Case Studies

Rushing Digital Yards: The Detroit Lions’ accelerated approach to media distribution

rushing-digital-yards-fan_and_field_shot

 

Like many NFL teams, the Detroit Lions have a uniquely loyal fan base whose character reflects something in the team itself. Perhaps it’s the Detroit people’s fierce resilience and talent you know can overcome any setback.

Whatever it is, those that feel a connection to the team watch countless hours of TV and online coverage every year, from the draft to the final whistle of the season.

However, for the Lions team, getting footage to TV stations was very difficult prior to the 2013 draft. And they were capturing a lot of it. In addition to regular game highlights, they were filming training camps, practices, press conferences, regular practices and interviews of players and coaches; all of which both local and nonlocal stations wanted to air.

Even though they had the content, the Lions media team was unable to distribute it with confidence; after repeated delays and transfer failures trying to send large video files with their FTP system, they’d given up on it.

Instead, each local station had to travel to the stadium to capture footage. And getting video to stations in other parts of the country in time was expensive and nearly impossible.

 

Finding a way to quickly send large video files

In preparation for the 2013 draft, the Lions started using Signiant’s Media Shuttle, a SaaS (software as a service) solution for quickly sharing large media files. With Media Shuttle, they were not only able to reach local and nonlocal stations, but many smaller stations with limited budgets around the nation.

Their experience using Media Shuttle for the 2013 draft “sold” them, said Lions Director of Broadcasting and Production Bryan Bender.

“We’ve received unsolicited compliments from stations about receiving content,” Bender said. ”Media Shuttle has been a big win for us. It was well worth the investment based on exposure.”

Soon after installing Media Shuttle, Lions video footage became so popular that every national sports network began contacting them including the NFL Network, ESPN, NBC Sports and Fox Sports.

 

Lions media managers gained visibility and improved ad sales

On the operations side, Lions media managers especially appreciated the visibility they gained into which stations downloaded content. With data gathered by Media Shuttle, they were able to quantify impressions of the sponsored backdrops featured in player interviews and improve ad sales.

Since then, other than the off-season, the Lions’ Media Shuttle has been in constant use.

“During training camp, we use Media Shuttle every day to distribute material to our media members. It’s a big plus for stations to be able to turn clips around quickly and put them on their evening newscast,” said Bender.

Internally, they also move content back and forth between Ford Field and their Allen Park headquarters and training facility.

 

Chi Town draft town

Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images

 

Up next is the 2016 NFL draft in Chicago

The Lions are sending a reporter to the draft in Chicago and will move material back to Detroit with Media Shuttle for editing and further distribution. The popularity of televised and online football coverage is continuing to grow, and the draft is just the beginning of the 2016 coverage. This year, with Media Shuttle and a hard working media team, the Lions are set to reach even more viewers and add to their own uniquely loyal fan base.

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