Projecting ads on signs (Cubs game last night for instance)

Anyone else notice that there was a green billboard behind home plate and the ad on that billboard would change every inning and also only show up when they used the main camera angle on TV?

My questions:
Why do they do this instead of just having a rotating ad thing like I’ve seen?
How do they put it in there so seamlessly?
Does the TV station or MLB make money of the ad and get to pick what’s on there?

I’ve noticed this happening a lot more lately, and I really think that I’ve seen some signs on TV that are actually covered up by the television broadcast and then replaced with a different ad.

Can anyone help me out?

The ads are added electronically. The green board acts like the screen behind your local weatherman. The color is chosen because it is easily recognizable to the computer that “fills in” the ad or weather map.

And yes, it’s all about money. A company can run an ad during the commercial, but then Fox can chagre them extra for keeping their company name visible during the next inning.

now is it possible to blank out an ad for Coors that normally appears behind home plate and have Fox replace it with an ad from Budweiser? I guess that’s got a few legal issues associated with it as well though.

Yes it is possible. Coors, if they have the ad in the park only have the ad in the park. In the past any TV exposure has been a bonus to them. However, the network is free to sell that ad space, at a high rate on national broadcasts to Bud, if they desire.

I was familiar with one company, now defunct, that was working on technology that would have allowed a network to install different ads on the same broadcast for different markets - for example, the ad would be for the Chicago Reader in Illinois, and for the NY Times in New York or the LA Times in So. Cal. Hell, the technology would have allowed a network to place ads on the field of play and they would have looked like they were painted on the field.

My girlfriend (a Marketing type) and I were talking about this last night, wondering why they would do this instead of traditional billboards.

The easy (and likely) answer? They can probably get more money by charging several companies for that prime ad placement than by charging only one company for it (or even a few in the case of the rotating-type boards).

I also brought up (being a techie-type) that it’s possible to show different ads in different markets, but we decided they might not be doing this since almost all the ads seemed to be location-generic. But, you never know who or where companies might be specifically targeting in their marketing plans.

Current technology lets broadcasters do way more than that even. The sports my dad watches do that a bunch - for soccer, corner kicks sometimes have a “Visit Britain” strip superimposed on the edge of the field, and in rugby there are often logos on the field itself that don’t actually exist.

Ok, related to this (kinda), how the heck did they project images on the side of the building on Monday night football? I never heard them explain that.

Ads are just plain freaky now-a-days.

The Wall Street Journal had an article on this in the Marketing section a few years ago.
The electronic overlay of a sponsor on a billboard has been one of the things you could buy on a telecast for some time.
This happens on other sports broadcasts, too. Maybe it’s more noticable during baseball because of the slower pace of the game.

I hate when people say things like this, in GQ especially. You say it like it’s a bad thing. What else, pray tell, would advertising be “about” besides money?

I think it’s more noticeable in baseball for several reasons.

  1. Slower pace? I guess that’s what you’d call it. As the pitcher is delivering the pitch, the camera is usually showing just the pitcher, batter, catcher, and umpire, from the all familiar angle behind the pitcher. There’s a big billboard behind the batter that’s just. . .right there. You absolutely can’t miss it.

  2. More diverse camera angles, or imperfect technology? Camera angles close up on the batter or catcher, or anywhere around home plate often include the billboard back there, and for whatever reason the computer doesn’t stick the ad back there (only a piece of the board is showing anyway). The bright green really jumps out at you then. So whether the computer doesn’t keep track of all the different camera angles, or can’t insert an ad on an incomplete green-screen, I don’t know.

  3. Yeah, yeah.

Yes this is done on a LOT of broadcasts. A lot of times in football or hockey some of the logos on the field/rink aren’t really there. And of course, in football, that yellow or red line to mark the first down is totally CG (they do a good job of keeping track of it through all the different camera angles, too).

I remember some controversy a few years ago stemming from ?Dan Rather’s? New Year’s broadcast on CBS from Times Square. . .apparently CBS digitally replaced a lot of the real signs/ads in Times Square with the ads of paying TV sponsors, and most noticeably a gigantic CBS eye logo. The companies who owned the real signs were plenty peeved at this.

It’s more likely about who gets the money. In very gross terms, stadium ad revenue goes to the owners of the stadium, but digitally superimposed ad revenue goes to the broadcaster.

As mentioned by another poster, this has implications for the rates that can be charged by stadium owners, who often get high fees for exclusivity and potential television audiences.

TaxGuy, relax.

One of the OP’s questions was “Why do they do this instead of having a rotating sign?”

Answer: to make more money.

I said “it’s all about money”. You, in fact agreed that advertising IS about making money. I agree with you. I was stating a fact. Any “spin” on what I said was something that you inferred yourself.

Have a great, money-making day!:wink: