Wilson Sporting Goods    

WebNative Suite Enables Wilson Sporting Goods to Create Global Digital Product Library

An iconic brand in the sports world, Wilson Sporting Goods has been one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of sporting equipment for almost a century. Providing athletic gear for sports like tennis, golf, baseball and American football, Wilson has earned a worldwide reputation for its exceptional products, designed to increase player performance.

Wilson is backed by some of the world’s most respected athletes, including Jorge Posada of the New York Yankees, Serena Williams, and Roger Federer, and has partnerships with the NFL, NLB, US Open, and NCAA, among others. Headquartered in Chicago, in the United States, Wilson has a presence in more than 100 countries and employs over 1,600 people globally.


David Barron
Manager of Creative Technology

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With thousands of products and a constantly updating product line, the company’s limited digital asset management system wasn’t able to keep up with their production needs and rapid asset growth. David Barron, Manager of Creative Technology at Wilson, was brought in to help launch Xinet® WebNative® Suite. Because Barron works closely with the Wilson Creative Services and IT departments, he understands the unique needs and concerns on all sides—the marketing, creative and production staff, and the IT team. With WebNative Suite, the company wanted to better utilize their server space, eliminate errors and confusion about asset availability, and make it easier for users to find and update images.

“Since launching WebNative Suite, we are quickly rolling it out to our staff so that they can easily access our digital library. Wilson’s marketing team is utilizing the Xinet system to search for assets more efficiently. The creative services people are using it to improve workflow and to find the assets used in ads and catalogs. Our prepress vendor, Color4, which is an outside resource, is using it daily to get new photos from our internal photographer and to give us the retouched images. And since Wilson is hosting global assets, we are starting to register users in our worldwide offices, and dealers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, China, Australia—everywhere that Wilson is—will be able to directly access the images in our library,” said Barron.

Before WebNative Suite, determining which file was the current version proved difficult because multiple copies could be found on local desktops, external drives and servers. Now users work and link directly from Wilson’s digital library.

“Because we are linking to the high-res image found in the library, we’ve eliminated multiple file duplication. Users know exactly where to place and find the new images for their materials. If they’re linking to the library, they’re linking to the most up-to-date version of that file. We are now more confident that the correct images are being used to create all marketing materials,” said Barron.

"Because we are linking to the high-res image found in the library, we’ve elimated multiple file duplication. Users know exactly where to place and find the new materials." David Barron, Manager of Creative Technology

In addition, because WebNative Suite supports Adobe® XMP metadata, most of the metadata fields write back to the file directly. Having embedded metadata means that the file can be easily tracked—even when the file has been re-saved or the file name has changed.

Many of the tools in WebNative Suite have not only helped Wilson better maintain their assets, but have also helped to automate production and workflow. Interactive PDF provides access to the native source files for any image in a WebNative-generated PDF, which becomes increasingly valuable with Wilson’s image intensive catalogs. Simply clicking on an image on the PDF page accesses the asset and makes it available for immediate download. With Uploader, the prepress vendor can upload files safely and directly to Wilson without bothering with a cumbersome FTP site.

“Additionally, Custom Image Order has been a miracle. Users can create different versions of the assets in our library for different projects—such as Powerpoint presentations, websites, and so on—and they can create them easily and quickly with this tool. People are downloading images directly to their desktop in mere seconds. For example, they can download PNG files with transparency from clipping path EPS files, which they used to do manually. That is saving untold amounts of time,” said Barron.

He added, “Wilson’s original intent with purchasing WebNative Suite was to be able to efficiently share out files, but the fact that we also have benefited from workflow automation and production capabilities has been a huge bonus.”