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How pro sports teams manage game day images in next-to-real time with DAM

June 29, 2021

In professional sports marketing, the captured moments that show the excitement of game day make up the core of your brand story. Photography is one of the best ways to share the experiences of games and events with your fans. The challenge that most organisations face in utilising these moments in their marketing strategy is how to manage, organise, and share the thousands of images generated from each game in next-to-real time.

Think of the Superbowl or Major League Baseball’s World Series. How do you get an image of the winning moment to your whole organisation and all of your partners within the hour? And save those images for later use in the season and for years into the future? The Houston Astros, Houston Texans, and internet retailer Fanatics have all learned how to store and distribute their images quickly with a digital asset management (DAM) system.

Combined, they manage over 3.3 million digital assets and use game day photography for everything from telling a consistent brand story to optimising apparel sales after a big game or event. Here’s how they each use a DAM solution to support their sports marketing strategies.

Make game day and event photography available as fast as possible

Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Houston Astros, can end up with 2,000 images from a typical game. In a big-ticket game, it’s easily two to three times that amount. One of their biggest challenges used to be delivering the chosen images to marketing, PR, sales, creative, ticketing, sponsorship, operations, and their retail partners.

“Photography is the visual voice for an organisation. It’s the basis of sales, it’s the basis of marketing,” says Alex Bierens de Haan, Team Photographer of the Houston Astros.

With a digital asset management (DAM) system they’ve been able to centralise their digital assets so that their marketing, community, and media teams can access images as efficiently and quickly as possible. And while they’re making game day photography available as fast as possible, they’re also ensuring that their brand standards are being upheld and presented consistently.

Tell a consistent brand story across all channels

On the gridiron, the athletes of the National Football League’s (NFL) Houston Texans, strive to deliver a winning experience for their fans. That takes showing up consistently for their audience play after play, and game after game. Their marketing team’s ability to tell the team’s story takes a similar dedication to consistency and attention to a different kind of detail.

One of their main goals is to present the brand with their home uniform colours. In order to do this, each of their images need to be tagged with the right metadata to identify them quickly and effectively. The Houston Texans marketing team uses their DAM solution to organise images and make it easy for everyone to find the perfect image for their needs.

Tagging images based on certain characteristics also supports successful marketing campaigns — especially when there are tight deadlines and large investments on the line.

How a DAM system supports sports apparel marketing sales

After a big win or loss, a draft pick, or a tournament announcement, there are on-the-fly opportunities to sell different apparel. Fanatics is a top 50 internet retailer and a leader in selling sports-licensed apparel online. Their sales are constantly based on demand-driven events and they need to get the latest images to their sales and marketing teams quickly in order to capitalise on a timely event.

Fanatics uses their DAM system to manage three million digital assets for thousands of products from 1080+ vendors. Their DAM solution stores and distributes all their images across 300+ shopping portals. When they need to change digital assets based on a live event or big game, they can make the change in one place and cascade the image changes across their e-commerce web experiences.

Whether you’re a professional sports team or an internet retailer, you can use a DAM system to turn stressful deadlines from live events into big opportunities for marketing wins.

DAM for pro sports teams and organisations

Many professional sports organisations and retailers leverage their DAM solutions to take advantage of game day photography as soon as possible. But speed isn’t the only thing that they’re aiming for. These sports teams and organisations are using DAM systems to tell their brand story consistently. They’re also setting themselves up with the right technology to manage their digital assets and support their sports marketing strategy today and into the future.

Want to learn more? Read on for additional details about how a DAM solution can help professional sports teams bring order to content chaos.

By Nate Holmes, product marketing manager at Widen


Sports Marketing