Olympique de Marseille Signs Newsbridge
- 10 January, 2023
FRA: Olympique de Marseille, also known as Marseille or OM, is a French professional football club based in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Founded in 1899, the club plays in Ligue 1 and has spent most of its history in this top tier of French football. The club has won eleven Ligue 1 titles, 10 French Cup and three League Cup titles. In 1993, Marseille became the first and only French club to win the UEFA Champions League, defeating AC Milan 1-0 in the final.
Challenge & Context
Having used a digital asset manager for storing its large collection of match and training photos, Marseille was ready for a new solution with greater technological capabilities.
Key for the club in its next platform was the ability to instantly upload new photos taken during a match or training session. It wanted to take advantage of AI technology to detect players and sponsor logos, and automatically index and sort media assets, so that those time-consuming tasks would no longer fall to internal teams.
Self-service content sharing features were also on Marseille’s wishlist, and the new platform had to be accessible from anywhere.
“We really wanted to give our players and other stakeholders, like sponsors, more autonomy” explains Jérôme Andreacchio, Photo Editor in Chief at Olympique de Marseille. “Ideally, they’d be able to log on to our media hub and select the highlights they needed, when they needed them, instead of having to make a request and wait for us to get back to them.”
The club also had tens of thousands of archive photos to migrate and re-index, so that its training and match history would be consolidated and fully searchable.
This translated into a need for an AI-powered, cloud-based media hub with automatic indexing, showcase and share features.
The Newsbridge Solution
Following a proof of concept and some specific research & development, Olympique de Marseille signed with Newsbridge and its Media Hub was deployed in 2022 with large-scale indexing via Multimodal AI including:
- Face detection
- OCR (optical character recognition)
- Logo detection
The AI was trained to recognize a dataset of 191 Marseille players from its male, female and youth teams, and 15 sponsor logos. The detection enables media assets to be automatically tagged and sorted into dedicated smart collections within seconds of live photo upload. Automation removes the need for Marseille’s marketing team to manually index and group the images.
The Newsbridge Mobile App for iPhone and Android is used by players who, thanks to facial recognition, can access their personalized collection of photos in the Media Hub. They can download or share their content directly to social media from the app.
Marseille partners and sponsors can log in to the media hub on desktop or mobile to easily access curated collections of shots where their branding is on show.
Olympique de Marseille’s Media Hub - How it Works
Photos from Marseille games, training sessions or other events are captured and ingested to the Newsbridge media hub in real time. Photographers can also choose to upload files later, in S3 or FTP mode via an SD card.
Multimodal AI Indexing immediately cross-analyzes and detects faces, characters (eg. names on jerseys) and sponsor logos through pattern recognition - a feature that is unique to the Newsbridge platform. The relevant tagging is applied and photos are sorted into predetermined Collections. These folders automatically populate with new media that fits the criteria, for example when a specific player or sponsor is identified.
Through the mobile app, Marseille players and sponsors quickly and easily log in to the media hub to access customized highlights from the field. They can download and/or share photos directly to their communities on social media via the app, including Instagram and Twitter.
All users can easily call for assistance if required, through an ‘intercom’ live chat support feature in the media hub.
77,000 archive photos were retrieved from Marseille’s former system and re-indexed in Newsbridge. The media is also categorized by event to make finding footage from past seasons even easier.
Jérôme Andreacchio, Olympique de Marseille Photo Editor in Chief said: “The Newsbridge experience is simply stunning. The platform’s ability to detect people and sponsor logos is incredible and saves us hours of work. Newsbridge stands out from its main competitors thanks to its much faster and much more precise AI indexing technology. Another asset are the customer support teams. We receive impeccable service, and Newsbridge is always available to respond to our requests to ensure the tool meets our specific needs.”
Philippe Petitpont, Newsbridge Co-Founder & CEO commented: “Our work with Marseille is an excellent example of how Newsbridge customers influence our Multimodal AI R&D. We initially collaborated with the club a few years ago with the goal of being able to detect logos based on pattern, and not just via OCR. In other words, not relying on the text accompanying a brand logo to be able to identify it. We’re happy to say we’ve achieved that, and today, our technology detects logos based on the ‘image’ alone.”
Petitpont continued: “Our AI researchers are now working on refining the technology to give Marseille the ability to detect the ‘star’ of a photo or video sequence when multiple players are in the frame. This further refines the automatic sorting of the media, and means that when a player or sponsor logs in to access their collection, they’re going to see the best shots.”
Olympique de Marseille x Newsbridge by the numbers
- 77,000 archive photos ingested to the Newsbridge Media Hub.
- 6,733 new/live photos ingested - and counting.
- Automatic detection of 15 sponsor logos.
- 191 players using the Newsbridge mobile app to access & share photos from curated Collections.
- 61 users from the club’s internal departments, including marketing.
- More than 100 external users, including sponsors.
- 698 photos downloaded from the Newsbridge mobile app and shared by players on social media in the last two months.
Newsbridge’s other sports clients include the Icelandic Football Association (KSÍ), French Federation of Football (FFF), Stade Toulousain and Lille Olympique Sporting Club (LOSC).