Icon Sports Media Relaunches Site

Posted on 2/11/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Icon Sports Media has launched a new Web site, which offers a searchable database of 1 million images depicting over 100 sports types.

The site provides access to timely photo-coverage of the latest sporting events, such as the Feb. 10 NASCAR race in Daytona Beach, finals of the IRB Stevens Rugby World Series in San Diego and NCAA basketball game in Seattle. The newswire-style home page also features individual sport sections and themed stock collections, such as "2007 Hotshots" and "Golf Course Scenics."

Since it was founded in 1999, Icon has marketed professional, college and grassroots sports imagery. Its current online collection is complemented by another 3 million historical photos.

The new site uses technology by the digital media management provider Spitfire Photo, which also offers photographers image-management, store-front and e-commerce services on a subscription basis. Features developed by Spitfire include image upload, syndication, FTP, downloadable lightboxes and numerous search functions. Jamie Calsyn, president of Icon SMI, says such features give the agency control, reliability and the ability to quickly delivery images after a conclusion of an event.

As the world counts down to Beijing 2008, the stock industry is seeing an increasing amount of sports-related activity. However, some question the ability of small agencies like Icon to compete with larger providers, such as Reuters, Associated Press and Getty Images, the official image supplier for the upcoming summer Olympics.

Jeff Mills, a Columbus, Ohio, sports and event photographer, says that Icon has never sold any of his winning touchdown images from NCAA football games. He thinks "Getty, Presswire and AP have guys getting those same shots" and are better able to get them sold. Still, Mills says that Icon has generated him revenue, mostly of the stock-image variety.

Bloomington, Il., action shooter Alan Look describes similar success. "[Icon] helped me get secondary licensing ... and got my images placed in national media [where] I otherwise would not have been able to get past the secretary-notably, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal and ESPN.com."

Given the recent demise of the WpN daily wire service, some in the breaking-news image space consider competition from the larger players an insurmountable obstacle.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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