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Collegiate Sports Marketing

Do you carve out time to catch the sports games of your Alma Mater? Do you prepare for every game decked out in your school’s colors, head to toe? The live TV or radio broadcast of your favorite college team may be brought to you by Learfield Sports, a division of Learfield Communications Inc. Learfield Sports manages multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions, associations and conferences including Penn State, Stanford, Oklahoma, Big Ten Conference, Missouri, Indiana and the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA).  Additionally, it titles the acclaimed Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today and provides exclusive sports programming to more than 1,000 radio stations nationwide.  More than 160 local television stations, cable systems and Regional Sports Networks carry Learfield Sports’ programming as well.

Learfield Communications Inc. also operates several state news radio networks throughout the Midwest including the Brownfield Network, America’s largest radio network devoted to agriculture.

Opportunity: Access any file, from anywhere, with any device

In order to support the needs of their collegiate partners, Learfield has 70 offices distributed across the country, with 500 employees who attend games and meet with clients. When offsite, employees struggled with the need to access their business files quickly and easily.  Employees have a range of devices, including iPads, iPhones, PCs and Macs.

“When out of the office or away from our office computer, we did not have access to our files,” said a Learfield employee. “We had to be at a computer or in an office to access files, and VPN was difficult and time consuming.”

Having limited access to files prevented employees from efficiently doing their job. They wanted ‘anytime access’ to their files, and from any device.

Challenge: Efficiently Supporting a Distributed Organization

Recognizing the cost and complexity of maintaining 70 file servers, Phil Atkinson, Vice President of Information Technology, searched for a solution that would provide employees flexible access without compromising speed and security. He wanted to provide employees with efficient access to files while on the road. However, he did not want the risk of files being shared with the wrong person. He needed a solution that gave him central visiblity and control, while enabling the 70 offices to remain connected and remote employees able to access files. He needed a hybrid cloud solution.

Solution: Hybrid Cloud File Server

Learfield selected Egnyte to replace physical file servers in each of their 70 offices. With Egnyte, Learfield has been able to shut down costly VPN tunnels and local servers, while improving productivity for employees. Employees working remotely were now able to have their business files with them at all times.

Egnyte HybridCloud has been deployed to over 175 users across 15 offices. In ten of the offices Learfield has deployed either Enterprise Local Cloud, deployed as a VMware virtual appliance, or Office Local Cloud, deployed on a NETGEAR ReadyNAS device to provide local access to files to users in the offices, along with the mobile/cloud access to users in the field. In the other 60 offices, employees use mapped drive to access their files directly from the cloud. The hybrid cloud approach ensures that all users have the latest version of all files, and can safely and securely access, modify and share files anywhere and on any device whether on- or off-line.  Over the next 2 years Phil plans to roll Egnyte out to all 70 offices and 500 employees. Already, employees are starting to push for Egnyte to be rolled out faster in all offices, citing the ease of use and flexible access as key benefits.

“I love being able to securely access my work files, whether on the road, at a sporting event, or even at grandmas,” says a Learfield employee. “With Egnyte I don’t have to worry about my site having a wireless connection, since I can always access my files locally using the Egnyte Local Cloud.”

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