Even if fans can’t always make it to the stadium, Vfl Bochum 1848 still keeps in touch with supporters. You always need the right images and good storytelling for that to happen. We spoke with Oliver Hesseling in marketing about his work with Canto.
Mr. Hesseling, won’t you please tell us a little about yourself and what exactly you do at VfL Bochum?
I’ve been working for the club since 2017, initially as an intern, later as a working student. I now work in marketing where I’m in charge of traditional tasks e.g., production of promotional materials or storytelling for the launch of the new jerseys.
My primary task however is to advance our digital projects and digital communication. Since that’s all getting more and more digital, and because of Covid, traditional contact points like the stadium are disappearing, we want to reach our fans more via other channels, e.g., social media.
And against that backdrop, you decided to introduce Canto?
The idea to introduce a DAM system has been around for a while now. When the topic became more current, the project was transferred to me.
Canto immediately stood out among the candidates. But I also heard from associates who work for other soccer clubs that they use Canto in their work and are really satisfied with it.
What was the focus of the project – was it always a matter of saving time or did you want to centralize your media files in a clearer way?
Our images were and still are the main thing; we still have the videos and other documents stored in other places. But we wanted to give the images more structure. On a match day, for example, four to five club photographers take around 300 or 400 pictures. So, we’ve got to stay on top of things.
But the time savings were also important for us: When we would search for pictures of a given player before Canto, it would often take 30 to 60 minutes before we had a good one. In that respect, facial recognition was decisive for our new image database. Among other things, we had to be able to quickly find photos of specific players or officials if we want to issue a prompt press release.
How did your DAM project, i.e., the switch to Canto go in detail?
When the project started, we decided to initially incorporate the image material starting from the 2015/2016 season. To do that, we pre-sorted the images on the server and then gradually uploaded. We’d also considered a suitable folder structure before, i.e., where we had the photos from training, from the stadium, etc. in corresponding sub-folders. The process took around three to four weeks.
Only after we had this image material present did we release the access data internally. It was crucial for us that the players and other staff only had access when it was clear how the tasks were divided and who would need which access rights to what. Since then, it’s been working really well.