If you’ve been following the World Cup which started last week in Brazil, you might have noticed something different about the referee boards used to signal player changes and added time. In fact, it might be the first time you’ve noticed the usually quite unremarkable piece of equipment. That’s because the referee boards have been redesigned by the Swiss watchmaker Hublot, one of the World Cup’s partners and the competition’s Official Timekeeper.
The board normally is a rather bland thin rectangular piece with LED lights used to display the numbers. It has of course retained the basic functionality, however Hublot has made the board look more one of its watches, while also featuring a more ergonomic grip. There’s certainly a resemblance between the new referee board and the World Cup’s official watch, which was, as you might have guesses, also created by Hublot.
Other innovations we’ve seen at this tournament are the white spray used by referees to mark the line the wall should stay behind and goal-line technology, and while the new boards by Hublot don’t actually have any impact on the game itself, they definitely add something in terms of aesthetics.