Boost Graphics enhances Giro d’Italia coverage with cutting-edge technology

Boost Graphics, the specialized graphics department of EMG Italy, has once again partnered with RCS to provide advanced timing, live graphics, and data processing services for the 2023 Giro d’Italia. The collaboration, highlighted by a fresh new look and innovative features, began on May 4 with the Team Presentation in Pescara, ahead of the race’s official start.

Dario Marra, Head of Graphics at EMG Italy, emphasized the ongoing partnership: “The 2023 edition of the Giro d’Italia started on May 6th, but Boost Graphics got on track even earlier, on May 4, for the Team Presentation. We showcased the new look & feel of the graphics, as desired by RCS, which has entrusted us with live graphics, timing, and data processing services for the next two years.”

Innovation

Boost Graphics, evolved from Netco Sports, has a long-standing history with the Giro d’Italia, providing graphics since 1999 and taking over timing management in 2001. From 2023, Boost Graphics has assumed full responsibility for RCS, adding comprehensive data processing services that support various apps, portals, and websites associated with the Giro.

Antonello Grippo, Project Leader for cycling race graphics services, described the operation: “We have two dedicated live graphics lines, one for the domestic signal and one for the international coverage. Thanks to our data processing in live graphics and the support of our customer, we’ve introduced numerous innovations to offer more information and content to viewers.”

Timing technology

For precise timekeeping, Boost Graphics employs two photo finishes at the finish line and a transponder on each bicycle. This dual system ensures accurate placement results. Additionally, antennas placed 3 km from the finish line help neutralize times in case of crashes, applicable in all stages except mountain ones.

“This regulation ensures fairness,” Grippo noted, “and is valid for intermediate sprints, which impact the points classification and general classification bonuses.”

Utilizing GPS and real-time data

Motorbikes equipped with GPS transmit data on the athletes’ positions throughout the race. This data allows Boost Graphics to provide real-time updates on the distance remaining and time gaps between groups during the live broadcast.

Partnering with Velon, another RCS collaborator, Boost Graphics also integrates advanced data such as power, cadence, speed, heart rate, and gradient for each athlete. This data is used not only for live graphics but also for post-production, creating detailed clips of race highlights.

Comprehensive data processing

“Thanks to these data integrations,” explained Grippo, “we can track the real-time positions of key competitors like the Maglia Rosa and the second in the standings. Our experience in data processing allows us to develop algorithms that offer additional information for live graphics and digital outputs. All the software used is developed and owned by EMG-Boost Graphics.”

Dedicated team and equipment

The Boost Graphics team comprises about fifteen specialists, expanding to nearly twenty during timed stages. The crew is strategically positioned, with most members at the finish line and others at intermediate points crucial for the points classification.

Five mobile units are dedicated to the Giro, with three at the finish line and two at intermediate stages. These units support live graphics services, data processing, and timing.

Future prospects

Dario Marra concluded, “In response to RCS’s requests, Boost Graphics has introduced various editorial innovations for this year’s Giro. These enhancements, combined with a refreshed look, provide a more engaging experience for the audience. Our goal is to continue delivering innovative solutions, leveraging the EMG Group’s international expertise to enrich both the look and content of future events.”

Copyright of the picture: Roberto Landini
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