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Avid Supports New Content Initiatives and Monetization Strategies for Miami HEAT

The Miami HEAT are on a mission to maximize revenue for digital content. The professional basketball team, based in Miami, Florida, employs 18 full-and-part-time employees in its Media Production Department. They create a wide range of content to engage fans during in-arena broadcasts, on HEATV, and on the team’s website, HEAT.com. “Now more than ever, we are finding ways to monetize content,” states Ed Filomia, Sr. Director, Broadcast Services, Miami HEAT.

A few years ago, in order to keep pace with the rapid evolution of digital media, the HEAT began shifting focus and streamlining its workflows to deliver content to the team’s 24 million social media followers. “We’re finding new ways to repurpose content and use it to engage fans,” explains Keith Haeberle, Director of Media Production. “Social platforms are one of our biggest revenue generators. Most of our content now goes to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, along with our website.”

We keep all our high-res in Avid NEXIS, and it’s reliable. We’re similar to a news station in that we create daily content; we don’t have time to be down.

KEITH HAEBERLE, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA PRODUCTION, MIAMI HEAT

This year, the HEAT created Facebook campaigns targeting specific users for ticket sales. “Ticket sales drive our business,” adds Haeberle. “So, being able to push out unique and interesting messaging around ticket sales has been really beneficial. Our campaigns generate a substantial amount of season ticket revenue.”

HEAT.com/China is another example of the team’s effectiveness in repurposing and monetizing content. Shortly after LeBron James arrived in 2010, the HEAT noticed a spike in international viewers coming to their site, particularly from China. So, the HEAT hired Mandarin-speaking editors to add voice-overs and subtitles and began posting translated content. “In 2010, we were a national brand. Then, we signed the Big Three—James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh—and suddenly we were a global brand,” explains Haeberle. “With that, came new opportunities to monetize.”

“The value of video is in monetization,” continues Haeberle. To support this new focus, the Media Production Department shifted from long-format editing to producing bite-sized nuggets they can turn around and deliver quickly. But the need to create and repurpose more content, more quickly, for a greater diversity of platforms presented challenges for their storage infrastructure.

As pressure mounts to deliver more content, faster, Avid shared storage delivers

“Storage is always the challenge,” declares Haeberle. “During games, people want immediate engagement, so we made the decision to ingest live games. And, when you ingest a live game, you need storage.”

The HEAT had been maintaining footage from the current season in nearline storage and storing footage from previous seasons on disc. But, when the HEAT began shooting in 4K, nearline storage did not have the capacity to maintain an entire season. The HEAT decided to add storage and turned to its distributor, CIS Group, to recommend a solution.

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Robson Fernandes, Director of Engineering and Professional Services at CIS Group has been working with the Miami HEAT for over a decade. “The original goal was to add storage to store and archive an ever-increasing volume of content. “When we looked at the capabilities of Avid NEXIS, and price points, we realized the right solution for the HEAT was to upgrade all existing storage to Avid NEXIS,” said Fernandes.

Today, the HEAT have 240 terabytes of Avid NEXIS storage, which provides the access, speed, increased throughput and reliability the HEAT need to accelerate 4K mastering workflows and edit bandwidth-intensive media in real time. Avid NEXIS works with Adobe Creative Suite and Avid’s MediaCentral platform to accelerate media production. And it provides the HEAT with protection for uninterrupted online production—a critical benefit for hurricane-prone Miami.

“Avid NEXIS is one of the best storage solutions in the market today,” notes Fernandes. “I think the beauty of Avid NEXIS is that it’s simple. It handles the bandwidth. It’s reliable. Plus, Avid is open; it works agnostically with other solutions.”

Living in a proxy world

“The amount of content we were creating and capturing grew very, very quickly; and, we needed storage and processes that would allow us to live in a proxy world,” explains Haeberle.

Previously, during the basketball season, the HEAT maintained the high-res on the nearline while the previous seasons resided on disc. It was easy to go to the nearline, grab footage, and relink it to the high-res content for the current season. However, if an editor wanted to use footage from a previous season, they had to locate the disc, insert it in the drive and re-ingest the content. It was a time-consuming, cumbersome process, which limited creativity. And, if someone grabbed a disc from the shelf and forgot to put it back, more time was lost locating the disc.

I think the beauty of Avid NEXIS is that it’s simple. It handles the bandwidth. It’s reliable. Plus, Avid is open; it works agnostically with other solutions.

Robson Fernandes, Director of Engineering and Professional Services at CIS Group

Avid NEXIS eliminates these time-consuming bottlenecks, giving the HEAT production team more options for generating content during live games and helping them turn content around more quickly. With Avid NEXIS storage, the HEAT can keep almost two years’ worth of high-res footage in the system, enabling editors to go back and forth easily between the proxies and the high-res. “As a franchise, and as a team, when we have milestones coming up, or situations where we are doing a story on a player, like someone retiring, having footage online and immediately available, is invaluable,” states Haeberle. Today, the HEAT have over 50 terabytes of proxy video in their system; this is about 10 years of footage which they can access instantly with Avid NEXIS.

Greater workflow flexibility

“We keep all our high-res in Avid NEXIS, and it’s reliable,” concludes Haeberle. “We’re similar to a news station in that we create daily content; we don’t have time to be down. Avid is reliable, it’s long-lasting, and always looking towards the future.”

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