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How Monumental Sports & Entertainment Transformed Their Creative Workflow

How Monumental Sports & Entertainment Transformed Their Creative Workflow

How does one of North America’s largest sports and entertainment organizations improve creative operations and brand consistency for 12 internal properties including 6 professional sports teams? This is the question we had for Lori Meyers, Manager, Digital Assets for Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE).

Lori Meyers is responsible for handling digital asset management (DAM) and project management for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, in Washington, D.C. This interview shares her journey with implementing MediaValet to manage brand assets across the entire organization, choosing Wrike as a project management solution for MSE and integrating the two solutions together to optimize operations.

To start off, can you tell us about Monumental Sports & Entertainment?
Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the United States. MSE owns and operates six professional sports teams, including:

  • NHL’s Washington Capitals,
  • NBA’s Washington Wizards,
  • NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go,
  • WBNA’s Washington Mystics
  • NBA 2K Wizards District Gaming, and
  • Caps Gaming.

MSE also manages MedStar Capitals Iceplex, EagleBank Arena on George Mason University’s campus, and Entertainment Sports Arena (ESA, where the Mystics play), plus co-owns and operates Monumental Sports Network (MSN) with NBC Sports Group. So, all together we have what we call 12 “properties” within the company. Additionally, the company co-owns aXiomatic, which has controlling interest in the global e-sports franchise Team Liquid, and owns and operates the Capital One Arena.”

Can you tell us about your role at MSE?
“I started at MSE as the Manager, Digital Assets in January 2020. Before joining, MSE didn’t have a digital asset management system (DAM) in place. Grace Marland, Art Director and Alycen McAuley, Senior Vice President Team Services contracted with MediaValet and together we determined the library structure for the categories within MediaValet. To support the 12 properties, user groups and roles along with asset attributes were defined for taxonomy purposes.

Wrike, a project management application that allows users to track and coordinate projects, was also brought on to assist Monumental Design, the internal creative agency with new creative requests to support marketing efforts.  It was my responsibility to implement and manage MediaValet and Wrike.

I’m naturally organized, so I love the work I do. I always want something to organize, fix and categorize to make it as easy as possible to use and that definitely carries over into my work with DAM. When I found DAM a few years ago, it was really just the perfect match for me.”

How did MSE operate before using MediaValet? What were the major pain points during that time?
“Creative assets were kept on cloud storage servers and shared and local drives. There wasn’t one central location or person in charge of the documents, graphics or marketing materials for all of MSE. Assets were owned by many different people and source files were difficult to locate.

While a standard request process was in place when I joined, many clients were not using the systems and when they did, it wasn’t meeting their needs. Grace mentioned that a major goal, from her perspective, was to cut down on the time designers spend on administrative tasks, file management and client outreach so they could spend more time where their talent lies – in the creatives process.”

What were the main goals you set out to achieve with DAM?
“When I joined the team at MSE, they had just purchased their subscription and I was brought on board to help build and rollout the system company-wide. It was a clean slate for me, and with my knowledge from managing different teams and departments in a previous role, I had an idea of how I wanted it set up and managed. That said, Grace and team had launched a company-wide working group during the product evaluation phase and so I re-engaged that group to help educate me about their goals for the system and we set about designing our DAM to meet our unique needs.

My goal was to have it set up so all 12 properties could use MediaValet. If something needed to be found, everyone would know exactly where to find it—a one-stop-shop for all approved creative from the Monumental Design team, as well as all internal documents, photos, videos and support materials for all of MSE.”

Can you describe how you’re using MediaValet today?
"The categories we set up within the library structure of MediaValet enable us to organize photos, videos, and documents by Team or Enterprise, with their own unique categories and permissions. We share files via web galleries and lightboxes, in many formats across the different teams and departments within MSE, including marketing, sales, game presentation and even our HR department.

The Monumental Design team has access to upload, update and edit assets, while the Production team that handles all our video content has access to upload without an approval process. Our photographers, who attend all our home games, also have access to upload directly to the DAM without an approval process, but only to specific categories and their permissions are set up to not have the capability to delete anything.

I would say our biggest use case is our marketing team. When a request is submitted to Monumental Design for new creative, it goes through the lifecycle within Wrike and is then published directly to MediaValet. Our marketing team then takes all of the approved materials and packages everything together into one share link in order to get the assets to the people who need them. Previously this would have been done with a cloud storage server, zipped files or even an attachment in an email.”

What types of assets are being stored in MediaValet?
“We store internally created videos, final graphics and some of their source files, as well as photos, sales support materials, digital and print decks, and internal company documents. We’ve set up a marketing process for brand consistency and that way we know that anything in MediaValet is already approved by marketing and is on-brand.”

What would you highlight as your favourite MediaValet feature?
Branded Portals are a hit with MSE MediaValet users. We've created Branded Portals for all six of our teams to include all the logos, tag lines, and lockups. We have logos for so many different things! With MediaValet, we don’t have a problem with someone accidentally using outdated logos anymore. With one link we can share all approved branded version examples, and how they should be used. We have also created sales support portals and internal MSE portals for employees for business cards, office nameplates, stationary, etc.

Branded Portals are fantastic for when we have big campaigns too. For example, we have a Branded Portal for our game presentation team, to host the different components that they need for each screen inside the arena. Now each team can go into their Branded Portal and find the different assets we’ve created for each sized screen, and can share  with just one link.”

Talk us through the workflow of using MediaValet and Wrike together.
“Once  MediaValet was set up for MSE, we knew we needed a project management tool to help standardize how creative requests were being submitted to Monumental Design. One of the deciding factors for moving forward with Wrike was the integration MediaValet was already utilizing with other clients. Being able to set up the entire workflow, from new creative requests to final files published to MediaValet, and eliminating extra steps for our designers was key.

A request is submitted by an internal client via Wrike. The assigned designer submits their work to the Art Director for creative review. Once approved, the creative is then provided to the Marketing Reviewer for brand consistency. The client then reviews the creative and once approved, final files are published to MediaValet.”

What goals have you been able to achieve since integrating Wrike and MediaValet?
“Creating a standard operating process was the number one thing we wanted to accomplish with MediaValet and Wrike. For Monumental Design, we needed one clear and easy way for our internal clients to submit requests for creative to be completed. During the process of that request, it is very important for us to know the status of the project (creative review, marketing review, client review, etc.) and when it will be completed. Being able to publish completed assets directly to MediaValet from within Wrike has allowed us to save time and share approved assets efficiently. Without this process, requests would come from emails and other messaging systems, and rarely have all the necessary information for beginning or completing creative work in a timely manner.

We haven’t been able to put a dollar amount on it, but implementing MediaValet and Wrike together has most certainly saved us time and money.”

Do you have any advice for others looking to streamline and optimize their workflow operations?
“Make sure to set workflows and standard operating processes that you know are going to work from the onset. To do this you need to know your end goals — what specific problems are you hoping to solve? Enforcing a new way of doing things within a company is difficult to begin with, so changing things along the way is not ideal.”

Last question, just for fun! What’s your favourite movie?
“Definitely, Serendipity. Fortunate accidents sometimes are the best things that happen! They can turn out to be the most amazing things that you haven’t planned for, and I just like that idea. Sometimes, I even see something serendipitous in the DAM. I have a standard process when I’m starting to build something out, and once I get into it something happens, derails me and I realize there’s a better way to do it.”

MediaValet has partnered with Wrike to bring together the best of digital asset management and project management, maximizing the impact of your assets across projects. Ready to get started? See MediaValet and Wrike in action today!

MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.

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