The NFL can gain a lot from its architectural photography, photojournalism, and video-game photography industry, according to the league’s president of league operations.
Jim Fassel said in a wide-ranging interview with the Indianapolis Star on Thursday that the league is in the process of “building relationships” with “a bunch of the most talented people in the industry” who can “give us the best opportunities.”
“We’ve got to be able to build relationships,” Fassel told the newspaper.
“And that’s really the biggest thing we’re trying to do.”
Fassel said the NFL is “really proud of the way we’ve done things” with the architecture photography industry since it was founded in 2011, when he was a member of the NFLPA.
“We’ve had a lot of success with our video game team,” he said.
“That’s a good example of that.”
Fasel said the league has been in talks with several “super talented” photographers and video game companies, including Electronic Arts, which he called a “big fan” of the league.
Fassell said he’s aware that some “talent-wise” people might “not necessarily want to” work for the NFL.
“I think that we’ve been able to have some good conversations with some of those people and some of them have said, ‘Absolutely, let’s work together,'” he said, adding that the NFL has not had a conflict of interest in those discussions.
The NFL has been trying to find a way to keep its image intact amid the rise of digital media and social media, Fassel explained.
“If you look at the last few years, we’ve made some great moves,” he noted.
“It’s not like we’re a monopoly.
It’s not a monopoly of anything.
We’re just not the largest market.”
The NFL, which had been a pioneer in developing video game photography, has made some “unbelievable” moves in recent years, Fassell said.
“The biggest one is that we got some incredible players on the field who have really helped us out with our brand,” he continued.
“The way that we communicate on a daily basis, that’s what really makes us unique and it’s why we’re so successful.”
The league has recently made significant strides in its ability to generate revenue through video game advertising, with revenues from digital ad buys rising to $11 million in 2016.
The league had reported $20 million in revenues in 2016, up from $14 million a year earlier.
Fascsel said it is “extremely proud” of those investments and that the union will continue to make “every effort” to “continue to improve” the league, as well as its image, “for as long as we live.”