When the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the shutdown of college sports, thousands of student-athletes suddenly found their worlds upended.
Games were canceled. Routines were changed. Big plans were put on hold. And players were dispersed across the nation, back home from their campuses as classes were moved online.
For student-athletes like those at the University of Iowa, the suspension of competition did not mean the end of access to great photos and videos that told the stories of their careers. Iowa wanted to make sure those disappointed athletes at least had access to the images that represented those memories.
INFLCR made it easy.
In March after the games were cancelled, Iowa’s athletic staff uploaded 17,123 content items into 170 separate photo galleries within the Hawkeyes’ cloud-based INFLCR account. Making use of a seamless integration with Libris Photoshelter where the content had previously been stored, this process was completed with just a couple of mouse clicks on the computer.
Even better, proprietary INFLCR technology automatically tagged the photos for personalized distribution to 421 student-athletes across 16 varsity sports. Iowa’s staff delivered thousands of content items virtually effortlessly.
Those athletes then received text alerts letting them know they had content in their INFLCR app, which they could then easily download/share to their personal social-media channels. The scale of the operation meant not only that they received content from this shortened season, but content from years past.
As of March 27, Iowa athletes had downloaded/shared more than 1,000 items, led by the softball team with 169 downloads/shares. For the seniors, it was quite a sendoff with their Iowa careers over — hundreds of photos from their time as a Hawkeye, at their fingertips, accessible anytime for personal or social media use.
“Over the last few weeks we have uploaded our whole stockpile of studio images that were going to be used during the spring season as well as all of the studio images from the winter sports,” said Brian Ray, director of photography for Iowa Athletics.
“It is important for us for our student athletes to have access to as much content as possible as we navigate this COVID-19 crisis. During a normal season we would also be uploading all of the images from any games/events so they can promote themselves and our brand. We have found that our fans love hearing the voices of our athletes and providing them with top notch imagery helps amplify those voices.”
“We have also spent time uploading action images from last year’s spring sports,” said Stephen Mally, Iowa’s assistant director of photography.
“We had a lot of student-athletes who had their season end early due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we wanted to get additional pictures to them. Our student-athletes back home, spread across the country and around the world, and the INFLCR platform has been a great system to deliver images to them.”
INFLCR is delivering value and impact to its 100+ NCAA clients and more than 20,000 daily active athlete users in several ways, including:
— Student-athlete experience;
— Brand growth and protection;
— Staff efficiency;
INFLCR makes it easy for creative teams to store, distribute and track their digital assets as they are shared by their network of student-athletes, coaches, staff and other brand ambassadors.
Want to give it a try? To help programs do what Iowa did — get content to their athletes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, INFLCR is offering schools the opportunity to use the platform free, no obligation, through the end of April.