Anybody who’s read Moneyball or seen the movie knows that succeeding in sports today involves winning the analytics contest just as much as competing on the field, court or ice.  This is a trend that’s changed the way video is used in both professional and collegiate athletics, and we’re seeing the effects everywhere: basketball, football, baseball, hockey, even motor sports and martial arts.

Video has long been a staple of sports—it’s used for scouting, game prep, recruiting and promotion, as well as broadcasting—but two factors are making it different now.  One is the technology for analyzing what’s on video.  One of the biggest trends in sports is motion analysis, which combines special analytics applications and video to help players improve their performance by breaking down and evaluating their movements.  In addition to motion analysis technology, there are also now programs that can comb through years of footage to find trends based on very sophisticated variables—specific players, coaches, and situations—and extract clips to let coaches and players analyze tendencies and put together a game plan.

The other factor that makes sports video different  is a huge increase in the number of ways that content can be used and re-used to generate revenue and greater fan loyalty.  Teams and leagues not only broadcast events live but also monetize existing content, re-purposing it for distribution to different audiences on new platforms in different formats.

These new capabilities represent major new opportunities, but they also create significant challenges.  The amount of video data generated is exploding, as is the size of files and the number of people needing fast access to the data.  That means that the underlying technology for storing, managing, and protecting video content has to change, and the most successful organizations are adopting new storage strategies to make sure that they stay competitive.

I’ve talked with a variety of Quantum customers about this issue because the technology designed for managing video that we’ve been providing to movie studios and TV networks for years – our StorNext solutions – also helps sports organizations wrestling with video management issues.  Here are just a few examples:

  • A leading NBA team decided to go with Quantum because they needed fast access to game footage for coaching and promotion, but also because they realized it was crucial to have an automated way to create and manage an active archive and preservation layer.
  • A major university selected StorNext because its high speed file sharing lets editors create game highlights during the broadcast for real-time use in the stadium and redistribution afterward.  They quadrupled the amount of video they could process, making the shift from standard- to high-definition format very smooth.
  • One of the premier multi-league franchises chose Quantum to help them create and manage a single asset pool that includes all the content for several of their different media outlets.  They built a multi-tier storage system that holds a full petabyte of archive content—much of it digitized from old tapes—for sharing between different business entities.

A key reason customers are turning to Quantum is the strength of our StorNext technology and the ability to tier large, rich media files based on access needs and cost. In addition, over the last few years, we’ve moved from providing just StorNext software to a full line of appliances that has made it easier for a broader base of users to take advantage of StorNext’s many benefits.  All in all, it’s a solution that’s hard to beat.

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