How cloud technology is delivering entertainment to billions worldwide

When you are the person in charge of sharing collateral with 120 countries, your choice of technology is crucial.

As the Head of International for one of the largest sports entertainment companies in the world, it can be the difference between success and failure.

TNA wrestling appears on television in 120 countries including Challenge TV in the UK and Ireland, Pop TV in America, Sony SIX across the Indian subcontinent and SuperSport all over Africa.

Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, you will have heard of many of the Stars on our roster including Olympic Gold Medallist Kurt Angle, MMA fighter Bobby Lashley, wrestling great Jeff Hardy and Scotland’s Grado. Our flagship show IMPACT, which airs on Sunday nights on Challenge in the UK, is watched by millions in 14 different languages.

All this adds up to a huge amount of content. Hundreds of PR and marketing files need to be shared all over the globe to promote the show to more than one billion fans each week.

To make all this happen I need a tool which is simple, quick, and secure. I have trialled many options in my time, and suffered many close calls as a result of their failures. But finally it was cloud which transformed the way I work.

I look back at how I used to collaborate with my colleagues around the globe and think of the time I wasted, the amount of stress I was under and the sheer frustration of trying to do something as simple as share a large file with my team.

TNA is based in Nashville, US. I am more than 4,000 miles away, and with a six hour time difference, in London, it’s always been a challenge to provide PR and marketing support and materials to all our 120 markets in real time.

Like almost all businesses, the sports entertainment industry relies on a quick turnaround. Especially when dealing with international partners who may wish to add their own subtitles, voice overs or cultural elements.

Picture this. A new wrestler, The Miracle Mike Bennett, debuts for TNA on our US broadcast, I need to share his video introduction, picture gallery and notes to all our broadcast partners in time for their own airing of IMPACT, which could be as quick as one hour later.

Physically sending tapes, hard drives or memory sticks is costly and timely. It’s a thing of the past. Even more modern online transfer tools are tricky and unreliable. It takes ages to load and send, especially when relying on local download speeds. Then there are expiry dates, version control and compatibility problems leading to the dreaded “can you send it again” emails.

The day my bosses in Nashville told me we were moving to cloud everything changed. And when the team chose Dropbox, I knew we were on to something.

It has completely changed the way I work at TNA. I can rely on the unlimited storage and unbeatable accuracy to ensure seamless collaboration with all our broadcast partners.

And it’s not just for the week-to-week shows I rely on Dropbox. At the end of January, our TNA MAXIMUM IMPACT Tour hits the UK, with stops in Manchester, London and Birmingham. Hundreds of files were shared as part of planning process, and even more content will need to be shared with the 119 other countries after the event, prior to the tour’s worldwide broadcast in February or March - often while we’re on the move.

We are a quicker, more efficient and more relaxed team than we were in the past and it’s all down to cloud.

TNA Wrestling are at the cutting edge of professional wrestling. Now I’m pleased to say we are at the cutting edge of technology too.

Simon Rothstein is a freelance PR, journalist and consultant with 15 years of experience in the national media.