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How GumGum's image-recognition tech is changing the sports industry


GumGum pioneered a way for publishers to make money through ads on images. The New… more


As more content shifts to the web, marketers face a major challenge: tracking the value of their ads.

GumGum provided a solution. With a cross channel measurement tool, the company evaluates TV, streaming, and social media using one consistent methodology.

Using image-recognition technology, GumGum delivers highly visible advertising campaigns to more than 400 million users as they view pictures and content across more than 2,000 premium publishers.

This innovation became especially useful with sports. GumGum's sports unit enables those that invest in, and earn revenue through, visible signage — such as the company logo sprawled along the side of hockey rink — to benefit from the comprehensive analysis of every frame whether it's live television or on social media.

I reached out to Jeff Katz, the general manager of GumGum Sports, to learn more about the company. Here's what the former Verizon director had to say:

What problems does GumGum solve?

The current standard for valuing sponsor signage is based on a model from TV. It means stakeholders are missing a lot of data beyond the broadcast — and with respect to streaming and social media in particular.

The metrics being used aren’t deep enough to satisfy brands who are demanding increased value and transparency from sponsorships — leaving a massive gap in the value that is not being reported through social media and digital. Seventy to ninety percent of media value on social media in leagues like the NBA come from non-team owned accounts.

For these accounts, finding a brand logo is not enough. This is where GumGum Sports applies advanced computer vision to first determine that a post is related to a particular team.

Which sports brands are using GumGum?

In less than six months, we have over thirty teams, leagues, and sponsors who have engaged with GumGum Sports to use our media valuation data spanning the NBA, NHL, Formula One, NFL, MLB, MLS, eSports, Mixed Martial Arts, Alpine Skiing, Cycling, European Football and more. We have also partnered with Catalyst Sports, co-founded by veteran sports and entertainment industry leaders Charles Jackson, Happy Walters and Josh Swartz.

Who backs the company?

GumGum Sports is a division of GumGum, a venture-backed applied computer vision and artificial intelligence company, with a mission to unlock the value of online images and videos. GumGum’s total funding is $36.83 million. It has five lead investors: First Round Capital, Crosscut Ventures, Upfront Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital.


What's the next step for GumGum?

GumGum Sports will continue to execute at the highest level possible and continue to innovate, driving sponsorship measurement in sports to new levels, as GumGum’s computer vision and AI platform has already done for media and advertising.