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Real Madrid appoints IMG for exclusive digital overlay advertising sales

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Spanish football club Real Madrid has signed up the IMG agency on an exclusive basis to sell the club’s digital overlay advertising on perimeter boards at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.

The multi-year deal with the Endeavor-owned agency starts this season and also allows IMG to develop regional partnerships for the club in Asia and North America.

The deal marks the first time that IMG has represented a football club in its digital overlay sales and will allow IMG to source brands for virtual perimeter advertising that are not sponsors of the club, as well as new sponsors, for all LaLiga and Copa del Rey matches at the Santiago Bernabéu.

As part of the sales effort, IMG has teamed up with London-based sports marketing agency Project 11, which has a track record in selling virtual advertising.

SportBusiness understands that IMG is interested in signing similar deals with other major European clubs.

Adolfo Bara, SVP and managing director, Football Events, IMG, said: “Real Madrid is one of the most successful and popular clubs in world football and we’re looking forward to leveraging our strengths in Asia and North America to expand its global portfolio of partners.

“The opportunities available for brands via digital overlay technology are endless, allowing geo-localised marketing opportunities, tailored messaging and targeted advertising connected to one of the most watched sports teams globally.”

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Spanish club football has been available for digital overlay advertising since 2014 when digital pitchside advertising rights formed part of the centralised marketing structure created by LaLiga and the Mediapro agency. The partnership allows regional sponsors of LaLiga to take up pitchside advertising positions on the television feed in specific regions outside of Spain.

The advertising rights feature at the away fixtures of LaLiga’s elite clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid and selected away games of Atlético Madrid. These clubs have retained the overlay rights to their home fixtures – an opportunity Real Madrid recently exploited with the overlay of the MarathonBet brand in Russian market broadcasts.

Real Madrid has teamed up with AIM Sport to implement the overlay technology. Rival overlay company Supponor supplies the technology for LaLiga.

In October, Barcelona signed an agreement with Supponor for the virtual LED for the club’s games at the Camp Nou. Barcelona has seven international feeds and is selling the inventory directly to its partners.

In 2018, AIM Sport became a supplier to Ligue 1 club Paris St Germain. The technology has been used to allow global sponsors to customise messages in different markets and find new opportunities for brands interested in regional sponsorships.

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