Strategy

Tell Us More: The Artificial Intelligence Solution Powering the LPGA’s Workflow

Tell Us More’ is a content series aimed at highlighting PhotoShelter clients and industry innovators who are disrupting the status quo with their content strategies and creative campaigns. After digesting the insights below, ask Brianne your questions in the comments!

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is the oldest continuously operating women’s professional sports organization in the USA. Over the years, they’ve learned a thing or two about capturing and sharing the excitement of golf with their fans around the world.

We recently connected with Brianne Wigley, Senior Manager of Integrated Content for the LPGA, and asked her to tell us more about how this historic organization uses powerful new tools and innovative content strategies to share their biggest moments. Read her insights below and apply her expert advice to improve your social media engagement rate and score with fans in real time.

1. Can you tell us a little about your team’s workflow? What is the process like for getting pictures from the tee box to brand stakeholders?

We like to say we have a small but mighty team at the LPGA. We rely a lot on our amazing group of tournament photographers to help us deliver great content to our fans on a week-to-week basis. 

In a typical week for an LPGA Tour event, we have our photographers upload photos to PhotoShelter at a mid-way point in the day and then post-round as well. This allows us to have some photo options throughout the day and to also be able to provide our players who play in the morning with photos for their personal social media.

For bigger events, like The Solheim Cup (which is coming up soon), we work with a team of photographers who upload photos directly from their camera to PhotoShelter for us to post on social media within minutes of the shot being captured. 

This photo was captured and delivered to our team and then direct to fans on social media within minutes of Team Europe beating Team USA on the final putt of the 18th hole of the 2019 Solheim Cup. It really captured the #DriveOn spirit and sportsmanship of the LPGA:

Brianne Wigley

2. Now that play has resumed, is influencer storytelling still a big part of your strategy?

The LPGA is unique in that our athletes really serve as our core group of influencers. With over 200 players representing 38 different countries, they have a large and diverse reach. With that in mind, we prioritize delivering our players engaging and timely content for their personal social media channels. 

One of our big initiatives in 2021 was the launch of our #HoodieForGolf campaign. Working with Michelle Wie West we designed a hoodie with a purpose, to raise money to get more women of color into the game of golf.

Michelle and her influential friends have helped us to raise over $225,000 (and counting) for the LPGA Renee Powell Fund and Clearview Legacy Foundation.

3. Could you tell us a little about FaceIQ and how it’s working as an auto tagging solution? Players often have hats and sunglasses on, does it work despite those challenges?

FaceIQ really has been a game-changer for the LPGA. At the average LPGA tournament, we have 144 players competing, so the ability to quickly identify those player images has been a huge time-saver for us. Within seconds of uploading large batches of photos, FaceIQ tags them, and we are able to sort and distribute to various stakeholders and to our fans on social media. Since golf is an outdoor sport most of our athletes are wearing sunglasses and hats, and we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the accuracy FaceIQ provides when auto-tagging.

4. What tools or strategies are most important to your workflow?

FaceIQ has become one of the most important tools for us on a day-to-day basis. Not only does it make it easy to identify specific players in a batch of 500 photos, it’s also really helped us with our player-content strategy. Because of FaceIQ we can quickly search for players and send our athletes their images via the Opendorse-PhotoShelter Integration or just by doing a quick download and send.

5. What’s one piece of advice you would give other sports creative’s looking to improve their visual storytelling strategy?

I think it’s all about finding authentic connections with your fans. At the LPGA our goal is to connect our fans with our athletes and with our events. The more connected you feel to a particular player or their story, the more likely you will be to watch or attend an LPGA event, tune in to the broadcast, buy merchandise or engage with us on social media.

Photos play a huge part in that strategy. Our content team at the LPGA really tries to capitalize on raw emotion and personality shots of our players.

We want to show our fans and potential fans that golf is fun. These are the world’s best female golfers, but all of our players are much more than that. They have great personalities and show great raw emotion when competing.  We really use photos to help illustrate that emotional side.

One of my favorite images each week is the celebratory champagne spray. Our photographers do a great job capturing these moments and I love that it shows our athletes celebrating each other.

6. How many images does a typical LPGA tournament weekend create in total?

A typical tournament week for the LPGA Tour averages around 1,500 photos. It’s much more than just the on-course action for us to cover. Starting with player arrival and practice on Mondays, we also have pro-ams, youth clinics, parties/events and women’s leadership summits to cover as well.

7. Do you sell any of the photos to media or as posters using PhotoShelter?

Not at this time due to our agreement with Getty Images. However, because the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect the number of media who can be onsite and with travel restrictions varying in different states and countries, we work with Getty to provide a select number of images to media free of charge and use PhotoShelter to distribute those images on a daily basis during a tournament.

Want to learn more about how our artificial intelligence solutions can streamline your workflow and cut out unnecessary steps? Check out our AI Content Hub full of stories, resources, and product information for your team to join us in the future of visual storytelling technology.



Source
Tell Us More: The Artificial Intelligence Solution Powering the LPGA’s Workflow is written by John Seibels for stories.photoshelter.com

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