Veritone’s AI-Powered Lineup Covers the Bases for the San Francisco Giants
Legacy analog content comes to life as digital, searchable, and shareable assets
A legendary home run heard over the radio, an impossible catch captured on a single reel of film, or a final out broadcast into the nation’s homes. These stories, and thousands more, are part of the legacy of the San Francisco Giants professional baseball team. It is a legacy that, until recently, had become increasingly difficult to preserve.
60 Years of History in Danger of Striking Out
The Giants had a rich history of analog media content covering 60 years stored in various places throughout the Bay Area. Some were in storage pods in the East Bay, some were in storage lockers in San Francisco. The club worried that many of the tapes were deteriorating to the point that they would no longer be usable.
“Essentially, we were just sitting on a bunch of content that we had no way to utilize because it was collecting dust on shelves,” says Brad Martens, Director, Media Systems & Workflow for the Giants. “We wanted to find a way to digitize that content and preserve it for future generations of fans to be able to enjoy. That was the impetus for an endeavor we coined the legacy project.”
The club found a vendor capable of digitizing the content, but that was just the tip of the bat. “We next faced the challenge of getting metadata associated with the content because essentially, we just moved it off the shelf and into a digital format,” says Paul Hodges, Vice President of Content and Entertainment for the Giants. Without accurate metadata, it would be nearly impossible for the club to unlock and activate the trove of digital content.
“We started punching the numbers and estimated that if we hired 16 interns for a full year, we probably could get the metadata we needed to be associated with these clips so that our editors and producers can find what they want,” Hodges says. “But we obviously took a different path — a much more modern one. We started working with Veritone and formed a great partnership.”
AI-Powered Tools Put Content in the Strike Zone
Veritone’s AI-powered operating system, aiWARE, went to work processing all of the SF Giants’ unstructured content to create and associate meaningful metadata with their video files. And with Veritone Digital Media Hub, a cloud-native, AI-powered media management platform, the SF Giants’ media teams can use AI-powered search and discovery to quickly identify and share content that otherwise might never see the light of day.
“For example, we had a tape of Willie Mays teaching hitting to our rookies during the ’70s,” Martens explains. “It was a clip that was sitting on the shelf — one we didn’t even know had until it was identified and tagged as part of this project. When you uncover gems like that, it makes the entire project worth it. It’s like our own personal SF Giant’s YouTube vault. Users get instant access, great search tools, and an easy user interface.”
Activating the Sweet Spot for Legacy Content
The Giants launched their legacy project during the COVID-19 pandemic, and by doing so, invigorated an otherwise lean year for professional baseball content. Thanks to an increased ability to remotely access and share content via the Veritone Digital Media Hub, the Giants were able to tap a wealth of historical baseball content to engage with their fans in new and compelling ways, sharing historical content that had long been hidden away. And going forward, the Giants have a living tool that ensures every magic moment in history is preserved and activated.
“We’ve freed our producers, editors and everyone on the creative side to become better storytellers since they’re no longer constrained to that one clip that lived on that one tape,” Martens says.
Today, content that would take days or weeks to find or might never be found is now discoverable in moments. “Thanks to Veritone, we can explore, we can get creative, we can tell better stories, and we can share every moment,” concludes Hodges. “We’re keeping our club’s history alive.”