Technology company Supponor, which specialises in sports virtual advertising, has appointed industry veteran Sir Martin Broughton as its new chairman, while detailing it has secured a new round of investment representing over €4.5m (£3.9m/$5.1m).

Broughton replaces Matthew Wheeler, who is stepping down after almost seven years in the post. A former chairman of British Airways, former deputy chairman of the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) and president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Broughton’s business successes have often involved sports.

During his tenure as chairman of English Premier League outfit Liverpool, he helped negotiate the football club’s sale to current owners Fenway Sports Group. Whilst chairman of British American Tobacco, he oversaw the formation of the BAR Formula One racing team and, as chairman of the British Horseracing Board, he was responsible for that organisation’s restructure into a regulatory board.

Broughton is currently a partner at Sports Investment Partners, which has acted both as an advisor and investor in Supponor. He said: “Having been involved with the Supponor team for some time and knowing the opportunities in the sports rights and broadcast markets, the potential for the company’s highly innovative technology solutions are impossible to miss. I am excited to step up my active involvement in this rapidly developing area of the sports industry and to contribute to Supponor’s future success.”

Supponor solutions are currently deployed across a range of sports, most notably football, but also ice hockey, basketball, motor racing and American football. Combined with investment from existing shareholders, Supponor has secured a total funding round of €4.5m, including new capital investment from strategic partner companies including leading sports rights agency, Interregional Sports Group and global LED and sports solutions provider TGI.

Geraint Williams, Supponor board member and CEO of stadium LED solutions provider ADI, said: “This has been a breakthrough period for virtual advertising technology. We have made huge strides in 2018-19 deploying the technology in LaLiga, the Bundesliga and in international football.

“More top tier clubs are investing in the platform too, and Martin’s wealth of experience at the highest level in sport will be hugely valuable in steering the strategy over the coming years. It’s also immensely positive to see other recognised high-quality providers such as TGI investing in the technology platform and joining us as investors in Supponor.”

Image: Supponor