Universities are losing thousands of dollars every year because they aren’t prioritizing visual asset management. In fact, they stand to gain $30,000 annually, according to our survey with the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Universities face three common challenges when it comes to visual asset management. Overcoming them isn’t easy, but with so much to gain, it’s worth a good old college try.
Challenge # 1: An unmanageable volume of photos and videos
60% of university athletics departments have an image database of more than 750GB. A robust collection of sports images can help universities tell compelling stories across platforms. You can live Tweet game highlights. Beam fan photos to the jumbotron. Post updates on the website homepage. Join the conversation on Instagram.
In a marketplace where visuals are increasingly gaining importance, having a huge collection of photos and videos isn’t a problem – it’s a necessity. The problem comes with managing a constantly growing library. 75% of sports information directors admit to having a storage system that is difficult to access.
To make sure the best images are published while they’re still newsworthy, you have to have a way to sort through the flood of images, flag the best ones, and share them quickly. Taking the time to keep an organized media library and tag media with relevant keywords can help you save time when you’re on a distribution deadline.
Challenge #2: Lack of sharing photos and videos among departments
A number of university departments produce and share sports photos and videos – from photo services to athletics to public relations. But these departments are missing opportunities to work together for two reasons, 1) because they’re not communicating with each other, and 2) because they don’t have an infrastructure that encourages them to share visual assets.
More than half of our survey respondents say they maintain in-house image storage on CDs, DVDs, and hard drives. When content is stored locally in one department, another department has no way of knowing what photos and videos might be available to them. Asking your colleagues for access and figuring out how to get images from another department’s hard drive to your computer across campus is a time-consuming hassle.
Having a system that cuts through the red tape dividing departments, like a cloud-based system with controlled permissions, can help everyone reduce costs and improve messaging. Everyone wins when you share visual assets, because every department with a hand in communications has a common goal – enhancing the university’s brand.
Challenge #3: A small budget for photography services
Many universities, especially smaller ones, have dwindling budgets for photography services. Sports information directors (SIDs) have to make tough decisions about how to allocate their limited funds.
For example, new equipment might rank higher on your wishlist than a visual asset management system. But without a system to help you control the large volume of visual assets (challenge #1) and share media with your colleagues (challenge #2), you are missing an opportunity to get the most return from your photos and videos.
Of course, every college department wants a bigger budget, and it’s not a matter of waving a magic wand. But as more research indicates that you must get visual to get attention, universities will be pressured to shift more funding to visual communications.
You can also boost your department’s budget by creating a university photo store. 25% of our respondents say they want to sell NCAA-permissible image content. If you use an NCAA compliant sales platform, you can sell sports imagery and supplement your small campus budget.
Improving visual asset management systems help universities overcome these three challenges. It reduces repetitive activities like searching and resizing image assets. Plus, it encourages sharing among departments and speeds up the process of requesting photos and videos. Streamlining workflow cuts up to 50 hours of work per month for staff members in a typical university sports communications department.
Universities that focus on the quality of their sports imagery as well as the systems used to create and share that imagery have an incredible opportunity to increase revenues in today’s visual age.