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7 July, 2017 - 12:44 By Tony Quested

Saints march on with Cambridge technology

Southampton football team

Cambridge technology has helped Premier League soccer club Southampton  score a major hit with players and fans by enhancing the club’s digital media capability.

Software company, Third Light has helped the Saints bulge the net in a different context – the Internet to be precise.

Saints’ match day photographers upload their images instantly via FTP to Third Light’s media library. Here, they can be tagged with a variety of metadata that helps the club store, manage and later find those images so they can be distributed to media partners, players and fans.

Matt Watson, Southampton FC’s club photographer, said: “Before Third Light we just had basic folder structures and trying to find images quickly with so many players, matches and images was so time consuming.

“One of our players was having a 10 year testimonial, and our team wanted to access to a host of images to reflect his time at the club for the various media channels. The only way to do this was with a slow, manual process sifting through folders.

“We just needed a solution that would enable us to find stuff easily and quickly – a searchable image archive. Now we have Third Light, we just type a name into our library interface, and all images tagged with that players name will come up. Easy!”

Being able to tag images with data is also key to being able to share specific images with players. Using a function called ‘smart folders,’ images tagged with a player’s name will automatically display in the corresponding folder. Players can then access these images only via their own login to the Third Light platform.

Watson added: “Players continuously need images for their own online digital platforms, like social media sites, their own websites and personal PR channels. Smart folders are an excellent way to collate these images so that players can easily access them for their own use.”

Saints have also invested in a new website to optimise fan engagement, delivered and supported by the website agency Delete. The agency has used Third Light’s API to integrate its media library with their own software, which means images can be delivered directly to the website from the media library.

Using Third Light’s CDN infrastructure also enables the website to handle the huge amounts of traffic expected from a premier league website.

Third Light serves a global community of customers from its Cambridge HQ and has resellers in the US, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Scandinavia.

Founded in 2002, it now supports more than 550 clients. Its products are used by organisations such as the United Nations and Oxford University, brands that include NASCAR, Fujitsu, and Virgin, and not-for-profits such as the Scouts, and Guide Dogs.

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