Re-imagining digital media workflow across a sports league
Major League Rugby (MLR) is North America’s flagship professional rugby league, with 12 teams battling it out across the United States and Canada to be crowned MLR champions.
With a mission to grow the game of rugby union in North America, the league wanted to improve media collaboration across the league; simplify how matchday media was shared among the teams, coaches and players; and provide a way for players to contribute media to the league in order to grow the fan base with player-generated behind-the-scenes storytelling.
PT SportSuite were tasked with implementing a digital media ecosystem in less than three months that would meet MLR’s needs, with all business units mobilising to make sure this delivery was met before the kick-off of the season on 20 March.
CENTRALISING MLR’s MEDIA ASSETS IN THE CLOUD
MLR were using a variety of 3rd party cloud-based hosting services – including SmugMug, Vimeo and Dropbox – to store historical media content.
To provide MLR with a single view of all digital media assets, PT SportSuite migrated all MLR content into an AWS-powered cloud media library, including advanced services that enabled MLR’s media team to find the right assets at the right time – simply, securely and lightning fast.
MEDIA COLLABORATION AND WORKFLOW
One league, twelve teams, multiple content creators, thousands of matchday media assets.
Media collaboration and sharing across the league was a big undertaking for the MLR media team, with content being shared using a variety of file-sharing mechanisms – with no standard workflow system in place.
The MLR media team wanted a standardised, scalable and secure platform to efficiently request, share and manage matchday media, and all other MLR digital media IP across multiple teams.
For MLR teams playing away matches, fast, efficient access to match photos captured by home team photographers was critical, in order to publish match day content timeously to fans across website and social channels, and to share content with players for further re-publishing to their social channels.
The MLRMojos platform was implemented to meet all of the league’s media collaboration and sharing needs – a single, multi-team environment where registered users could upload digital media to be securely accessed by media teams across the league – while also allowing the MLR league media team to share edited content back to the teams for further publication and re-use.
With various user roles to choose from, team administrators could choose the level of access given within their own private team environment, to cater for the various needs of internal staff, freelance photographers, players and more.
All media uploaded via the MLRMojos platform is backed up to MLR’s AWS cloud-media library, safeguarding and enabling the future searchability of all incoming digital media IP.
Commissioning Content with Challenges
MLRMojos’s Challenges facility standardises the MLR media team’s process of commissioning content from MLR teams, players and fans
Challenges with creative imagery, instructions and reward incentives can be created via the MLRMojos dashboard and published to each team’s private dashboard, or to the MLRMojos mobile app.
The MLRMojos App
THE MOBILE SOLUTION
The mobile accompaniment to the MLRMojos web platform, the MLRMojos app was designed with the player in mind, allowing the MLR and teams to set specific content requests for players to submit their behind-the-scenes media via mobile, while allowing players to view and download matchday media within a secure mobile app environment for publishing to social channels.
KEY OBJECTIVE #1
PLAYER GENERATED MEDIA
MLR appointed “social media captains’ from the player group for each team and asked them to capture and submit a video of their teammates taking part in a Crossbar Challenge.
This Challenge represented the first step in a process that will habituate the players to share their behind-the-scenes media on an ongoing basis.
A change in workflow process of this nature needed to be handled with minimal disruption while clearly defining the value for all stakeholders. Securing the buy-in of teams was a necessary step in the onboarding process of all media producing partners.
To help MLR communicate the benefits of the MLRMojos platform to the wider MLR professional community, PT SportSuite produced branded communication collateral aimed at generating hype and excitement.
THE MLR APP
MLR wanted to create a preferred destination for mobile-first fans to access matchday content as well as a first port of call for engagement with the league. The MLR App was launched to meet this need.
Featuring the latest MLR news, fixtures, results, team and player statistics, as well as video-on-demand easily managed via the PT SportSuite video playlisting CMS, the MLR app represented the final phase in the creation of MLR’s new digital media ecosystem.
As part of a phased approach, further fan engagement modules – in the form of a dedicated Fan Zone, where fans can take on media challenges for reward, and augmented reality scanning that will bring MLR logos to life – were released as the season progressed.
KEY OBJECTIVE #2
FAN GENERATED MEDIA
A series of fan challenges were launched via the app Fan Zone and web-based Fan Portal that asked fans to share their MLR videos and photos – with a prize incentive for the best submissions.
To take part, fans could register via Google, Facebook, Twitter or Apple authentication – growing the MLR fan database for future campaigns and targeted advertising.
KEY OBJECTIVE #3
In a first of its kind for a North American sports league, the newly released AR SCAN functionality in the MLR App brought the league’s brand to life – allowing MLR fans to scan team logos on official MLR merchandise – to unlock “hidden” video content and special offers that reward fans for scanning.
WHAT MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY SAID
"As a conglomerate of 13 start-ups - including our League Office and 12 teams - it was important to find content workflow solutions that enabled us to do a lot more with a lot less.
“PT SportSuite’s ecosystem of products help make collection, organization, and distribution more efficient. We look forward to taking the foundation we’ve built this season and enhancing it to ensure a robust digital experience for all our stakeholders.”
- Nishant Nereyeth, MLR Director, operations and marketing