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12.20.2002
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Sportvision merges with Ignite for interactive sports marketing



Sportvision’s virtual 1st & Ten line uses patented video overlay technology to create the illusion that a yellow line is painted on the field, and that players are crossing it or standing on it.

Sportvision, developer of virtual image technologies like the 1st & Ten line that is seen during ABC and ESPN football telecasts, has merged with Chicago-based Ignite Sports, a sports-marketing firm, to target advertisers with technology that will enable broadcasters to seek unique sponsorships. Various “In-the-Action” marketing opportunities could include product placement and company logos electronically inserted into a taped or live broadcast.

The merged company, called Sportvision, will be based in Chicago, and leverage existing Sportvision offices in New York and Mountain View, Calif.

Bill Squadron, co-founder and Chairman of Sportvision, said of the merger: "Our combined technology and marketing capabilities will enable this company to further advance fan-friendly TV and interactive sports applications, while establishing significant new broadcast sponsorship and advertising opportunities."

Squadron said the new company has received $10 million in new financing from existing investors and some new ones that were not named.

A winner of multiple Emmy Awards for technical achievement, Sportvision’s virtual 1st & Ten line uses patented video overlay technology to create the illusion that a yellow line is painted on the field, and that players are crossing it or standing on it. The 1st & Ten technology has been used on more than 700 NFL and college football broadcasts since its introduction in 1998.

Other Sportvision technologies have appeared in hundreds of NBA, NASCAR, NHL, PGA Tour, Major League Baseball, and NCAA basketball events, both on-air and on the Web. The company's six-year deal with NASCAR has brought GPS tracking to auto racing, while its Emmy-winning "K Zone" baseball system and Virtual Caddy golf technology spotlight the company's Interactive Virtual Imaging (IVI) capability. The IVI system is also being used by ESPN on Sunday Night Football telecasts and by Turner Sports on its NBA broadcasts.

For more information visit www.sportvision.com.

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