Today, NFL players post photos on social media so quickly that even former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark wants to know how it works:
Current NFL players!! Real talk. How do y’all get game pics so fast? Y’all boys post right after the post game interview
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) November 9, 2020
Curious? Here’s the short version from Steelers cornerback Joe Haden:
Bro it’s so crazy!! Team photographer sends them like text messages! Literally have 10 pics walking in the stadium before you get to your Locker! 🤣 https://t.co/ET52b9cdX7
— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) November 9, 2020
Now, let’s get the full picture.
Just a few years ago, when Ryan Clark played for the Steelers, team photographer Karl Roser had to respond individually to each individual player’s request for images through text messages, emails, DMs and more. After every game, he had to cull through hundreds of images, identify players, and upload to each of them individually. This huge task was too time-consuming for Karl and his small team, so he set out to find a better solution.
“It was important for me to save on my time, and to turn these images around to not just our internal departments in real time, but also all of the players, to free me up to allow me to photograph instead of working through images and sending them out,” says Karl.
Today, Karl and the other Steelers photographers send photos from the field to a photo editor in real time. The photo editor edits and tags the images with relevant metadata, then uploads them to the team’s centralized media library in PhotoShelter. As soon as the images land in a certain PhotoShelter gallery, they are automatically routed to the players’ phones through an integration between PhotoShelter and Socialie.
“It allows me to be more engaged with the players,” says Karl. “They are communicating with me in advance of gameday asking for certain shots, talking about what they’re hoping I will actually photograph.”
Since the images are routed to the players instantly, they can post them on social media as soon as they get back to the locker room. Check out the real-time fan engagement on this celebration image Haden posted immediately after the Steelers beat the Eagles earlier this season:
“When they’re shared in real time, the players are excited about it and so is their fanbase,” says Karl. “And that translates to the Steelers brand as well, because there’s so many fans that follow athletes that don’t follow the Steelers brand.”
Plus, this technology creates more opportunities for sharing valuable content that otherwise might have gone to waste.
“It really creates more of a return on our investment,” says Karl. “There are so many images that we as a team don’t necessarily use, and those images end up being archived and just sitting there, so when we’re pushing them out, it gives more opportunities for us to use them in other ways that we might not have been able to.”
Now, professional sports teams across leagues are taking this real-time workflow to the next level with PhotoShelter AI, which combines facial recognition and jersey data to recognize athletes and tag them automatically. When teams combine the power of artificial intelligence with the integration between PhotoShelter and Socialie, they can send images of specific players from the field straight to their phones instantly and effortlessly.
Check out Karl’s full workflow below, and learn more about how your team can build an AI-powered real-time workflow today!
Want more workflow tips? Check out all the on-demand talks from 20/21 Vision: The Strategy Summit by PhotoShelter.