It has been a hot and challenging summer for UK-based athletes, organisers and photographers alike – each encountering unique challenges along the way. Specialist athlete engagement platform AWOL Adventure notes that, fortunately, it is in a unique position – working long-term with leading event organisers such as Human Race, Castle Triathlon, Events of the North and others. The company adds that this reach gives it’s technology platform unique access to a large portion of UK race competitors.
In the year to date AWOL has reportedly generated more than 3 million photo views, reaching more than 250k site visitors and ‘generating record photo sales and sponsorship activation’. Facebook remains the company’s strongest social media platform; 117k people use Facebook to log into AWOL, and more than 18,000 photos have been posted directly into Facebook feeds from the AWOL platform.
2018 has seen the launch of AWOL’s Strava integration. Athletes can find their photos using time and geo positioning via their Strava feed. The company notes that most athletes now train with Strava, and this new function ‘allows their events to be relived through photos for the first time, directly linked to their main means of logging their activities.’
AWOL has also launched version 1.0 of its merchandise sales tool, partnering with print companies to provide athletes with branded prints. The company can now offer a ‘choice of everything from phone cases to towels, as well as standard prints.’
Face to face
Facial recognition technology is also set to be launched. A release from the company stated, ‘We’re very pleased to announce that after many long months of development our photo facial recognition technology is entering a beta phase and we are looking for events interested in trialling it with us. The concept here is that athletes’ faces are recognised so there is no need for race numbers when looking for photos.’
AWOL adds, ‘It’s very accurate – even for those wearing cycling helmets! This opens up huge possibilities for events without forward facing race numbers – for instance swimming, triathlon (bike leg) and obstacle racing.’
AWOL continues to point out that ‘Live photos have been a quasi-reality for a long time but providers have struggled with identification based on chip timing alone… Our latest tech integration makes accurate live photos a reality. So, for the first time, athletes and their families will be able to review photos in real time, increasing their enjoyment overall.’
The new AWOL merchandise platform is integrated with multiple merchandise providers. This enables to the company to now offer athlete photos in conjunction with any UK or worldwide event brand, ‘in a seamless way that will allow events large and small to make money on photography, whether or not they charge for photos.’
AWOL Adventure offers a specialist athlete engagement platform for mass participation sporting events. It has served more than two million digital images to customers worldwide. AWOL’s focus is on delivering an experience to athletes and their social networks across the entire event lifecycle. Established for over five years, the platform is focused on the delivery of high quality tagged photos and content to large audiences. This is intended to complement an athlete’s personal event experience and enjoyment.