French Rugby Federation Selects Newsbridge as Content Indexing Platform

FFR Overview

Founded in 1919, The French Rugby Federation (Fédération Française de Rugby, FFR) is a delegated institution of the Ministry of Sports.

As an entity which oversees the administration of French rugby in the national territory, the FFR is composed of more than 281,500+ licensed members (as of December 2019).

Furthermore, it is deemed one of the most significant and influential sports federations in France.

To date, the FFR is associated with 1,922 clubs, 14 regional leagues, and 102 departmental committees.

FFR France vs. England
Photo Credit: I. Picarel/F.F.R.

Context

With a steep increase in french rugby development, (notably an uptick in the number of licensed players after the 2007 Rugby World Cup) the nationally beloved sport has seen immense profitability and popularity both domestically and internationally over the past several years.

Such gains stem directly from match attendance and media coverage, both of which are crucial success factors for the federation. 

The Challenge

With the sports world’s ever-growing focus on fast and efficient media organization, diffusion and sharing, the French Rugby Federation’s  Digital and Information Systems Department decided to build off of its pre-existing digital strategy.

That is to say, the team wanted to spearhead the centralization and simplified sharing of the federation’s associated global media assets, keeping partners and sponsors top-of-mind.

Consequently, the FFR had the following requirements for working with their media:   

1. Access Content Immediately 

This component was crucial in addressing the needs of the marketing and communication teams. At the same time, partners and sponsors would be able to access content as needed, quickly and efficiently.

2. Work Quickly and Smartly with Live Streams

The team needed the ability to automatically centralize, archive and index streams- ideally on one single platform for easy access and simplified usage.

This would allow the team to manage fresh content with speed and care- before, during and after the match. In turn, this would enhance its value.

3. Own A strong Media Asset Management (MAM) tool

The team was looking for a solution that would both measure and archive incoming media automatically, as they would be working with large amounts of content. 

More specifically, the French Rugby Federation needed instantaneity– as stakeholders would work with fresh global media, in real-time.

FFR Huddle
Photo Credit: I. Picarel/F.F.R.

Selection Process

Finding the one is no easy task! But the federation was motivated and ready to put in the time and effort required to find the perfect match.

As a result, the federation’s Digital Transformation Departement began an intensive content indexing platform benchmark research initiative aimed at finding the best Media Asset Management (MAM) platform on the market. Throughout their search, they had 3 MAM-related components top-of-mind:

  • Functionality
  • Sleek and user-friendly interface
  • Future-proof solution

Ultimately, these elements would be the deciding factors for the French Rugby Federation’s final decision, each one further explained below:

Functionality

After learning about Newsbridge via research conducted in October 2018, the FFR realized that there were no other comparable solutions on the market that offered instant media sharing– which was one of their top priorities among stakeholders.

Additionally, they needed smart content organization– having global media organized immediately upon upload via AI-based technology, with the objective of centralizing and decluttering mass amounts of content. The FFR was looking for a platform that was able to take on that element of complexity, in real-time, with high quality output. 

Sleek and user-friendly interface

The desire for simple, clean design was extremely important for the federation, as it lends way for better ease-of-use. When envisioning the ideal content indexing platform- there would be multiple stakeholders using it for various purposes. The team was looking for a platform that was easy to understand and use- without hours of staff training. 

Future-proof solution

The FFR was looking for a sustainable solution- one that would be ever-evolving based on their specific, future-focused needs and strategy. With a more permanent option in mind, the team wanted to avoid tools that would require continuous update and maintenance. A focus on top-notch and ever-evolving technology was a deciding factor.

FFR Paris High Five
Photo Credit: I. Picarel/F.F.R.

Solution 

In January 2019 the French Rugby Federation officially partnered with Newsbridge.

The team was interested in the company’s AI powered indexing technology composed of facial recognition, smart label detection, content organization and cognitive research. This solution proved to meet the Federation’s specific and multi-layered needs. 

After working with Newsbridge, the new content indexing platform solution was simple and completely personalized, including: 

1. Instant cognitive functionalities 

Applied instantly on all transmitted content or content in the process of being transmitted, including: player recognition, labels (backgrounds, objects, context), and speech elements (speech-to-text/translation).

This also included an intelligent AI-leveraged thesaurus which was trained to recognize everyone from XV France, teams and management. 

2. MAM directly connected to live streams 

With the ability to index and instantly archive incoming media.

3. A secure, shared-workspace platform in the cloud

Able to centralize and organize incoming media in real-time, all accessible via a simple search bar. 

In short, Newbridge’s content indexing platform successfully addressed the federation’s initial request for a high-quality centralization of media post-events with near-live publishing available. 

FFR Blue Sky
Photo Credit: I. Picarel/F.F.R.

FFR + Newsbridge: By The Numbers

To date, the FFR has aggregated the following: 

  • 30 second timeframe from camera to Newsbridge platform. Allowing FFR staff and 15 partners near live access to fresh assets
  • 70+ registered platform users
  • 98% facial recognition success rate
  • 100,000 tagged and indexed media assets (in real-time)

Now that’s what we call a try! 

FFR Crowd
Photo Credit: Stéphane Hamel/F.F.R.

About Newsbridge

Newsbridge is a cloud-based solution offering video indexing tools based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) contribution for publishers and broadcasters.

Taking facial, object and scene recognition with audio transcription and semantic context into account, Newsbridge allows for an unprecedented access to content, whether it be: derushing, archiving or investigative research. 

Today our platform is used by journalists, editors, TV Channels, documentarists, production houses and sports federations.

These teams work in contribution and post-production workflows.