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PhotoShelter for Brands is one of the simplest and fastest digital asset management platforms built for visual media. They empower effortless visual storytelling by providing seamless, customizable access to a powerful media library, centralizing your team’s assets and radically optimizing the way you communicate your brand story. At Stacks, we help people and organizations who are passionate about their photos, videos, and other creative assets do more with them. With 15 years in the cloud and more than 500 million assets managed, PhotoShelter’s cutting-edge software helps over 1,300 top universities, pro sports teams, travel brands and organizations of all sizes easily organize, collaborate and share impactful content with the world.

What is a workflow? If we throw out the jargon, all workflows are just a series of processes and tasks that produce the desired result. At the end of the day, it’s talented people putting their talent to use in an organized way.

The definition may be simple, but setting up workflows and executing them in an efficient way that gets the most of your team’s talent can be complicated. This is especially true when it comes to workflows surrounding your organization’s creative content, your valuable digital assets that are becoming more valuable to the business with every passing day. These assets are produced by dozens (if not hundreds) of talented creatives and could move through just as many systems on their way to actually generating value for the business. That leaves a lot of room for inefficient workflows.

The team at PhotoShelter for Brands, a leading digital asset management platform provider, knows that getting content production, delivery, and organization workflows right is the key to making the most of your creative team’s talent, the assets they produce, and the technology used to manage them. To help other creative teams, they interviewed some of the most talented professionals in the sports industry to get their thoughts on making the most of these digital asset management workflows.

1. Use Metadata (alongside Artificial Intelligence) to Make Digital Assets Discoverable

One of the keys to a successful digital asset workflow is effective and organized metadata. Metadata is what makes assets searchable, easy to organize and identify, and able to be leveraged using scripts, APIs, and other development tools. Without metadata that is relevant to how your organization and employees talk about and search for assets, your workflows will be clunky and slow.

“Everything you shoot has life well beyond the day it’s posted on social. Who knows what that moment could mean to someone in 5, 50 or 100 years. Learn the ins and outs of metadata. Learn good archive organization. Make things easy to find for yourself and your clients. The greatest image you’ve ever made becomes the worst if you can’t find it.” – Joseph Guzy, Team Photographer for the Miami Marlins

Read More: 22+ Sports Photographers Share Their Top Tips for 2022

“Metadata! I’m working on organizing photos now, and the best image is the one you can find—it’s one of my favorite aspects of PhotoShelter, the ability to search metadata. 🙏🏻” – Shanna Lockwood, Team Photographer for the Atlanta Falcons

“Honestly, AI tagging saves us hours of work every week, just because of the sheer volume of content that we get. And not having to manually sort it is incredible. But we also use it for a lot of our internal content distribution. My team will get hit up by various departments or external media outlets, asking for specific photos of a player from a certain game, and with the AI tagging and being able to sort and filter by game on top of that, it makes it so easy.

Especially, when we’re getting hundreds, if not thousands of photos from each game…. So making sure that we have the AI tagging on and that we can filter that way, to get anyone, whatever photo, of whichever player they need, it’s just so nice. It’s such a lifesaver.” – Karen Ramming, Director of Social Media for the Golden State Warriors

2. Get Assets to the Right Teams at the Right Time

Content is everywhere nowadays. Because of the saturation of the market with compelling content, getting assets in front of potential consumers at the right time on the right channel is vital. Ensuring that each team can access the assets they need when they need them will help your organization make meaningful connections with consumers at every stage of the customer journey.

