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How the New York Jets Engage Fans with Real-Time, Thumb-Stopping Photography

"The Jets engage fans thumb-stopping photography leveraging PhotoShelter’s real-time workflow. "

Following the New York Jets on Instagram is like having a VIP ticket to the game. You get to watch warmups from the 50 yard line, head into the locker room to suit up with the team, and see the game-winning touchdown from an exclusive spot in the end zone.How do they make you feel like you’re embedded with the team, when you’re really just scrolling through your Instagram feed as you watch the game on TV? Watch the video to find out.

Behind the Scenes with the Storytellers

The Jets’ social media channels are a perfect storm of a unique perspective, the right timing, and eye-catching imagery fans actually want in their feeds.

Lead Photographer and Cinematographer Dan Szpakowski works full-time in-house, so he has a deep understanding of the team’s stories and point of view. He reports to the social team, creating a direct line between photography and social media. He shoots as a documentary photographer, capturing everything from game action to quiet moments fans rarely get to see.

Jets guard James Carpenter preps for a preseason game against the New York Giants. Photo by Dan Szpakowski, New York Jets.


His work – and the speed they use to deliver it – makes the Jets’ Instagram feed the go-to place for Jets fans. The social media team leads with dynamic content – not ads.

“When I first got here, I talked about Instagram and it being all visual and the goal being the @NatGeo account – just incredible nature photography – and I got a little bit of some weird stares because football is not giraffes on the prairie,” says Director of Digital/Social Media Rael Enteen. “But it is the same thing.”

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It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. @samdarnold’s #NYJvsDET line: 16/21, 198 YDS, 2 TD, INT and the W.

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And not only do the Jets give fans binge-worthy content, but they deliver it in real time – beating out all of the other photographers and news outlets covering the game, and giving fans the content they want instantly.

“Having it out there first is huge,” says Dan.

By posting their best photos from the field in seconds, the Jets are blazing a trail with the fastest photo workflow in professional sports, and setting a new standard for fan engagement in the NFL.


Cover photo by Dan Szpakowski, New York Jets.

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