PTF Blog

Plug-and-Play Logo Replacement, for Anyone

How AI is Democratising High–Tech Solutions for Sports
The sporting industry has traditionally been conservative in its approach to advertising. Even the introduction of on-field advertisements occurred only in the middle of the last century. Many of us can still recall the introduction of Hawk-Eye for visual ball tracking. While this may seem natural today, the initial idea was rejected and met with scepticism.

The replacement of advertisements Initially was referred to as the “Replacement Perimeter Overlay” technology. However, this term has since become outdated. It is not limited to the perimeter of the field; rather, brands are now placing advertisements on the field itself, above the stands, and even leaving logos floating in the air. But technology did not reach all the possible customers yet. Why?

Is AI not for everyone?

Ad replacement technology was initially suitable only for the biggest competitions. Smaller stadiums lack the financial resources to install the requisite equipment, new cameras, 3D-modelling of the area, and other less obvious expenses. The installation of perimeter LED screens, for instance, can cost upwards of $500,000 per stadium.

Also whole types of sports seemed abandoned by the AI revolution. MMA, boxing, and other sports with more complex camera angles did not participate in those changes and were jealously watching from afar.

The times are changing, and the pace of change is accelerating. New companies, without thousands of employers and billion-dollar ad campaigns, are coming to make a change. One of them — the PTF Lab, tends to shake the market with new high-end technology. It has one significant advantage: it is multiple times cheaper, and available to any sport. Yes, including MMA and boxing.


Given the immense power of AI, it is now possible that a simple dirty-feed signal could be sufficient for seamless real-time replacement. However, the solution is complicated even by the modern rapidly advancing age. Currently, only a handful of companies are engaged in the race for this technology. Nevertheless, as pointed out by Isa Mutaliev CEO of the PTF Lab, the benefits of such a solution are enormous.

If the purchase of equipment is avoided, the price of using the technology will plummet, making it accessible to any sport. The reduction in hardware costs eliminates the need for logistical expenses and facilitates the integration of objects (ranging from logos to three-dimensional objects) into the system. This integration can be as easy as a plug-and-play device for personal computers.

With regard to dynamic and rapid sports, such as MMA, sensors may still be required. However, as history has shown us, all limitations are just temporary.

Obstacles and complications

Technology designed for other sports, such as football (basketball, tennis, etc.), is not suitable for use in MMA. It simply cannot be scaled and must be redesigned from the ground up. Gradient points, contrasts, gradients, large objects, and camera localization are not compatible with MMA if the AI is simply made more sensitive and precise.

PTF Lab began addressing this challenge five years ago. Initially, the objective was to develop a technology that could replace martial arts advertisements. However, it became evident that scaling technology from an octagon to a larger field was a more straightforward process.

The key to success was that we set our goal really high from the very beginning,” — said the CEO of the PTF Lab.

We wanted to make it possible to replace the logos in MMA. And MMA is anything but static. So now we have AI networks that can work with detailed shadows, with views that overlap both by octagon net and people, and can work with the feed from handheld cameras. Things that usually never happen in football or tennis

Solve hardest first

From the beginning we were aiming for a no-hardware solution. We don’t need to install cameras at every location, we don’t even use sensors for the cases like football. For MMA sensors can be necessary, depending on the complexity of the shoot. But for “stadium based” sports — not anymore. Which means, we don’t need to send our team out there. Solution is cloud-based, and all the computing powers are decentralised with virtual GPUs from different suppliers. It’s a double and even triple-protected, reliable solution“.

All the other specs of technology are also growing from the same idea: the approach of “solving the hardest problem first”. According to the CEO, the scalability of the solution came as a surprise to the team when they started testing it on other sports.

Future vision

As the technology becomes more available, the next step is expected to be super-targeting. What digital marketers can do with online ads now can become reality in sports. The owners of streaming and betting apps are expected to benefit the most, since they have the most precise data about their users. This allows for targeting campaigns based on age and gender. In a few years, we’ll probably see a high-end solution that renders ads on the viewer’s device. This means every user will see their own unique ads.

For sure, this is the type of the future that many people will not tolerate at first. But the process seems unstoppable. The best thing we can do is stay curious and open to the new era coming. At least it’s going to be anything but boring.