SMT's AR show open for MLS Cup pays tribute to league's 25th anniversary

SMT was selected by Major League Soccer to provide the augmented reality (AR) show open and virtual advertising graphics package for the 25th anniversary of the MLS Cup, which aired Saturday, Dec. 12.

The AR open for the MLS Cup, the grand finale of the 2020 MLS season, paid tribute to 25 years of MLS, with a rendering of the trophy highlighting 13 past winning franchises, flanked by slabs displaying the top 25 greatest players in MLS history. Special heroic treatment of the league’s top four male players featured golden likenesses of David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Eddie Pope and Carlos Valderrama emerging from beneath the field. The effect was created in real-time, combining the graphics with live shots inside MAPFRE Stadium. The open’s conception and design were executed by SMT’s in-house Creative Studio utilizing Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.

SMT also delivered its V-FAB (Virtual Fans, Ads, and Brands) technology that provided in-stadium sponsorship logos. Throughout the 2020 MLS season, SMT has provided the league’s sponsors and advertisers with V-FAB virtual graphics on and around the field. Ads were targeted on a per-market basis for national and international broadcasts.

SMT’s V-FAB augmented and virtual insertion technology offers sponsors and advertisers significant branding and revenue opportunities, particularly during the pandemic when fan attendance is restricted, and advertisers rely more heavily on broadcasting and streaming to attract viewers.

“At SMT, we are committed to creating innovative, immersive experiences that attract new audiences,” said Jay Abraham, Chief Revenue Officer, SMT. “Our Creative Studio jumped at the opportunity to celebrate MLS’ historic event, and in few short weeks created a cutting-edge virtual and augmented reality open that engaged and excited fans watching at home.”

SMT has been providing virtual advertisement insertions since 2003, allowing clients to sell ad space in uniquely flexible spaces such as fields of play, tennis courts, backboards behind batters, virtual billboards, hockey rink glass, on buildings, incorporated into virtual sets and more.

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