Growing up playing basketball in Africa, NBA Champion and Toronto Raptors Vice-Chairman and President, Masai Ujiri recognized the abundance of talent and love for sport in Africa, despite the lack of coaching and resources. He founded Giants of Africa in 2003 to make a change and to empower boys and girls through the power of basketball.

The organization has a large library of footage from their camps and projects in Africa, but all of the content was stored on hard drives and was very hard to access. They also had no back up for safety. We spoke with Jeff Landicho, Director of Content at Ujiri Productions Inc. about their experience using iconik and Backblaze to improve and secure their workflow.

Can you give us a brief overview of Giants of Africa?

The Giants of Africa (GOA) foundation uses basketball as a means of educating and enriching the lives of African youth, by providing quality facilities, gear and coaching.  In order to create awareness and support for this work, GOA puts an ongoing emphasis on content and storytelling, across a variety of platforms and activities, including social media and live events.

How did you initially come across iconik and Backblaze for your Media Asset Management (MAM) workflow?

We initially came across iconik and Backblaze from a reference at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) who had previously been in charge of storing our footage on external hard drives.

What types of challenges were you facing?

Before iconik and Backblaze, we were dealing with only one copy of our entire library of footage spanning over 10 years.  That one copy spread across multiple external hard drives, in multiple locations.  Accessing the footage was difficult and time consuming – consisting of constantly making copies of shoots onto working drives and then using those drives for edits.  Not only that, the safety of the footage was at risk, due to no back ups.

What were your top requirements and goals?

One, we wanted all our footage to be located in a central location.  Two, we wanted to be able to access the footage in a very efficient way.

Masai Ujiri at Giants of Africa camp in Rwanda

How was the training process with CineSys?

Training with CineSys has been a great experience.  During the training sessions with both Matt Tape and Matt Timmons, our group learned a lot in a very short amount of time.  At first glance, iconik can seem intimidating and overwhelming, but both Matts were able to break down the topics in a way that focused on specific features and added an element of interaction that allowed us to absorb the information well.  Both had a great energy and enthusiasm that made the sessions enjoyable as well.

Have you seen improvements in your workflow now with the incorporation of iconik and Backblaze?

The improvements in our workflow are night and day. Previously, we usually had only one person that had access to all our content, just due to the simple fact that it lived on hard drives. Now our creative director, partnership lead, producers, editors, and our social team have access to all our assets. Having our footage stored in a secure location along with our hard drive back ups provides a peace of mind that we didn’t have for over 10 years. We are a much better content department now that we have incorporated iconik and Backblaze in our system. Thank you.

Jeff LandichoDirector of Content, Ujiri Productions Inc.

Company: Giants of Africa
Location: Toronto, Canada
Name: Jeff Landicho, Director of Content, Ujiri Productions Inc.

Giants of Africa
About iconik

iconik is a cloud-native solution that gathers and organizes media securely from any storage. You also get hassle-free media collaboration and powerful automation features. iconik is easy to use from any device.

About Backblaze

Backblaze is a pioneer in robust, scalable low cost cloud backup and storage services. Personal online backup to enterprise scale data storage solutions. Their main products are Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage and Backblaze Business Backup.