SMT, NASCAR Partner for Real-Time Graphics of PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona

SMT has teamed up with longtime partner NASCAR Productions to provide real-time broadcast graphics and production support for the PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona, the finale of a three-day endurance event that took place Dec. 4-6 at the iconic Daytona International Speedway, the home of NASCAR’s Daytona 500.

More than 2,000 athletes from around the world competed at the “World Center of Racing” in events including sprint and middle-distance events, junior challenges, and a pro-am relay, culminating with the PTO Middle Distance World Championship Race with a $1,000,000 prize purse for the world’s top professional triathletes.

Coverage of the Dec. 6 finale was live-streamed in the U.S. on NBC Universal’s Peacock streaming service and on Professional Triathletes Organization’s (PTO) website. The international event was also shown in more than 100 other countries. SMT also provided a race clock, title graphics and animated organizer logo for the infield video display production at Daytona International Speedway.

The rebroadcast will air on NBCSN at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and on NBC at 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 2.

For the U.S.-based streaming platforms, SMT delivered the full graphics package, athlete-tracking and datainfused graphics, and talent prompters in what was largely hailed as the most significant broadcast in the sport’s history.

SMT’s graphics insert package included leaderboards, standing/results, athlete bios, weather, clock bar, all with integrated data points, as well as pylon displaying real-time race order, athlete updates, and battle for comparisons.

With SMT’s ISO Track system, viewers were able follow athletes via dual pointer graphics with interfaced content, including competitor names, bib number, race position, time behind leader and sponsor information. This is the same system SMT has provided to broadcasters of NASCAR races, the Tour de France, the New York City Marathon and the Kentucky Derby.

Sportscasters Belinda Granger, Rowdy Gains, and Rick Allen relied on SMT’s talent prompters for historical and live information that aided them in conveying real-time insight into athlete storylines and strategies. SMT’s custom-designed STAT system ingested race data and fed the interfaced graphics, including a leaderboard pylon graphic powered by SMT’s dual-channel SportsCG graphics engine.

“The third annual Challenge Daytona took place under extraordinary circumstances with the pandemic having presented unique challenges to athletes,” says Steve Stum, VP Operations and Technical Production, NASCAR Productions. “This year, we decided to raise the bar in terms of production value to reward viewers with a high-caliber broadcast. From commentator support to data-driven graphics, SMT’s production tools made the PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona a must-see event for fans of endurance sports.”

SMT’s on-site technical crews offer an unprecedented level of experience for the event, having worked together on a number of high-level sports broadcasts, including NASCAR, IndyCar and Tour de France events.

“From the beginning, the goal of NASCAR Productions, the Professional Triathletes Organization and the Challenge Daytona team was to differentiate the festival from all other triathlon broadcasts,” says Jon Marin, Business Development Manager, SMT. “To start, SMT worked with NASCAR Productions to create a custom graphics package for the show, enlisting our award-winning SMT Creative Studio to design a unique look for the full insert graphics package. Next, we provided our signature real-time, data-integration technology, elevating the PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona to a world-class production.”

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