The technology draft
As the saying goes, there had to be a better way. After spending considerable time investigating how to best manage the images, Spinelli at last came upon an ASP (Application Service Provider) that offered the type of functionality his organization needed to ensure faster time-to-market for the more than 3,500 player photos.
"With [WebWare] MAMBO, we capture the images digitally, color-correct and distribute photos via the Web to media organizations for television and print uses," Spinelli explains. "It was a good solution to our problem. This year, we were able to speed up the process by shooting with digital cameras and distributing the photos online."
"The images arrive as RGB files. Our prepress supplier, Western Laser Graphics, produces digital proofs for us to edit and spell check," Spinelli adds. "The photos are saved in file formats that are optimized for print, TV or the Web. Eventually, they are uploaded to WebWare's server."
Spinelli estimates the cost of implementing WebWare MAMBO was about four percent of the cost to design, build and manage a system on their own. He says, "We calculated the costs for hardware, software and personnel, and decided that if we were going to do it ourselves, we were going to have to cut a lot of corners, because we had a specific budget. … [W]e realized that we didn't want to reinvent the wheel."
"The NFL could have spent millions to do it themselves," explains Lauren Flanagan, WebWare's chairman, CEO and co-founder. "Now, they're able to guarantee global access to their images and reach a larger audience. They're also able to ensure that the journalists who need access to images have the most up-to-date archive available."
After working with WebWare MAMBO for a few months, Spinelli also realized that an in-house solution never would have been able to handle the volume of server requests it would have to process. "After we got up and running, we sent out a broadcast e-mail about the photos, and we got 2,500 hits the next day. It would have crushed the servers [we considered buying]."