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Latest Nielsen acquisition helps it better measure brand exposure in sports

Nielsen has acquired vBrand to better measure brand exposure in sports programming.

Performance management company Nielsen has acquired vBrand, a startup with a machine-learning-enabled platform that measures brand exposure in sports programming.

Nielsen said vBrand will be integrated into its sports and entertainment marketing research division Nielsen Sports, bringing increased speed and scale to its existing sports products, Sport24 and Social24.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

VBrand uses advanced image recognition technology, as well as AI and deep learning, to determine sports sponsorship exposure valuations across linear TV, digital TV, the web and social media. The platform detects on a frame-by-frame basis whenever a sponsor's logo is visible to the human eye, while also weighing factors impacting exposure such as duration, size and image clarity.

Nielsen said the acquisition “supercharges” Nielsen Sports' sponsorship measurement capabilities as it will accelerate the speed at which its logo recognition and media monitoring technologies locate and calculate brand positions on screen. Further, Nielsen said this technology could allow brands and rights holders to “monitor and track sponsorship visibility within hours of an event and make adjustments to digital signage and social campaigns within a tournament, competition weekend or season.”

According to Nielsen’s figures, global sports and entertainment sponsorship spend is projected to exceed $60bn in 2017. Nielsen said its sports marketing products measure millions of hours of content per year, helping to deliver insights to more than 1,700 of the top rights holders, brands, agencies and broadcasters.

"Bringing vBrand's technology into Nielsen Sports' existing sponsorship valuation process will further expand the scale of programming and events it covers around the world,” said Howard Appelbaum, president of Nielsen Entertainment, in a statement. “It will also provide timely exposure information, enabling clients to make smarter and faster decisions on sponsorship placement."

Tel Aviv-based vBrand is a graduate of Nielsen Innovate, Nielsen's early-stage technology incubator.

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