Photo stores are a fantastic way for university photo departments to generate revenue, but only a small number of schools are taking advantage of this opportunity.
Why? Because many are wary of NCAA-related issues.
We partnered with the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on a survey of SIDs, and found that universities stand to gain up to $30,000 annually with visual asset management and photo stores.
With so much to gain, overcoming the challenges with visual asset management and creating a photo store compliant with NCAA guidelines is well worth the time and effort.
Here are 3 tips for running an NCAA compliant university photo store:
1. Cut out the middle man.
The NCAA will allow any school or any entity within a school to sell their own imagery. But third parties aren’t allowed to sell. That means your photo store has to be run by a university staff member – not a freelance photographer or any outside provider.
With Libris, PhotoShelter’s cloud-based visual asset management platform for organizations, sales occur between the university and the buyer, and money goes directly to the university. That’s why universities and college sports teams choose Libris as the platform for their NCAA compliant photo stores. In fact, Libris is the only NCAA compliant system.
And, even when you are using an NCAA compliant system, you have to make sure the university is running that system. When your freelance photographer shoots the big game, he should upload all his photos to Libris and let you (the university) take it from there. When you take the responsibility of selling the photos out of the freelancer’s hands, you’ll be compliant with NCAA regulations, and your photographer will be happy to get back to shooting (especially if you’re sharing a percentage of the profits).
2. Stick to image products.
Your photo store should be just that – a photo store. You can sell image prints and canvases, but steer clear of shirts, calendars and mugs. Images are compliant, but these other products are not.
3. Make it public.
NCAA rules say you can’t do something for a student athlete that you won’t do for everybody else. That means, you can’t have a photo store that’s only available to the student athletes and their families. It might seem like a nice way to ease into your photo store, but it’s extra benefits, and it’s against the rules. When you launch your photo store, commit to it. Get organized beforehand, and launch it to the public all at once.
Now that you know how to set up an NCAA compliant photo store, how do you make it successful? Check out How to Run a Profitable University Photo Store.
Plus, learn more in our post, Everything You Need to Know about Running a Successful NCAA Compliant Photo Store (complete with video tips from our university expert, Martin Vloet).