The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has announced an expansion to its partnership with 4D Sight, a live video monetization platform.
The agreement covers the UFC’s use of 4D Sight’s deep learning technology to digitally place sponsors’ logos on their Octagon canvases during select live UFC telecasts.
The collaboration is an expansion of the Latin American pilot program UFC and 4D Sight launched in 2021, where the promotion placed the logo of Stake.com, the crypto casino and sports betting platform which is the championship’s betting partner in that region (as well as in Asia), onto a prominent position inside the UFC Fighting Cage during broadcasts.
The UFC will be able to utilize 4D’s AI technology, 4D AI, to target brand exposure in specific regions, and to show different logo placements throughout live Pay-Per-View events.
Grant Norris-Jones, UFC senior vice president of global partnerships, said: “4D AI opens up a world of opportunity for UFC to maximize corporate partnerships by localizing brand exposure and creating greater relevance and engagement with viewers.
“This tech is a game changer in branded integrations with one of the most visible sports settings in the world, the UFC Octagon.”
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Erhan Ciris, founder and chief executive of 4D Sight, added: “We are personalizing a painted logo on a mat or an empty wall in a video game at the regional and individual level – enabling use cases such as covering sports betting ads in specific regions or replacing an alcohol brand for an underage viewer.
“This is all happening in real-time with no room for error – real-time video content understanding enables real-time content generation cycle with infinite ending options.”
Alon Cohen, senior vice president of research and development at UFC, said: “Virtual ad integration is something we have been experimenting with for some time, but we discovered we needed a downstream solution.
“One that could place logos on the Octagon canvas using computer vision to parse the scene and dynamically mask around fighters, the ref and all of our on-screen graphics.
“4D Sight has provided the only solution that is capable of working alongside how we shoot our sport. We’re looking forward to working with them to use this technology to enhance the value we provide our brand partners.”
The extension comes after UFC-owner Endeavor, the international entertainment and sports giant, tied up its deal to merge the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) organization with UFC through the creation of a new publicly listed company, TKO Group.
The deal brings two of the top-tier brands across sports entertainment promotion together under one roof, boasting a combined 1 billion fans worldwide and producing more than 350 annual live events.