Stade Toulousain drives player and sponsor engagement with Newsbridge Cloud Media Hub

Founded in 1907, Stade Toulousain – also known as Toulouse – is one of France’s most famous rugby clubs and the most successful in Europe. The Red and Blacks have won the Heineken Cup/European Rugby Champions Cup a record five times, most recently in 2021. They’re also record-beaters in the French domestic Top 14 competition, where they have won an incredible 21 Boucliers de Brennus (Brennus Shields). Toulouse is known for being a main feeder for the French national team, and its youth academy is recognised as one of the best in the world.

Stade Toulousain has a rich and celebrated history. The club is constantly accumulating new content as it documents its games, training sessions and off-field events. Being able to quickly share highlights with its legion of fans through official team and player social media channels, is key to engaging with supporters and sponsors throughout the season.

In 2020, Toulouse began its search for a media asset management (MAM) solution to address its most pressing need: a centralised platform on which to store and sort tens of thousands of photos. Internal departments, players, sponsors and the press had to be able to access the platform from anywhere to immediately find, download and share the content they needed.

This translated into a requirement for an AI-powered, cloud-based media hub for content indexing and storing, with auto-detection, a user-friendly, customisable interface and the ability to showcase and share specific media assets.

Stade Toulousain chose Newsbridge in 2021 and its Media Hub was deployed with large-scale indexing via Multimodal AI, including logo detection and face detection.

The AI was trained to recognise a dataset of club players and staff and sponsor logos, enabling media assets to be automatically indexed and sorted into dedicated ‘Collections’ upon upload (be it live/in real-time, or manually after a game). The automation removes the need for any manual indexing and means media hub users can immediately see and access the content collection that’s relevant to them.

The Newsbridge app for iPhone and Android is used by players who, thanks to facial recognition, can access their personalised Collection of photos in the Media Hub. They can download or share their content directly to social media from the app. The Media Hub is also accessible through a customised connector on the Stade Toulousain website. Users can easily call for assistance through an ‘intercom’ live chat support feature in the media hub.

Philippe Petitpont, Newsbridge co-founder & CEO, commented: “It’s really exciting to see how Stade Toulousain is using its Media Hub as a tool to harness the digital influence of its players and engage with its partners, to demonstrate real value. Giving club sponsors the ability to quickly see and download on- and off-field moments where their brand logo is on full display, means they can share the content on their own channels, and use it to help them measure ROI.”

Vincent Bonnet, marketing & communications director at Stade Toulousain, said: “With Newsbridge we can centralise and share our media assets very easily, because it indexes and sorts content automatically. Players, internal departments, partners or the press can directly access the media that’s relevant to them via a web browser or the app. The platform is easy to use. We save a lot of precious time, and we’re now looking to use additional features like live photo ingest.”

Currently there are 89 Newsbridge users, including club sponsors, internal marketing, partnership, digital departments and individual players. Some 16,820 photos had been uploaded as of June 2022.

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