The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) is the brand home of the Canadian Olympic team. The independent and predominantly privately funded group delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform their best. It also spotlights the athletes’ individual stories so Canadians can connect with the people representing them in the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games.
Elite Athletes, Substandard Equipment
Saying the COC is in charge of a lot of digital assets is like saying Canadian athletes can skate fast and jump high. Vast understatement. The organization manages thousands of creative files – photos, videos, logos and other materials – that need to be cataloged and protected yet easily accessible.
The assets, especially photos, are used heavily when responding to media inquiries and deployed in marketing promotions and other communications. The COC also facilitates sponsorships for athletes, adding to the large amount of digital assets the organization maintains.
The COC was storing these files on physical hard drives, but the proliferation of digital imagery left them feeling overwhelmed by a huge amount of media assets that needed to be archived and cataloged properly. The process of manually sorting and organizing photos and other materials was very time and labor intensive, especially because nothing was tagged with keywords, metadata or other identifiers.
Stepping Up Their Game
The COC team was working with another asset management service, but found that it couldn’t automatically ingest and support metadata. This made the COC embark on a search for a new DAM provider, which was quickly narrowed down to two services.
“When I was trying to find a service to go with, I wanted to get a hands-on experience with a trial,” said Winston Chow, digital media manager for the COC. “With Webdam, all I had to do was ask and a trial was in my hands within 24 hours to play around with. The other vendor had poor customer service and response rates. In addition, they pushed for a significant amount of information and made it difficult to get a complete sandbox environment to thoroughly test.”
After using a trial of Webdam, Chow was quickly able to learn the ins and outs of the DAM software. He pointed to the powerful search function, customer service and intuitive design as reasons for immediately selecting Webdam.
“We spent about a week with a Webdam trial, and it was sufficient for getting us on board. We didn’t like being forced to wait by the other vendor. That was a red flag,” Chow explained. “We needed a great solution fast. With Webdam, we had a really smooth transition and were able to quickly roll it out within our entire organization.”
Today, the COC primarily uses Webdam to store and organize its vast troves of creative files. With Webdam, the organization was able to implement its own internal taxonomy system for metadata, a process that has largely been automated (and quite cost-effective).
“With our old system, I had to copy and paste every single caption and cutline for individual photos,” Chow said. “Webdam automatically ingests all of the author information, accurately giving credit to the artist. It takes a lot of manual labor out of the process.”
Chow explained that Webdam has been deployed internally for the COC to facilitate image requests, saving him valuable time that was previously spent manually addressing each request individually.
“It has saved me enough time that I’ve made more progress in a month than in four months with our old system,” Chow stated.
By creating a pre-curated set of media assets, Webdam has helped the COC boost efficiency and promote smoother communications within the organization.
“We know these are the images we want to use,” Chow said. “We haven’t run into any difficulty because the system is so intuitive. Even less tech savvy people at the COC have been able to pick it up.”