Professional Sports Team

The Best Offense Is a Good Data Defense for Super-Bowl Winning Football Team

LTO-6 Retired
Geographic Redundancy
Red quotation mark

Our IT organization is now faster, more nimble, more digital, more cloud friendly, and ultimately more useful and suited to the company.

Senior Manager of Digital Operations for ~100 year old NFL franchise


With multiple championships behind them, this NFL franchise had decades of incredible content to mine and protect, but they needed to draft and train up some new technical assets to stay in contention. Slow data access, no geographic redundancy, and an aging, cumbersome, and failure-prone tape archive were all threatening the IT team’s championship mindset.


The IT team worked with CHESA, a media technology systems integrator, to deploy a new Quantum QXS storage area network (SAN) and Mimir, a cloud-based video collaboration and production platform, for on-site media workflows, and added Backblaze B2 for storage—all so they can rapidly upload and access game day footage and photography. They shifted 380TB off an aging SAN and hundreds of terabytes off of LTO-6 at zero cost using Backblaze Universal Data Migration. And, they use Backblaze Cloud Replication to ensure that every byte is safely replicated to an additional remote data center.


After their offseason training level-up, the digital ops team found they were ready for the next postseason push: They had doubled their data protection, cleared out their LTO storage room, and opened up remote workflows to lessen the burden of game day all-nighters. Their archives are now easily accessible for future monetization and their infrastructure can scale during the coming seasons and beyond. Game on.

Share This Case Study

LTO Replacement
Active Archive
Disaster Recovery
Cloud Replication
Universal Data Migration
Sports Video
Pro Sports
Mimir MAM
Quantum QXS

Like most NFL franchises, this team employees roughly 300 people to field a world-class football team. Inspired by the loyalty and passion of their passionate fan base, they work to embody resilience, determination, and commitment to excellence in the efforts on and off the field. Serving a live audience of roughly 70,000 at every home game and a fan base in the millions, the digital operations team is responsible for capturing, protecting, and potentially distributing any piece of content the organization records.

Company bio image

Protecting QBs and PBs

The average NFL franchise generates 1,000 to 2,000 video clips—both 1080p and 4K—and 2,000 to 3,000 photos for every game. That means that some 17 times a year, the organization will generate 6–7TB of data they need to store, analyze, reuse, and archive, typically all in one night—and the figure is higher when it’s a big win. No one wants to miss the star player’s pre-game fit check or the game-winning touchdown. 

And while every game night generates about 7TBs of new data, there are also typically petabytes of essential data in the archives waiting to be called into the game. This is the reality in today’s saturated media landscape: the preservation and consumption of every variety of content from game day footage to commentary to player interviews and social media content is both a tradition and necessity for professional football teams. When your team starts doing well, those archives get tapped more and more to create retrospectives or team documentaries.

Red quotation mark

Every night we ingest and upload 6–7TBs of data. At the same time we process multiple thousands of photos and video clips to keep the players and fans engaged and on fire.

Senior Manager of Digital Operations for ~100 year old NFL franchise

Benching LTO-6

The organization was storing all of their media on just a few devices. They used an aging SAN for production data with archives stored on LTO-6 tape. That was, until the tape library fumbled the ball, going down for weeks at a time, and always when someone needed something out of the archives. It became so problematic that they stopped archiving content altogether, opting to max out their SAN to ensure fast access. On top of that, the tape system lived in a server room at the stadium just down the street from the production team’s offices—not far away enough to truly call it a disaster recovery copy.

The Cloud Formation

The question the team posed to CHESA, their media technology systems integrator, was, “How do we get faster, more nimble, more digital, more cloud friendly, and ultimately more useful and suited to the company?” The first step: Find a cloud provider they knew would win on the balance sheet and in their workflow, and would play nicely with other cloud services. They chose B2 Cloud Storage because it worked with the nearline on-prem storage they wanted to acquire, it worked with the media asset manager (MAM) they wanted to use, and it was one-fifth the price versus legacy cloud providers such as AWS.

No items found.

Running the IT Play

With Backblaze B2 on the squad, CHESA sketched out the play. They shifted 380TB from their old SAN to Backblaze without any time-outs necessary thanks to Backblaze Universal Data Migration (UDM), then put it on the field with a brand new Quantum QXS for nearline storage. Then, they integrated Mimir, a video collaboration and production platform that includes production asset management, archive, and object-store integration, to keep everything organized and on time. Whenever a file is uploaded to Mimir, it’s automatically stored in Backblaze B2 via Mimir’s file indexer system Kelda. This covered the game day action—their production team had fast access to recently recorded content, and it allowed them to work more flexibly from home, which was especially important on those late nights after a game

Next they moved on to protecting every part of their game plan: To ensure all of the content was doubly secure off-site, they migrated hundreds of terabytes of data from LTO-6 tape, again using UDM. Then, they utilized Backblaze Cloud Replication to ensure that every byte uploaded to a nearby cloud region was safeguarded in a more distant cloud region to protect them from any regional disasters.

The Final Score

The team added another layer of protection with backups that were truly off-site across the country versus down the street. They freed up physical space in their offices by removing the old hardware—being able to show leadership the tangible result was game-changing. They empowered their production team by giving them instant access and fast workflows so they can work without slowdowns. And, they freed up IT staff time spent managing all that tape and old hardware. It all added up to a big win for the IT team, the franchise, and the fans. 

Red quotation mark

There was bulky, aging LTO hardware here, and now it’s gone.

Senior Manager of Digital Operations for ~100 year old NFL franchise

Red quotation mark

  • CHESA is a media technology systems integrator that specializes in advanced media technology systems and media and entertainment workflow solutions from capture through delivery. Drawing on decades of experience, the company designs, develops, and deploys robust, modern systems that leverage industry-leading technologies to help clients achieve success.

Related Case Studies

About Backblaze

The Backblaze B2 Storage Cloud is purpose-built for ease. It offers always-hot, S3 compatible object storage that supports your workflows via third-party software integrations, APIs, CLI, and web UI. And it’s priced for easy affordability at rates a fraction of other cloud providers. Businesses in more than 175 countries use the platform to host content, build and run applications, manage media, back up and archive data, and protect and recover from ransomware.