Combining innovation with tradition: partnership between DFL and Axel Springer for BILD brings newspaper pictures to life thanks to augmented reality

21.08.2018 – The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and the Axel Springer BILD Group are combining innovation with tradition to create a brand-new media offering. When the new Bundesliga season gets under way, readers will be able to access football videos via the printed media with the help of augmented reality. By using their mobile phones to scan specially marked newspaper photos, readers can bring modern-day and historical match scenes to life.

“This innovation combines traditional reading habits with the opportunities presented by digital media. The DFL is constantly striving to make the Bundesliga experience as attractive as possible across all media distribution channels. With this in mind, Axel Springer with BILD is the ideal partner for this pioneering alliance of printed and digital media,” says DFL CEO Christian Seifert.

Matthias Brügelmann, Sports Editor-in-Chief of the BILD Group: “Thanks to the new video photos in BILD, SPORT BILD, FUSSBALL BILD, BILD AM SONNTAG, B.Z. and B.Z. am SONNTAG, we are launching this year’s Bundesliga season with a highlight project in collaboration with the DFL that will bring our print sports coverage to life. This means that when our readers buy the newspaper, they can now for the first time ever in Europe enjoy direct and exclusive access to highly attractive video content. Augmented reality is already showing us what the newspaper of the future could look like.”

In cooperation with DAZN, it is planned to provide images of not only the most recent matches but also matches from the past and clips from press conferences. For the 10- to 30-second clips, BILD has been granted access to the DFL’s German Football Archive, which contains 140,000 hours of video material spanning more than five decades. The BILD apps, that will allow readers to use this new technology can be downloaded free of charge and are compatible with iOS and Android systems. The current matchday videos are available from each Monday following a matchday weekend.

This offering, which has been developed in cooperation with Axel Springer for BILD, is yet another example of the ongoing innovative strength of the DFL. In its role as a centre of expertise, the subsidiary DFL Digital Sports has been producing and distributing digital content on all major platforms for Bundesliga fans worldwide since 2012. In addition, the production subsidiary Sportcast offers the very highest standards in broadcasting technology for media partners in 211 countries all over the world. Sportec Solutions, a standalone company established in 2015, collects and prepares match data. This year, the DFL became a partner of the “SportsInnovation” trade fair in Düsseldorf, which gives start-ups and other companies an opportunity to showcase state-of-the-art technology for sports media coverage.