Minutes after the LA Lakers won the Western Conference Finals best-of-7 game series over the Denver Nuggets, I received an email from DICK’S Sporting Goods announcing the availability of the official locker room conference champions short-sleeve tee and Flexfit hat by Adidas.
Have you ever wondered how that happens so quickly?
Widen helps make it happen. The Widen Digital Sampling process assists in the creation of digital apparel samples and the Widen web-based digital asset management system is used to manage and distribute them. As the official provider of licensed apparel for the NBA, NFL, and NHL, the Adidas Sports Licensed Division (includes Adidas and Reebok brands) uses Widen premedia services and DAM technologies to meet hot market demands for the NBA Finals, Super Bowl and Stanley Cup Finals.
The Widen process helps Adidas retailers such as DICK’S Sporting Goods market championship apparel merchandise as soon you see the players wearing the t-shirts and hats after the game is over.
Widen Digital Sampling Process
- Photograph 1 neutral grey apparel sample
- Digitally create all color swatches according to league approved team colors
- Apply graphics according to Adidas supplied technical guidelines
Next, all Adidas digital samples are loaded into the Widen-powered web-based image library so that Adidas can manage them in one central location. The Widen web-based DAM holds all apparel and headwear styles for the current and coming sports season for the NBA, NFL and NHL. Since many of the physical apparel styles are not yet available in stores or online (or even physically produced), many of the images are on hold and are tightly controlled using Widen’s roles & permissions structure. Styles and logos are often determined 6-7 months in advance of the coming season for the major sports leagues.
When it’s time for these assets to go to market, orders are placed in the DAM system and retailers can download the files according to exact specifications for print or web use. All users are required to sign off on a rights release agreement before they have access to the images. For example, DICK’S Sporting Goods was granted permission to access images for the Lakers and Nuggets so they could prepare their email marketing templates in advance of the final game of the Western Conference Finals.
An Inside Look at the Digital Samples Created for the NBA Hot Market
Conference Finals Locker Room Apparel – Caps and Tees prepared for all 8 Semifinals Teams
NBA Finals Apparel – Caps and Tees prepared for Lakers, Nuggets, Magic and Cavaliers
NBA Champion Apparel – Caps and Tees prepared for the Lakers, Magic and Cavaliers*
(*Interestingly, the Cavaliers were expected to make it to the NBA Finals so Widen prepares digital samples in advance of the final outcome. Widen staff are responsible for deleting all inaccurate/obsolete assets as soon as the outcome is determined.)
Enough physical samples are produced for the 2 teams in the Western Conference Finals, Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals.
The Widen Impact
As you can guess, the digital sample production and distribution process shaves weeks off the time to market versus the process of physically producing, photographing and shipping physical samples. Besides the time savings of digital sample creation, Adidas is able to drastically reduce costs of physically producing each item and team combination and the photography and shipping costs to go along with it.
Benefits of Using Widen Hosted Digital Asset Management:
- Accelerated search and retrieval time
- Increased real-time collaboration of assets and approvals
- Cost savings through the elimination of physical delivery
- Elimination of the cost of lost or misplaced work
- Reduction in time-to-market through digital delivery
Widen assists the Adidas Sports Licensed Division in many ways to increase multi-channel marketing efficiency and effectiveness. With the NBA Finals between the LA Lakers and Orlando Magic underway, Widen already has all of the championship merchandise digital samples ready to go.