“We’ve set it up so we allow certain groups to have access to [the DAM system], 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.” – Michael Clemens, Director of Photography for the Las Vegas Raiders

Read More: How Workflows are Changing for Creative Professionals

“It really depends on the gravity of the moment, right? For something closer to a touchdown or anything like that, not only is our social team trying to use that… but then our designers are also pulling that image and working them into score graphics, quarter graphics, and things like that. So there’s other elements of the content team where the speed plays into it. But it depends on the gravity of the moment – that target time – where we’re trying to get it from the camera to whichever platform its destination is.” – Kyle Zedaker, Team Photographer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Read More: Game-Winning Visuals with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3. Recognize Assets that Will Have Archival Value and Plan Accordingly

Digital assets are called assets because they have value beyond a single use. Some assets have value far into the future as historical, archival assets. In order to make the most of any content’s value, it’s important that you identify and label these assets before they become historical. Then, make a plan for moving these assets to an ‘Archive Only’ Collection or Gallery, and be sure to tag the content accordingly to maintain the asset’s discoverability and searchability.

“It was wild gearing up to take photos that you know are going to be historical–that will outlive us all because we’re the first football team to do a rebrand in the modern era.” – Emilee Fails, Team Photographer for the Washington Commanders

“From the very beginning of our rebrand, we’ve remained committed to paying tribute to our rich history by carrying forth symbols, traditions, stories, and ideas from our team’s storied past into this next chapter. For our 90th anniversary celebration, we launched the #HTTC (Hail to the Commanders) hashtag and our ‘Command Legacy’ brand campaign.” – Team Spokesperson for the Washington Commanders

Read More: Tell Us More: How to Rebrand A National Football Team Through Epic Visual Storytelling

4. Have a Plan for Where Assets Are Going and When to Ensure Maximum Value

We’ve already discussed getting assets out quickly, but there is more nuance to that effort, especially around determining specifically what kinds of assets should go out and where they should go. Make a plan for specifically what kinds of assets need to go out, and where, as well as how they will be made available to your team in a searchable way.

“[Establishing shots are] kind of how we set the tone for match day. Especially before our first couple of home matches when people hadn’t seen the stadium yet for themselves, this was a really fun way to get fans excited about the game. It’s still some of our best performing content…and I usually post it when gates open, so it’s just one more thing that they’ll look at before they get into the stadium and the match starts.” – Hannah Fields, Manager of Social Media for Austin FC

Read More: How Austin FC Posts from the Field to Your Social Feed on Match Days

5. Make the Most of the Technology Available to You

Bootstrapping is the practice of leveraging existing resources to maximize your goal’s achievements. In the world of digital asset management, there is a level of bootstrapping necessary to make workflows seamless. You may need to pay for access to platforms and their features, but once you’ve done that, you need to make sure to investigate what features are available to you, so you can use any shortcut or feature relevant to your team’s needs and workflows.

“We at the Sharks are lucky to have some talented, creative video photography talent. That’s a good thing, invest in your creative, that’s a great starting point. And then, once you have that robust and diversified library, we pursue ways to try to make sure that we’re exposing it, engaging fans and engaging different groups in the right way. If it wasn’t obvious, we use a stack of PhotoShelter as our asset management tool and Greenfly as a content collaboration tool and pair them together. In a lot of ways, that technology is essential in that flow and that process and we’re still on a journey there.” – Patrick Hooper, Director of Integrated Marketing at the San Jose Sharks

Read More: Tapping Into Your Advocates for Brand Storytelling at Scale

“If we win a game, we need to be able to celebrate it. I don’t need to wait on photos coming in. Our [student athletes] don’t need to wait on photos coming in. They leave the game feeling the euphoria of a win, they look at their phone and say, “Man, I want to share this. What a great crowd!” and boom, it’s right on up. [Photoshelther] is cutting-edge technology that allows us to do our jobs without wasting time… Historically, at institutions I’ve worked at, you take a photo and put it into a photo gallery. You might use it in a story or graphic, but by putting photos in our student’s hands, the shelf life of a photo is longer. I’m able to put it on social media, get a return on my investment, and see that that picture created something.” – Kevin Young, Associate Athletics Director for Marketing & Strategic Communications at Samford University

Read More: PhotoShelter and Socialie Custom Integration

If you want to learn more about how to develop digital asset management workflows, contact Stacks or check out more of PhotoShelter’s content straight from the creatives developing these workflows.

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