Durham company captures NCAA action
Posted April 2, 2009 4:58 p.m. EDT
Updated April 2, 2009 7:06 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — A small company from Durham is documenting all the basketball tournament action by taking pictures for the official NCAA Web site.
“Every 15 minutes during the game, you can refresh the site and there are photos coming in as you’re watching the games,” Replay Photos President Sue Harnett said.
The company has an exclusive partnership with the NCAA and Associated Press to sell images from the games.
Harnett, a former All-American basketball player at Duke University in the late 1980s and early 1990s, had the idea to preserve old Duke photos that were stuffed away in filing cabinets and make them available for sale to alumni and fans.
Her passion grew into a full-time job.
“Now we have yesterday’s game, and we have the older shots and we have some campus photography…just a little bit of everything,” Harnett said.
With just six full-time and six part-time workers, the company is the window to the college sports world of pictures.
“So many times we’ll have an overall (shot) of the stadium and we’ll have someone say to us, ‘That’s me right there,’" Harnett said. "It’s not even an identifiable face but that dot was them."
Although Harnett played for Duke, she knows the rival Tar Heels have been good for business.
“Tyler Hansbrough has been very popular, as he should be certainly being one of the best players in the country,” she said. “We have some great shots of Dean Smith and Roy Williams together that are really popular.”
The NCAA started allowing the sale of student athletes’ pictures about two years ago.
Replay Photos works with 75 universities and colleges and hopes to keep expanding. They also have a deal with Sports Illustrated to reproduce covers and content.