by the technologies, products and services on show.”