Last year, as our world turned upside down, sports creatives and other visual storytellers were forced to make major pivots to keep their workflows intact and audiences satisfied. In March of 2021, we hosted 20/21 Vision: The Workflow Summit and had the opportunity to hear from some of the sports world’s most talented creative professionals about what it takes to deliver and publish content when it’s needed most. For our sports organization clients like the Las Vegas Raiders, University of Southern California, the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves, the pandemic forced their creative teams to drastically overhaul procedures due to new, strict COVID-19 safety rules and regulations.
In this session featuring Michael Clemens of the Las Vegas Raiders and Josh Nacion from the University of Southern California Athletics, they both break down their asset management workflows and highlight the steps and tools that have helped optimize the creation, sharing, and publishing of their biggest live-captured moments. Now, let’s find out what has made this “process run so flawlessly” for Josh and Michael’s creative teams.
Navigating Through Uncertainty
As the new Director of Photography for 2020 in their first season as the Las Vegas Raiders (formerly, Oakland Raiders), Michael Clemens joined a growing organization in a new city with a new identity. On top of all those changes, Michael and his team were forced to confront the uncertainty of the 2020 NFL season as it cautiously unfolded.
Michael explains, “there was constant uncertainty whether there was going to be a season or not…rules would change every day, so you had to really be flexible.”
Once he gained the trust of the players and coaches, his crucial next step was establishing a new strategic workflow that would be effective in the new environment. As Michael was the only photographer allowed on the field during game day, as opposed to the usual six allowed in the Before Times™, he “literally had to be everywhere at the same time.”
Take a look at the efficient, streamlined creative workflow he built for his one-man team, below:
He explains, “This is my basic process: I use a cellular pack that’s hardwired to my camera, so as I’m shooting – after a touchdown, a sack or a big play, or even just a candid moment on the sidelines – I can then transmit it directly via FTP to PhotoShelter.”
By adjusting his PhotoShelter Workspace, he enabled any organizational department to capitalize on the real-time action: “We’ve set it up so we allow certain groups to have access to that, so all these different departments in the organization can push it out to social, video, creative, PR, our partners and the stadium. And for those who can’t watch it on television, they can literally see what’s happening as the game is going on,” he said.
The Raiders’ photo editor puts together galleries during the game to organize incoming content and ensures that all stakeholders have instant access to the assets they need. Michael says of PhotoShelter, “It’s the only way we’ve been able to get it done and it’s been a lifesaver for sure.”
Distribution Strategy in Higher Education
The University of Southern California Athletics Department’s Digital Content Coordinator Josh Nacion also gave us an inside look at their live game day workflow and distribution strategy. It all starts with their supercharged connectivity made possible by the L.A. Coliseum. Josh says, ‘We have a huge advantage at the L.A. Coliseum for football games. The coliseum has a separate network just for photographers and anyone else working down below, so we’ve had this for the past three football seasons and it’s made the upload process run so flawlessly. Whenever there’s a big play and a touchdown, we usually start seeing John’s takes within a minute, so shoutout to USC, shoutout to the Coliseum for making this investment for us. Since these photos come in so quickly, a cool feature that I’m able to do at home games is create a photo slideshow for video boards that go up during a timeout.”
Learn from his game day workflow, below:
Major League Workflows
In a later Summit session, PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman hosted a panel discussion with creative professionals from the big leagues; the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves, to be exact.
Let’s learn how they get content from the diamond to fans’ hands in real time, shall we?
First off, PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman passed the mic to Joseph Guzy, Team Photographer for the Miami Marlins to learn more about how his company’s collaboratively designed workflow lead to creative magic on and off the field.
At the beginning of lockdown, he gathered interdepartmental stakeholders together to envision a new workflow to keep everything in the same place. Thus, this PhotoShelter-centered workflow was invented:
In his case, preemptive planning made a world of difference, and here’s how: “This workflow means that our scoreboard team can use images for bumps in the middle of a game, for things that just happened on the field. It means creative services can grab photos to make end-game graphics on the fly. It means our social media team can get the most important moments out to our fans as quickly as possible—and they can do it from their desktops via the PhotoShelter portal, or they can do it via their phones with FileFlow, and no one has to think about where to find their pictures…It also means any of our images can go anywhere else.”
Similar to how the Miami Marlins work, Braves photographer Kevin works to grab the perfect shot and then quickly delivers those assets to other stakeholders during the game. Insung breaks it down for us: “Kevin is roaming around the ballpark either in the camera well or going to different locations for unique views. From there, he’ll take photos and our social team will ask for them immediately so they can share those images during the game. So, what he’ll do is transmit those photos from his camera to his phone and do a quick edit in Lightroom mobile, make sure the images look good, then send them out via text to our social team, the creative team, and anyone else in marketing who asks for them.”
Here’s what that looks like, visually:
By delivering content to the social media team as they ask for it, Kevin can ensure that fans see the kind of content they’re looking for during each game’s biggest moments. He explains, “PhotoShelter becomes the hub where everybody within the Braves organization can access them” and truly seize the power of a moment whenever it strikes.
Want to learn more about how a strategic workflow can be a game-changer for your creative team? Watch the rest of our insightful sessions from 20/21 Vision: The Workflow Summit to learn more about how PhotoShelter can help your team save time and cut out steps.