(Originally posted on SportTechie.)
The fact that individual athletes can help sports brands deepen fan engagement and raise their profile is no secret. Yet organizations have struggled to mobilize athletes en masse to create and share authentic, timely content on social platforms.
As Tyler Steinhardt, manager of content for the PLL, explained, “We want the PLL to be in the same breath as the big four or five leagues in sports. If you look at the long history of sports, they’ve gotten big off of media, whether it was baseball and radio, or it was NBA and NFL over TV. For us, we think that social media is that way.”
The PLL recognized that its most valuable resource was its community of more than 160 athletes. Mobilizing those players to share its most compelling content with fans offered an incredible brand-building opportunity. The league knew that providing athletes with game photos and videos that they could share as soon as they stepped off the field would be critical to building social buzz and brand excitement around its growing sport.
To achieve its media-first, athlete-focused vision, the PLL turned to Greenfly and Libris by Photoshelter. The integration of Greenfly’s content collaboration and distribution engine and Libris’ digital asset management platform provided the league with powerful visual storytelling capabilities.
Greenfly was co-founded by former Major League Baseball All-Star Shawn Green. As a player, Green experienced first-hand the challenges of getting access to photos and videos of himself, and wanted to better connect content, athletes, and fans in order to help spur brand growth. On a recent Hashtag Sports panel, Green noted that today’s players “want to build their brand, they want to get closer to the fan.”
Throughout the season, the PLL’s photographers and staff will capture visual content and upload that to Libris. The Greenfly Connect tool then fully automates last-mile social workflows for the league, connecting content with the athletes via the Greenfly mobile app, and allowing them to easily share with fans. Within minutes after each game, the athletes can boost their brands, and the PLL brand, too.
According to Steinhardt, “Creating and posting and being active across social is fundamental to who you are as a professional lacrosse player in the PLL.”
Watch this video to learn how the PLL is speeding and scaling its ability to capture and share timely and relevant social content, expanding its reach and engagement among lacrosse fans everywhere.