Strategy

How MLB effectively uses an archive of millions of images

If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite brands coordinate massive media campaigns that become #trending on social media, chances are one of three scenarios has happened behind the scenes. Your fave either has 1) incredibly dedicated PR pros spreading the word, 2) influencer reach that spans extra internet miles, or 3) in the words of Bonnie Raitt, news that really gives the people something to talk about.

Regardless, if your large organization wants to make the news as it happens too, you need a way to organize assets quickly for instant access and widespread distribution. For that and so much more, we’re the best DAM solution around.

We recently made PhotoShelter for Brands even more work-from-wherever friendly recently by introducing Integrated Accounts—an account feature that allows global and national organizations who collaborate with both independent subdivisions and external partners to share assets seamlessly. Simply put, our platform makes creative teamwork faster, more flexible, accessible, and secure. Dive in below to learn how Integrated Accounts helped MLB Photos, an iconic brand who’s entrusted us with over 2 million assets in the past 15 years, increase team efficiency and synchronize strategies to own the moment on the field and win on social.

The Situation

In PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman’s 20/21 Vision Collaboration Summit opening session introduction for senior director of MLB Photos Jessica Carroll, he emphasized her team’s impressive and sobering content creation and distribution stats. He teed up the game time content creation numbers making their logistical operations needs clearer than clear.

“When I did the math I was thinking that across MLB there’s 30 teams, there’s 162 games in a season, there’s the preseason, the postseason, there’s special events like the All-Star game which requires a tremendous amount of media work, so you’re looking at something like 22,000 Innings of baseball during which every second of the action there is content being captured and that content needs to be moved out to stakeholders and moved out to the fans, ultimately. And, there are so many people throughout MLB that need that content to do their jobs effectively…I know it takes a lot to pull it off, but when you’re the fan and you see that Instagram photo sitting on your phone and it’s there before any other media outlet, it’s a pretty magical thing,” he said.

To take it away, Jessica set up the bases explaining how the MLB Photos team functions and why they need an easily-adoptable asset management platform flexible and smart enough to meet the needs of all 30 baseball teams, their internal MLB corporate teams and their external partners.

Our users comprise over 600 stakeholders across MLB clubs, MLB departments and external partners. They have the ability to log in through our portal and search through the library’s assets to fulfill various end uses.”

MLB’s seven-step PhotoShelter workflow before having an Integrated Account was bogged down with manual uploading and downloading.

The mission of the visual media team is fun and simple, but serious and since baseball is America’s favorite pastime, every missed opportunity to capture or share a moment is an immediate strike out for everyone involved.

To lead a team the direction has to be clear and passionately delivered, and Jessica does just that, “We are here to document and preserve the history of the game at all levels. We maintain a film and digital archive of our historic assets and we advocate for photographers and photography as well as oversee the on-site photo operations at MLB events. Major League Baseball has players at the top level of their game and I believe our photography should reflect that. Our mission is to capture baseball photography of the highest quality.

Jessica goes on to explain that the MLB team photographers’ unfettered access to the players during the season gives them the closest look into their lives as people; ultimately giving them an intimate look at how to best portray who they are to the many audiences who engage with them. 

She says, “By being embedded with the team throughout the season, starting with spring training when pitchers and catchers report, that allows them to develop a comfort level and a rapport with the players that lends itself to that intimate level of coverage. They can be there for all moments both big and small. What I consider to be one of the most important tasks we’re charged with is to showcase the unique content MLB club photographers capture in as many ways as possible without adding to the workload of that photographer,” because the work doesn’t stop once they put down the camera.

The Solution

For a massive organization whose independent teams share assets and visual storytelling goals, a streamlined solution like Integrated Accounts works expertly to synchronize content strategy efforts end-to-end. Jessica says, “Many people outside of the photo industry are unaware of the fact that a photographer’s work does not stop when they put down the camera, especially in this day and age of digital. There’s a tremendous amount of work to be done on the content management side once the photos have been taken. This is where I see an opportunity for us to leverage the advances in technology and find ways to work smarter and not harder.”

Integrated Accounts not only provides the framework for league-wide operational consistency, it also gives all 600 of MLB stakeholders across the organization easy and instant access to assets they can share from within their archives to whoever they’re working with on whatever platform they want to receive it or distribute from.

After implementing integrated accounts, MLB’s PhotoShelter workflow went from 7 steps to 4 and provided the 600 users a way to seamlessly share assets and distribute them without ever having to leave the platform. Home run!

As an example, Jessica mentions how PhotoShelter’s various solutions have helped her team keep up with the demands of the player’s social media asset requests, “We have Integrations in place that allow us to feed images directly to our licensing partner, Getty Images and to Greenfly which feeds the player’s social program. The Integrated Account feature has played an essential role in elevating the functionality of this tool. It’s allowed us to continue to evolve and enhance our photographers’ ability to execute tasks without that additional workload.”

Watch the full 25-minute session to hear more behind-the-scenes stories about MLB’s Photo Day, how the organization and photographers handled a fan-less 2020 season, and get a advice from this MLB leader on how to advocate for more content creation and management resources to make your creative work easier (and more fun!) in this new hybrid world of work.



Source
How MLB effectively uses an archive of millions of images is written by Larissa D Green for stories.photoshelter.com

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